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jdavidb (1361)

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J. David Blackstone has a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and Engineering and nine years of experience at a wireless telecommunications company, where he learned Perl and never looked back. J. David has an advantage in that he works really hard, he has a passion for writing good software, and he knows many of the world's best Perl programmers.

Journal of jdavidb (1361)

Thursday August 19, 2010
04:55 PM

Cute caps

I'm doing some quick code generation (the output is Java), and I found myself writing the below routine. I like it because of the names I picked for the variables. Not exactly self-documenting (although it is when you think about it), but this is throwaway. You can probably tell what the code is doing and why I named the variables as I did, and you might be entertained.

sub uc_prop
  my($prop) = @_;
  my $p = substr($prop, 0, 1);
  my $P = uc($p);
  my $rop = substr($prop, 1);
  return "$P$rop";

Monday July 26, 2010
03:34 PM

Strawberry Perl install rolled back

Strawberry Perl 5.12.0 was almost completely installed when suddenly it flashed some message I didn't see into the install wizard and the progress bars started moving backward! I have never seen anything like it. I realized the progress bar caption had been changed to simply "Rolling Back Action" and watched as at least three anonymous "actions" were rolled back, progress bar by progress bar. Then the install wizard simply told me "Strawberry Perl Setup Wizard ended prematurely Strawberry Perl Setup Wizard ended prematurely because of an error. Your system has not been modified. To install this program at a later time, run Setup Wizard again. Click the Finish button to exit the Setup Wizard."

I wish it would tell me what the error was so I might have some hope of correcting it.

Monday July 19, 2010
11:58 AM

Hiveminder: personal RT, for free

You mean someone will provide RT for me to use for free on the web? And they've built an awesome AJAX-y frontend for it? And they allow me to tag tasks and they encourage me to keep my work todo list and as many personal todo lists as I want in here? And they give me awesome search utilities for figuring this out and keeping it organized?

It's almost like a dream come true.

Wednesday June 09, 2010
10:10 AM

Strawberry Win32 GUI programming

If I wanted to write a Strawberry program to run as a daemon and periodically pop up alerts on my machine, and I had no Windows Perl GUI programming experience other than an abortive look at WxPerl years before anybody ever thought of Strawberry, what module would I be looking for?

Thursday May 20, 2010
09:18 AM

Another StackOverflow question moved: what's the deal?

Stack Overflow is made significantly less useful when ignorant people move Perl programming questions to because the questions are about "servers, networks or the administration of many machines.".

This kind of ridiculous micromanaging by people who are awarded points for being anti-helpful is what destroyed Wikipedia as a place I wanted to participate.

Friday May 07, 2010
12:16 PM

Testing gurus, would you please chime in?

The question is how to test a class that installs system services:

Tuesday April 20, 2010
10:01 AM

Ball of mud song

Anyone got any good songs about working on a ball of mud?

Thursday April 01, 2010
12:57 PM

From UTC to US/Central

I've been living on UTC time since just before the end of Daylight Saving Time, 2005. Today I have reset my workstation to Central time. It's like looking at the world with fresh eyes.

My settings on websites will follow at some point.

Wednesday March 31, 2010
07:43 AM

RIP Jaime Escalante

Jaime Escalante, America's best math teacher, passed away last night. Escalante built a spectacular mathematics program in a struggling inner-city school district, teaching disadvantaged children all the way through Advanced Placement Calculus. His story was depicted in the 1988 film Stand and Deliver. I've got to say this man was really one of my personal heroes. When Sarah and I started talking about homeschooling our children it was thoughts of Mr. Escalante that made me get really serious about the kind of education our children could have with us directing.
Friday March 19, 2010
12:00 PM

Things I didn't know about the Walls

Larry's son, Lewis, is writing a 2D game engine in Perl 6 using Rakudo (

Larry's wife, Gloria, took the Revised Common Lectionary and expanded it to make a complete Bible reading program which covers the entire Bible in three years ( And I wonder if maybe I'm not the only person in history who's ever written a program in Perl to divide up the Bible for reading, after all...