November 2001 Archives

Gnat and Ask

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It might be easier if you enabled comments in your journals ...

Module List Back

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I wrote a little script tonight to automatically grab the latest CPAN uploads and post them on use Perl each day. This is something that hasn't been working in some time, as I was doing it somewhat manually. This will be totally automatic.

My only concern is that the front page, during slow news times (such as now), the whole front page will be nothing but new modules. :-) Still, you can filter those out of your home page, and from your daily headlines/newsletter (if you get those) by clicking Module News as an excluded topic in your preferences. Deprecations

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I am going to deprecate some projects on Starting with cpan-mac, because it is tools and modules that work with MacPerl for dealing with CPAN and modules, and they are all now included with MacPerl 5.6.1. I'll keep the distribution up, but won't do any more development on it. All new development goes into the one included with 5.6.1 and later.

Then there's modules, Mac::AppleEvents::Simple, Mac::OSA::Simple, Mac::Glue. I am torn as to what to do with them. I suppose I should keep Mac::Glue separate, because some people might want to use it with older MacPerl. Same with the others, though those are very seldom updated at all. I'll probably keep them separate for now. Hmmmm.

I need to update the licenses in them, in any event. Since I am including them in MacPerl, I'll want them to be AL+GPL (as Perl is), whereas now they are AL-only. Another few modules bite the dust ...


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I spent some time getting a Makefile together to get Shuck to build with MWC68K (Metrowerks' 68K compiler for MPW) and it is kinda working, but the DB_open from the the db library is failing ... plus the whole machine crashes when the app quits. Doh. I am hoping it is a subtle linking order thing or something.

Why Perl Is As It Is

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I wanted to find out the largest perl module in the distribution. So I wrote this script in about one minute.

use File::Find;
find(sub {
  next unless /\.pm$/;
  $file = $File::Find::name, $size = -s _ if -s > $size;
}, "Bourque:Applications (Mac OS 9):MacPerl Æ’:lib:");
print "$file: $size\n";

This is why Perl needs to have so many shortcuts. This is why Perl is cool.

FWIW, the answer is


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I am thankful for my good job. I am thankful MacPerl 5.6.1 is in its second beta and is nearing final release. I am thankful for good friends. I am thankful for my wonderful wife and child.

Coercion is Good

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So I have this little MacPerl script that gets the current track info on my MP3 player (SoundJam) using Apple events. I also added some logic so that if SoundJam was not running locally, it would check the other machine in the room, using Apple events via TCP/IP with that remote machine. All fine and good.

The problem: I installed iTunes 2 on a couple of machines, and I figure, hey, iTunes is based on SoundJam, so it should work the same. But they changed it so iTunes 2 returns this data in UTF-16 ("utxt"), instead of regular 8-bit text ("TEXT"). I don't have the requisite Perl modules to convert at this point, but I shouldn't need them, because there are corecion handlers in Apple events that will coerce data from one type to another.

In theory, and according to the docs, it should work fine to just do (in AppleScript):

  set songname to name of current track as string

Or in Perl:

  my $song = $sj->get($sj->prop(name => of => 'current track'), as => 'string');

But this wasn't working. After trying to work around it (including by just stripping the high byte, which works for my purposes :-), I remembered there was a new development version of AppleScript available (the AppleScript library contains the Apple event code). I installed it, and it worked (as soon as I added a coercion from "utxt" to "TEXT" in the Perl code).

Bah. So I wasted a lot of time, but got it to work.

NP: A Place Of Springs - Phil Keaggy (Beyond Nature)


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Now that I've rewired my home network, I have all my network devices -- routers, hubs, etc. -- on a shelf together. On a nice overcast day like today, I get to see lots of blinking lights.

As Bobby McFerrin said, simple pleasures are the best. Especially when they are derived from complex technology.

Slash Messaging

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So we have some interesting messaging code now in Slash. You can get messages for various kinds of events. Someone replies to your comment, moderates it, posts a new journal entry, etc. and you can get a message, delivered in various ways.

[As a quick side note: the code never was rewritten from when it was first written, and it probably should be. Bleah.]

So now I am working on extending it further. You can choose a different delivery method for each kind of message (currently e-mail, web, or none). Soon you'll be able to get the daily headlines / newsletter customized to your personal preferences (don't like JonKatz stories? no problem!). Also in progress is Jabber support, so you can get instant messages sent to you. I am not sure how much I like the idea, but I think a lot of other people will like it, which is good enough.


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I am trying to remove some of the clutter from my everday existence, so I moved a bunch of unused computer equipment, CDs, floppies, etc. down into the basement. I rewired the entire home network and tidied it up. I feel ... clean.


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I don't need to make a lot of money before I retire. I turn 65, the canonical age of retirement in the U.S., in 2037. I will be one of those old farts who still programs in Perl and C and will be hired to fix all the old "E-2**31" bugs. I'll be paid somewhere on the order of $1 billion over the year to fix various bugs -- many of which I am currently creating -- and then retire comfortably in Afghanistan (which will be turned into a Middle Eastern vacation spa around 2012).

MacPerl 5.6.1 Beta 2 Soonish

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Matthias has been helping with more bugfixes, I've updated bundled modules and docs and fixed various bugs, and it's about time.

I have had trouble debugging some things because the xSYM file for MacPerl won't open in the CodeWarrior 5.3 IDE. I reinstalled and it still didn't work. However, it does work with Apple's Power Mac Debugger, and with the CodeWarrior 5 IDE. So ... I keep two versions of the IDE around, plus the Power Mac Debugger.

And then I tried to recompile yesterday, and crashes in the linker up the wazoo. Doh; I realized later that the 5.3 MWLinkPPC was causing me problems before, and I reverted. So I reverted again. Yay.

Mac OS X 10.1

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I finally got me Mac OS X 10.1, and while I am not a fan of Mac OS X, version 10.1 is significantly better than 10.0. Lots of good stuff in it, much cleaner and more consistent. I still hate the paned file dialogs. It seems slightly easier to navigate overall.

I installed it, and the Dev Tools, on the new PowerBook on a 2GB partition, and on the old PowerBook on the single 12GB drive (so both Mac OS X 10.1 and Mac OS 9.2.1 are on the same partition). I plan on this old PowerBook being my Mac OS X box.

So far, it seems reasonable. I don't like iTunes; SoundJam MP is far better. iTunes is too dumbed down (and dumb). I did get xmms (along with gnome, XFree86, etc.) installed (using fink, a port of apt-get/dselect), but it doesn't work well yet. I need an MP3 player on this box. I spent an hour or so figuring out how to get lookupd and NetInfo configured so I could override DNS, which I would call a huge waste of time except for that now I understand NetInfo a bit better.

I can't do USB Printer Sharing with it, which is a royal pain. Also, this computer has hardware DVD decoding, and the only Apple DVD player for Mac OS X is for software decoding. Fooey!

So I can use it for development and for file serving and for MP3 playing and for general playing around ... but if I can't do USB Printer Sharing, that might stink. We'll see.

It's still much too far away for me to use as a replacement for Mac OS 9.

New Computer

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So awhile back we got a spare G3 Mac at work to play with Mac OS X on. Well, that computer was wanted by someone else, and this FireWire PowerBook G3 was available, in good shape, so we traded.

I got ahold of it, and it had this weird problem where it wouldn't restart. The hard drive wouldn't be recognized. I had to shut down in order to boot. Pretty soon, I couldn't even start up at all. Fooey.

So it took forever for it to get repaired (not Apple's fault, per se, but the fact that we couldn't pay for the repairs right away), and I got it back and it is working fine, except that it won't wake from sleep. It will wake from a sleep of maybe 30o seconds, but anything longer than that and the drive spins up, but no lights come on, no screen, no sound, etc. I need to force-restart to get anything. Other than that, the computer is working fine. But without being able to sleep ... it could get old fast.

The good news is that it is just like my older laptop, but faster, has better battery life, and has internal AirPort. The bad news is that it can't sleep.

Oh, and if I hit the down arrow followed quickly by the up arrow, THREE characters are produced: down, "\", and up. Why "\"? If I am holding down shift, then it is "|" instead. What the heck?
<pudge/*> (pronounced "PudgeGlob") is thousands of posts over many years by Pudge.

"It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become a prey to the active. The condition upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime and the punishment of his guilt."

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This page is an archive of entries from November 2001 listed from newest to oldest.

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