Re: Templating Solutions

2001-06-18 Thread Simon Wilcox

Philip Newton wrote:
 Simon Wilcox wrote:
  I avoided HTML::Embperl, HTML::Mason  Apache::ASP because they all
  embed perl into the template which is a Bad Thing (tm).
 Why is that so evil?
 I'm willing to be enlightened here.

A couple of reasons.

Separation of code  presentation is good because it means that your
designers can concentrate on the design  html whilst your programmers
concentrate on function.

It helps if those not familiar with perl don't have to worry about it.
They get a domain specific language that is easy to understand (TT2
scores well here because it hides the differences between scalars,
arrays, hashes and object methods), and hopefully difficult for them to

See this thread for Andy's take on this.

Secondly, it helps with maintenance  reusability if all your perl code
is in one place, there's less to change and less chance of thiongs going

This really helps when the PHBs come along and ask if you can redesign
the pages for a particular client.

Whilst this can be done if you've mixed up perl into your template it
makes it much harder because there is a lot more for the designers to
break (and let's not even mention asp/php/jsp :)

Now I accept that if you are the sole programmer/developer/designer on a
project then it maybe doesn't matter but I have found that it helps me
to work in a separated way, so when they say, as they have, ah, we need
the first two years in this table and the rest in that one it becomes a
presentation issue and not a perl coding issue [1].



[1] It was really easy to do in a TT2 template as well !

Training anyone ?

2001-06-13 Thread Simon Wilcox

Just saw this linked from a hugely obvious banner ad on the Register :

Great idea to tie it in to a success story I thought.


Re: Not Matt's Scripts

2001-05-02 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 13:27 02/05/2001 +0100, David Cantrell wrote:
If the purpose of this is to make it utterly drool-proof, then why not
re-write File::Find (can't make them install it of course, that would be
expecting too much)

Is there a reason why we can't distribute our own versions of modules with 
the scripts ?

MWF Forum (as an example) has modules in the same directory as the scripts 
which seem to just get useed in the usual way.

Could we not ship our own version of File::Find, and have the code use it 
if it can't use the real File::Find because it's not installed ?

OK, so it would eat up disk space but if it were clever, there would be 
some run once code that would figure out what's there and what isn't and 
tell the user which files they could safely remove.

Ideally it would rewrite itself and do the deletes automatically but I 
suspect that clueful ISPs will have removed write permissions for the 
webserver to write to cgi-bin !

Just a thought.


What time tonight ?

2001-04-19 Thread Simon Wilcox

What time is the technical meeting starting tonight ?


RE: What time tonight ?

2001-04-19 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 17:37 19/04/2001 +0100, dcross - David Cross wrote:
From: Simon Wilcox [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2001 5:38 PM

  What time is the technical meeting starting tonight ?

oh. um. well. let's say 7:00pm. how does that sound?

Good. Almost got stuck here but have finally tracked down a bug I've been 
chasing all day so I shall be there.

(The bug being that File::Copy from 5.005_03 doesn't work under mod_perl if 
you have PerlFreshRestart On. Silly me !)

See you all later.


Re: Crazy Idea

2001-04-04 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 02:38 04/04/2001 +0100, Greg McCarroll wrote:
* Simon Wilcox ([EMAIL PROTECTED]) wrote:
  Count me in. I have a tent and everything !

any you have the ``right'' attitude when it comes to beer and

I used to use theatrical maroons (explosives with electrical detonators) to 
blow up bits of the garden.

They made very effective mines to destroy Action Men too.

Admittedly I was only 10 at the time but I think that counts as the "right" 
attitude ;-)


Re: Crazy Idea

2001-04-04 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 11:12 04/04/2001 +0100, Roger Burton West wrote:
On Wed, Apr 04, 2001 at 02:38:44AM +0100, Greg McCarroll wrote:

 any you have the ``right'' attitude when it comes to beer and

ooh, ahh !

Re: Crazy Idea

2001-04-04 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 09:50 04/04/2001 +, Robin Szemeti wrote:

1) LeMaitre make some very big marroons for stage use.

The very brand :-)

2) it says they need to be in some form of container when they go off.

Nah. Bury them in sand for realistic WWII FX. Mwahahahaha

3) do NOT use those funny square dustbin/ashtray things (with the two
flaps of steel as a lid) as the container (see [2] above)
4) the lids on [3] are, apparently, not attached very well.

Indeed they are not. I remember that happening to me in a production I once 
worked on.

5) Members of the public attending an event do not take kindly to being
whisked off to hospital to have lumps of metal removed from their legs.

Luckily it only did minor damage to the backstage area.

I tell you this to help you avoid long chats with staff from the local
HSE and insurance comapanies, neither of whom seem to have much 'sense of
fun' in these matters ...

Miserable lot I always find but not as bad as the jobsworth fire brigade 
fire safety inspection officers I've come across.

Re: Crazy Idea

2001-04-04 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 11:33 04/04/2001 +0100, Chris Heathcote wrote:
on 4/4/01 11:27 am, Simon Wilcox wrote:

  Luckily it only did minor damage to the backstage area.

I bought a supply of various flashes and explosions, but did not have a
firing box.

Using the switch on a 4 way extension block (with a number of mains plugs to
croc clips) is probably not the safest way to fire them.

I'll bet it worked a treat though !

(who also used to cut live mains cables with secateurs, for fun)

Which reminds me of the time someone shorted out a mains socket with a 
paper clip "to see what happened".

Scared the hell out of the teacher :-)

Ahh, the old days. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be..

Re: Crazy Idea

2001-04-04 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 12:39 04/04/2001 +0100, Martin Ling wrote:

I received a 240V shock whilst still in the womb. Various people have
made the obvious comic-book connections about my affinity for all things

I once got an electric shock off a stage lantern whilst 18ft up a ladder.

The only reason I'm still here is that the ladder jammed against the 
ceiling as I toppled backwards.

Otherwise it would have been a messy end on the rows of seats below me.

Some say that would have been a Good Thing (tm)

Re: Crazy Idea

2001-04-03 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 15:29 03/04/2001 +0100, Greg McCarroll wrote:

How would people in like a one night camp out, subject
to the FM issue going away. The plan would be - we bundle into
vehicles on a given afternoon (probably saturday), go to a farm
shop and get lots of cider, and then spend the night around a
camp fire, drinking and talking.

Count me in. I have a tent and everything !


List jumping ? [was] RE: when are we going to see the caaaamels

2001-04-03 Thread Simon Wilcox

Is there list jumping going on ?

I seem to be getting about half the traffic this afternoon.

frinstance, I didn't get the original post this replies to.

At 17:29 03/04/2001 +0100, dcross - David Cross wrote:
From: jo walsh [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: 03 April 2001 16:15

  can we go now that it is spring? some sunday afternoon soon?
  davorg? can we davorg?

Er... yes... I suppose so.

/me makes a mental note to work out who is entitled to camel tickets.

I anyone thinks they owe for a slice, plesae let me know.


RE: Perl Certification Drive

2001-03-29 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 11:56 29/03/2001 +0100, Jonathan Peterson wrote:
  I think the money aspect is very important. This isn't YAS,
  it's supposed to
  be a professional qualification for professional programmers.
  300 sounds
  like a good number for me. "If it only costs a fiver then
  what good can it
  be" will be the PHB's attitude, I've seen this often.

Yes, you are right. However, given the, ah, aversity of many perl programs
to getting certified, I'd like to remove barriers to entry. If we can get
the 'professional' stamp by sticking names like O'Reilly (Or Microsoft - why
not?) on the certificates, and then charge less, I think that would be
better. But if not, then I agree a charge (mayb more 50 than 300?!) can have
a similar effect.

Maybe two levels ?

1. Tests as part of a course package are cheap. You already have the 
infrastructure set up and authorised trainers can administer the test.

2. Standalone test are more expensive. You have to have dedicated hardware 
and testing environments. What about getting those guys that do the Novell 
 Microsoft exams [pause for web search] Prometric to do it. They already 
have all the infrastructure.


RE: Job: I'm looking for one..

2001-03-27 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 10:31 27/03/2001 +0100, Jonathan Peterson wrote:

Rumour has it that many people are bringing tech in house, which is hitting
conslutancies and agencies harder. I'm still not convinced that there's a
major downturn in the total number of tech jobs.

That's exactly what we're doing. I have a full development program for the 
foreseeable future and we've decided to bring it in house.

We will still use external resources for really tricky bits that we don't 
have the knowledge for. My experience is that I get better performance out 
of people with a vested interest in the company and what we're doing than 
from any outside agency who, for all their protestations and claims of 
"partnerships", are still there to make a profit.

That's not to say it doesn't work (my company, Williams Lea, *is* an 
outsourcer) but when it's core to your business and changing fast, keeping 
it in house makes it easier to control cost and quality.

plug type="vacancies"
We are looking for two perl developers to work on intranet based systems 
integration and information/knowledge management projects.
In addition to all the usual requirements, experience with Micro$oft tech 
(IIS/VB/MTS) will be an advantage as would exposure to systems integration.
A "corporate tolerant" attitude is also required, to avoid upsetting all 
the poor people not doing cool web stuff around here (like the beancounters :)
If you are interested, please let me know off-list.


Benchmarking [was] Re: Not Matt's Scripts

2001-03-27 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 13:29 27/03/2001 +, Matthew Byng-Maddick wrote:
  my @th=(qw(th st nd rd),("th")x16)x2; $th[31]="st";

That's an evil and gross hack.


sub th{(($_[0]-10-$_[0]%10)/10%10)?(qw(th st nd rd),('th')x6)[$_[0]%10]:"th"}

The first one I understood. Not sure about the second but I'll work it out ;-)

I thought I would play around with, because I don't use it 
nearly often enough, so I made this script:

#! /usr/bin/perl -w

use strict;
use Benchmark;
use POSIX 'strftime';
use vars qw(@th);

@th=(qw(th st nd rd),("th")x16)x2; $th[31]="st";
sub th{(($_[0]-10-$_[0]%10)/10%10)?(qw(th st nd rd),('th')x6)[$_[0]%10]:"th"}
my $count=10;

timethese($count, {
 'Array' = '{
 my @time=localtime;
 my $dummy = strftime("%e$th[$time[3]] %b %Y\n", 
 'Sub' = '{
 my @time=localtime;
 my $th=th($time[3]);
 my $dummy = strftime("%e$th %b %Y\n", @time);

Now - I don't know if I've used this right at all - comments and criticisms 
gladly accepted.

The output is:

Benchmark: timing 10 iterations of Array, Sub...
  Array:  3 wallclock secs ( 3.33 usr +  0.09 sys =  3.42 CPU)
Sub:  6 wallclock secs ( 5.27 usr +  0.06 sys =  5.33 CPU)

So - Did I get this heinously wrong or is MBM's sub really a lot slower ?


Re: Benchmarking [was] Re: Not Matt's Scripts

2001-03-27 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 16:53 27/03/2001 +0100, Robin Houston wrote:
On Tue, Mar 27, 2001 at 05:40:19PM +0200, Philip Newton wrote:
  Well, remember that the sub effecticaly recalculates (what amounts to) the
  array each time. To be fair, you should include the array initialisation
  inside the loop and see who wins then.

Hey, that's not _fair_!
The whole point of using an array is that you can pre-populate it.
(also it's more concise, and I find it more comprehensible. YMMV)

I agree, it's how I would have done it. I was just trying to see it really 
deserved the label "evil and gross hack".

It seems to me that it doesn't but as you say, YMMV and I got to practice 
my benchmarking :-)


Re: List Weekly Summary 2001-03-19

2001-03-23 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 05:25 23/03/2001 -0500, Dave Cross wrote:

For even more points: What was the first TV show the Lenny Henry
appeared on?


Tiswas !

Actually - I think this was where McDoughnut first appeared ?


Re: Pointless, Badly-Written Module.

2001-03-22 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 17:51 22/03/2001 +0100, Philip Newton wrote:
Simon Wilcox wrote:
  Or even better YY-MM-DD which avoids cross-pond confusion.

Oh yeah? Which year, month, and day are represented by the combination
02-03-04? Depends on the side of the pond, and on which pond (MM-DD-YY in
US, DD-MM-YY in UK, possibly YY-MM-DD in Japan).

I admit I suffered from speedy-reply syndrome. A moments more thought and I 
would probably have recognized the need for a 4-digit year.

But at least I learned about ISO8601 :-)


"The avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote."
  Ambassador Kosh, B5

ISO8601 [was] Re: Pointless, Badly-Written Module.

2001-03-21 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 11:43 20/03/2001 -0500, Dave Cross wrote:

Which is the ISO standard (number 8601) for dates for a very good

I thought I'd look this up, but the BSI want 50 quid for a copy.

I appreciate this is how they make money to fund the standards work but it 
seems a tad steep for the casual viewer such as myself.

Anyone know of a free online resource ?

Simon Cheepskate

Re: ISO8601 [was] Re: Pointless, Badly-Written Module.

2001-03-21 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 06:42 21/03/2001 -0500, Dave Cross wrote:
At Wed, 21 Mar 2001 11:37:32 + (GMT), AEF [EMAIL PROTECTED] 
   Useful Summary:

This one seems to be a second edition although the filename infers third.

   Google is Good[tm].

doh !  will now write 100 times - "use all your resources before bothering 
other people"

Looks like you _can_ get it directly from ISO by going to:

This seems to be the first version. Quite a lot seems to have changed 
between versions judging by the markup on the version above.

I agree wholeheartedly with the observation on the IDFC page Dave posted - 
"Seems pretty daft to me - if you want a worldwide standard to be adopted 
it should be freely available to everyone who could possibly want to use 
it" /rant


Re: Matt's Scripts Projects

2001-03-20 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 15:40 20/03/2001 +, Gareth Harper wrote:
- Original Message -
From: "Robin Szemeti" [EMAIL PROTECTED]
Sent: Tuesday, March 20, 2001 3:06 PM
Subject: Re: Matt's Scripts Projects

  On Tue, 20 Mar 2001, you wrote:
  apart from that the benfits of running as a Limited Company are large
  (ish) assuming you can escape from the clutches of IR35. by careful
  handling of the way you do things your overall tax and NIC burden can be
  'effectivley managed' and you should see 80~85% of what you earn actually
  ending up in your pocket.

but iosn;t the same true when acting as a Sole Trader ?  You still invoice
people as you would as a Limited Company (I asked an accountant friend of
mine for advice and he suggested I go with Sole Trader which is why I'm

IANAL but I think that clients become liable for paying certain dues, NI 
IIRC, if you, as a sole trader or casual worker, are based on a client 
site, directed by the client, for a long period of time (for some value, 
unknown to me, of "long").

By retaining a limited company, the client is absolved of this obligation.

There could be other reasons or this reason could be completely false. It's 
been several years since I looked at this.


RE: Pointless, Badly-Written Module.

2001-03-20 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 16:29 20/03/2001 +, Jonathan Peterson wrote:
  a) a two reasons why this module should never have been written, and

1. It's redundant, other modules do this already.
2. MM DD YY is an evil date format, and should be abolished in favour of DD
MM YY which is more sensible.

Or even better YY-MM-DD which avoids cross-pond confusion.


Re: Matt's Scripts Projects

2001-03-19 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 12:40 19/03/2001 +, Mark Fowler wrote:
It has occured to us we need a decent name for this.  Discussion on IRC
has concluded that:

  a) It shouldn't mention Matt in the title.

So "Not the Matt Wright Archive" is out then ;-)

  b) That is should have a name that appeals to newbies.

How about EasyScripts ? the domain name is available, anyway.

  c) It should sound at least semi-professional[1].

Can we make use of the PerlMonger connection and/or use the Programming 
Republic logo ?


Re: Matt's Scripts Projects

2001-03-19 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 13:18 19/03/2001 +, Mark Fowler wrote:
On Mon, 19 Mar 2001, Simon Wilcox wrote:

b) That is should have a name that appeals to newbies.
  How about EasyScripts ? the domain name is available, anyway.

Not very perl, but I like it.  Something similar though.

EasyPerlScripts or even EZPerlScripts (for the American audience :) ?

c) It should sound at least semi-professional[1].
  Can we make use of the PerlMonger connection and/or use the Programming
  Republic logo ?

Yes, IMHO, though IANAL.

The perl mongers logo is a little on the big size (and we're not allowed
to resize it.)

Maybe a page that says "Who did this ?"  "Why did we do it ?" and fit the 
logo in there ?

Perhaps we should try and get the project endorsed in some way so that we 
can say "The Perl Mongers bring you Easy Perl Scripts" ?

But now I'm descending into Marketing so I'll shut up !


Re: Matt's Scripts Projects

2001-03-19 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 14:59 19/03/2001 +, Simon Wistow wrote:
Chris Devers wrote:

  Probably, as is "The Matt's Wrong Archive", which is probably far
  too negative  obvious anyway... ;)

But if Matt Sergeant put it up ...

... it would all be in XML ;-)

Re: Silliness

2001-03-15 Thread Simon Wilcox

Thanks everyone.

That exposes my lack of familiarity with the q  qq operators ;-)

Another little bit of learning learned.


Re: Scraping news feeds?

2001-03-07 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 12:54 07/03/2001 -0500, Dave Cross wrote:


  Chapter 10 isn't it Dave ?

Section 10.4 to be precise. "Specialized parsers - XML::RSS" :)

You've got a bit further since last Thursday then!

Yep, but not quite that far !

Also been reading Rebel Code which has a nice bit about Perl in it.



2001-02-20 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 10:13 20/02/2001 +, you wrote:
amazon uk have started shipping data munging with perl. I have my


Must be very popular, it's just dropped back to "On Order; is usually 
dispatched within 1-2 weeks" !


Re: Forwarded : ChineseWall Job External Mail Re: Re: NY invasion, was Re: Conway Hall

2001-02-13 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 09:15 13/02/2001 +, you wrote:

three guesses what happened when i forward its own message containing the sh*t
word to the list ;-)

Ok, ok, I'm sorry !

Yet another piece of junk from our mail admin team. The irony being that 
they deliver it anyway !

Having now got this nice new email address finally working, I have 
unsubscribed my work email from the list.

Hopefully that will stop this sort of rubbish.


Simon Wilcox | [EMAIL PROTECTED]

In defence of Perl

2001-02-13 Thread Simon Wilcox

Good morning all,

This is a plea for help. Here is the situation:

Over the last year I have been building an intranet type site based on 
Linux/Apache/MySQL/mod_perl. This is delivered via the internet, suitably 
authenticated (mod_perl/LDAP) and encrypted (mod_ssl), as most of our 1,700 
people use client supplied PC equipment.

It has been very successfully received and much more development is wanted. 
To accommodate all the requirements I have asked for funding for two perl 
developers to rebuild the site in a more modular and easy to manage form 
and add content management, forums, document management etc etc.

This is all fine but there is a big cloud. We have a new IT manager who 
wants to bring all development into one team and use a single toolset for 
web based applications.

The other development team has been working for 3 years on a web-based job 
management system which has been developed/enhanced by several third 
parties (we own the code but sub for the development resources). It is an 
NT system, using IIS, ASP, VBScript, VB dlls, MTC components and a MS SQL 
backend with stored procedures etc etc. This system is deployed on our 
client sites and does not at any time run over the internet. They now have 
a need to redevelop large parts of the application as the original 
requirements have changed considerably and are looking to bring the 
development in house.

We are now locked in argue^H^H^H^H^Hdiscussion about how to standardise our 

My belief is that the LAMP type route provides a very cost effective, 
portable and scalable solution but I concede that bigger backends are 
needed for volume transaction systems.

The help I need is in answering some questions:

What big corporates are using perl in web development and how/for what ?
Why perl is better (or could be better) than a combination of 
Is there any benchmarking available of salary bands for differing skills, 
i.e. are perl guys much more than ASP guys who can also do the other bits ?
Any other arguments I should be making !

My big problem is that with a huge investment in the MS code base, I am 
fighting a rearguard action to prevent having to adopt MS stuff, just 
because we've already spent loads on it, which seems false economy to me.

My preferred approach would be to stick with MS tech for maintenance of the 
existing code base and continue to sub out for developers, and use open 
source tech for new development, with commercial backends when we need that 
level of sophistication. Anyone have any comment on this ?

Thank you for your attention, all advice gratefully received.


Simon Wilcox

Re: In defence of Perl

2001-02-13 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 11:12 13/02/2001 +, you wrote:
  This is all fine but there is a big cloud. We have a new IT manager who
  wants to bring all development into one team and use a single toolset for
  web based applications.

why dont you just track both projects for a while and get some results
about the current productivity of both teams, say a month or two.

We don't actually have any developers and deciding what to recruit is at 
the core of the issue. I covered the code development for the intranet but 
I have to spend too much time on managing the process now  the job 
management system sub-ed out all the development.

We could go forward with contract staff for a few months but there is 
already a perception that they don't want to "waste" development in one 
language by ditching it later.

then put it into an analysis model showing the cost of moving either
team to the others toolset and the perceived cost reductions in the
long term supporting just one toolset.

these things always need to be analysed properly rather than gut
instincts and who can argue the best.

Agree 100% !


Greg McCarroll

RE: In defence of Perl

2001-02-13 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 11:48 13/02/2001 +, you wrote:


As one of the requirements listed was content management you can through 
in the BBC, especially the interactive telly division. Heck, they even 
gave a presentation at YAPC::Europe.

Does anyone know if that presentation is available online anywhere ?


Re: Last Night

2001-02-02 Thread Simon Wilcox

At 11:57 02/02/2001 +, Greg wrote:

so all we need is a private room in a pub in central london that does

Does EC2 count as central London ?

The White Hart in Clifton Street (near Liverpool Street station) has a 
private room that would be big enough.

They do food and as a plus point, it has it's own bar !

I'll check out costs etc if people are interested.



Simon Wilcox | [EMAIL PROTECTED]

"The avalanche has started, it is too late for the pebbles to vote."