Rubber-ducking it with an LLM (May 28, 2023)
My experience with using an LLM as a programming coach for the first time.
Six days of the Python (December 6, 2022)
A few thoughts and observations as I start to learn Python with some friends this month.
Stuff I did (and stopped doing) in 2021 (January 3, 2022)
My 2021 was less about accomplishment than revision. Most of it was good, and none of it was easy.
A new audit of Perl’s documentation (December 31, 2021)
Announcing a new information-architecture study of Perl's documentation, including many detailed reports and actionable recommendations.
Thanks for everything, Sawyer (April 12, 2021)
A statement of gratitude for long-time leadership and inspiration.
A new style guide for Perl documentation (January 3, 2021)
One for the brag sheet :
Filling in the blanks (October 20, 2020)
Writing, puzzle-solving, and the benefits of daily diversion.
Regression therapy through computer-language documentation (April 19, 2020)
I completed a small grant-project to revise some Perl documentation, and it had me confront my surly self from 20 years ago.
I read Mojolicious Web Clients (March 3, 2020)
Thoughts on the new book by brian d foy about the Mojolicious web toolkit, and about Mojo's role in the Perl ecosystem.
My Jan/Feb 2020 TPF grant proposal (February 25, 2020)
I submitted a grantable project proposal to The Perl Foundation's Jan/Feb 2020 CFP; it's open for public comment now.
A surprising lesson about “User-Agent” headers (February 17, 2020)
When investigating software bugs, simplify the problem space as much as possible -- and then explore every angle that simplified space offers, no matter how unlikely.
Discovering News API (and releasing a code library for it) (July 28, 2019)
Earlier this month I discovered News API, a service that provides just what its name implies: a handful of API endpoints that result in JSON-based summaries of current news stories from around the world. You can get a stream of new headlines, or search through all recent stories in its database, filtering on various criteria. Its documentation includes some example output.
I’m a weird place with Perl (and so is Perl) (October 21, 2018)
A meditation on my relationship with Perl, and Perl's relationship with the world, 20 years after I started using it.
Announcing two new IndieWeb modules for Perl (April 22, 2018)
The modules implement metadata techniques that help authors publishing on different websites meaningfully link up their respective work.
I want The Perl Conference to steal !!Con’s policies (May 18, 2017)
I love The Perl Conference (née YAPC::NA), a humbly scoped annual gathering that — like any good language-in-the-title conference — succeeds at focusing more on the creative community that happens to center around a particular programming language, rather than on that language itself. As I noted here last month, I plan to speak at its June 2017 iteration in DC, and earlier years saw some of my first talks at any technical conference with a venue larger than a pub. After attending!!Con, though, I find myself increasingly unsatisfied at some of ways that TPC seems to stumble into the same too-typical tech-conference pitfalls every year, ones that nimble!!Con has found ways around. I think TPC can do better! Let me name the problems I see, and then recommend ways that the older conference can learn a thing or two from the younger one.
Listen to me chat about Perl for an hour (June 17, 2016)
Last Wednesday afternoon, I joined Tom Radcliffe for an hour-long ActiveState -sponsored chat about Perl: my favorite general-purpose programming language, and the tool I use to create the majority of the software I’ve built since the late 1990s. It was a lot of fun, and you can listen to the whole thing here.
Stars of many stripes (October 23, 2015)
I attended YAPC: :NA 2015
(June 28, 2015)
Earlier this month I attended the 2015 edition of the North American Yet Another Perl Conference in Salt Lake City. This was the second YAPC I had ever attended (and, happily, the first I attended without dividing my attention to deal with emergencies unfolding elsewhere). I arrived early, and I have already written about the couple of days I spent eating and sightseeing before the conference started. Now I will write about the conference!
Boosting communities through semirandom challenges (April 4, 2015)
One night back in Cambridge I found myself dining on waffle fries at Charlie’s Kitchen in the company of a few local games-n-tech people. The subject turned to interactive fiction, an interest of many at the booth, and the person sitting across from me tried to goad me into taking the parser’s side in an impromptu Twine -versus- Inform debate. I demurred, offering some lines about the equal validity of both approaches. Another friend then decided to take my position for me: “Listen, he just likes Inform because it’s weird and difficult. He also programs in Perl.”