Understanding and Using C Pointers from O’Reilly

For many years now I’ve flirted with the idea of finally learning C programming. I’d make attempts which usually consisted of re-reading the Kernighan and Ritchie book The C Programming Language, trying to hack on some C code, and then giving up in frustration. I really have no idea why that book is so widely lauded. It teaches the basic syntax of C, but does almost nothing to teach you the core concepts.

My Take on the Latest YAPC Code of Conduct Kerfuffle

Michael Schwern has withdrawn as a speaker from YAPC::NA 2013 because he does not believe that the conference organizers will enforce the conference’s published Code of Conduct. This is based in part on a discussion (fight? spat? brawl?) that happened on the irc.perl.org #yapc IRC channel recently. The transcript of said discussion is probably worth reading before going further. Don’t worry, I’ll wait. Okay, now that you read that particular piece of unpleasantness, I’ll offer my take on this mess.

MaxMind is Hiring a Senior QA Engineer

MaxMind, Inc., the company I work for, is hiring a Senior QA Engineer. This position is a development position, but your job will focus on writing tests, especially on automating functional testing, helping us build test tools, and working with support and customers to understand and document bugs. You won’t really be developing end products, nor do we expect you to spend a lot of time doing manual testing except when that’s necessary for reproducing bugs or building a test suite.

Interview with Gabor; Moose Classes at YAPC::NA 2013

Gabor Szabo of Perl Maven recently interviewed me about my work in Perl and other random things. In retrospect, I clearly should have sat up and found some smaller headphones. I look like a very, very lazy nerd. Well, I guess that’s not so far off the mark. Gabor is doing a series of interviews with folks offering Master Classes at YAPC::NA 2013. I’ll be offering my Intro to Moose class again this year, and it’s not too late to sign up.

The Future of Perl (5)

The recent discussion that started with Ovid’s Perl 7 blog post has me thinking about the future of Perl, and Perl 5 in particular. We hear that Perl is dying on a regular basis, and while I take that with a grain of salt, the fact that so many non-Perl people seem to believe this is worrisome. If Perl is to have a future, it will need to attract new users.

Simple.com’s Password Strength Check

I’m creating a new account at Simple.com and it’s time for me to choose a password. I’m quite impressed with their password strength checker. First of all, the get big points for recommending a pass-phrase, not a pass-word. In their words: Passphrase? Yes. Passphrases are easier to remember and more secure than traditional passwords. For example, try a group of words with spaces in between, or a sentence you know you’ll remember.

Perl 5.17.7’s Release Epigraph

Continuing a tradition that I’m hoping other release managers will pick up (some have so far, but not all), here’s some notes about the epigraph I included with the email announcing Perl 5.17.7. The epigraph itself is from R. Scott Bakker’s The Darkness That Comes Before, which is the first in a somewhat grim speculative fiction trilogy called The Prince of Nothing. One of the main characters is a sort of intellectual warrior-philopsopher monk (this is bad description but it’s very hard to summarize this character) who underwent very intense mental and physical training as a child.

New Comment Policy

Since I have some new blog software, I’m enacting a new comment policy to go with it. In the past, I’ve approved basically all non-spam comments. After my last post, the only comment I received was a very rude comment suggesting that it was an attempt to “defend” my use of WordPress. I deleted this comment. (Aside: see the footer of this site) So the new policy is this: Comments are always welcome, whether you agree with anything I write or not.

Moving to WordPress

If you’ve visited my blog before, you might notice that it’s now running on WordPress rather than Moveable Type. I’m a little sad to be moving from a Perl application to one in PHP, but WordPress is just a better solution these days. The main reason I moved was that I was stuck on MT4. When I first installed MT, I installed it with a Postgres backend. Then when MT5 was released, they dropped support for Postgres.

Help Me Name a New Module for IP Addresses and Subnets

We created a few new modules for working with IP addresses and subnets at MaxMind which we’d like to release. Internally we’ve been calling them MM::Net::IPAddress and MM::Net::Subnet but obviously those names won’t work for CPAN. I’ve posted a PrePAN review request to discuss this further.