Netflix Has the Weirdest Categories

I’m going through the Netflix movie rating interface right now rating films & tv shows to try to improve my recommendations. Sometimes after you rate something it asks you how often you watch films of a certain category. Presumably the category the thing you just rated belonged to. Some of the categories make sense, and some are completely insane. I can’t figure out how they could possibly be useful in determining what I like.

The Perl 5.15.6 Epigraph

Today I had the privilege (or punishment?) of releasing Perl 5.15.6, the latest monthly dev release of Perl 5. Part of the Perl release tradition is to include an epigraph with each release. The epigraph is a quote of some sort that goes at the beginning of the release announcement. I can’t find the first epigraph but if I had to guess it must be a quote from Tolkien accompanying one of the releases Larry Wall did.

VegGuide Needs a New Host

For many years, the VegGuide site has been hosted for free at Xmission, courtesy of Eric Waters. Eric has recently moved to a new position and is no longer at Xmission, so it’s time for us to find a new host. Update: The site is owned by my animal rights group, Compassionate Action for Animals, and we are a 501(c)(3) non profit organization. If anyone in the lights of these pixels could offer free or cheap hosting for this site, please let me know.

Compact “with-ish” statement for CoffeeScript

I’ve been playing with CoffeeScript (CS) lately, and I really like it. JavaScript (JS) is full of annoyances that make coding more tedious and error-prone that it needs to be. CofeeScript does a good job of fixing many of those annoyances. CS doesn’t provide anything like JS’s with block. That makes sense, because with in JS is completely insane and broken. But sometimes you want to be able to say “given this object, call a bunch of methods on it”.

I’m Sorry I Dropped Your Comment

My blog has been getting absolutely flooded with spam recently (c. 4,000+ in the last few days), and I’ve accidentally sent some legit comments to the great spam filter in the sky. The various spam plugins I have caught the vast majority, but that still left a few dozen a day for me to review. My general policy is to approve all comments, even the obnoxious trolling stuff that follows any mention of a code of conduct.

Why Do People Use the System Perl?

Recently on the perl5-porters list, there have been several discussions about backwards compatibility and the future of Perl 5. Jesse’s plan is interesting, and in theory sounds like a good idea. Unfortunately, it brings up some incredibly thorny issues and may not be technically possible. Even if it is possible, it’s likely that lexically preserving backwards compatibility will not work for every proposed feature. This is an old discussion. The p5p list has been debating backwards compatibility versus evolution for years.

Visiting Chicago in November

I’m going to be in Chicago for Chicago VeganMania on Saturday, November 5. I’ll be arriving late afternoon on Thursday, November 3, and leaving in the afternoon on Sunday, November 6. I’ll be pretty busy, so I can’t promise to get together with everyone or anyone, but ping me via email if you want to get together and I’ll get back to you once I have a better sense of my schedule.

No Moose Class at the Pittsburgh Perl Workshop

I won’t be at PPW this year, and thus the Moose class won’t be happening. I apologize to anyone who signed up for the Moose class, though last I heard that was just one person, which is the main reason the class isn’t happening. I think the upshot of this is that announcing a possible class isn’t a good idea. All this does is create uncertainty for potential students and discourage signups.

My New OO Docs for the Perl Core Have Been Merged

Back in March, I mentioned that I was working on a new OO tutorial for the Perl 5 core. I’ve been working this intermittently over the last eight months or so, with lots of useful feedback from the perl5-porters. Along the way, the project grew to include a rewrite of the perlobj document, the reference document for Perl OO. I’m happy to say that as of last week, all of my work has been merged into the blead branch of core, and will be in the next release of Perl.

Conference Code of Conduct Considered Crucial

I’ve decided to follow Jacob Kaplan-Moss’s lead and pledge that I won’t speak (or attend) any conference that does not publish an acceptable (to me) code of conduct/anti-harassment policy. I’ve already written about what should go into such a code, and I think Jacob’s post makes a number of good points on why a policy is important. What would a code need for me to consider it acceptable? First, it needs to define acceptable conduct.