My New Rube Goldberg Machine

My last post was about my local COVID tracker tool. While it worked well, I found having to re-run the report.pl script every time I wanted an update annoying. Plus, I wanted to share this on Facebook, but I have non-technical friends who would not be able to run it for themselves. So I decided to put up a hosted version, but I challenged myself. I wanted it to run entirely on someone else’s machines.

My Local COVID Stats Tracker

For many months now, I’ve been following the COVID stats in the Star Tribune, the local Minneapolis newspaper. There’s a lot of interesting info there, but it’s not really useful for reaching conclusions about the safety of various activities. The problem is that the data is either for the wrong-sized area or I can’t group together the bits I care about. Most of the stats are state-wide. But I don’t care about the whole state.

The ActiveState Platform and Perl 5.32

Note: Technically, this post qualifies as paid promotion, because I work for ActiveState. But I volunteered to write about our new Platform and put it on my personal blog because I think what we’re doing is really cool and might be of interest to the Perl community at large. TLDR We have an entirely new system that supports Windows and Linux (macOS coming soon), providing you binary builds of the Perl core, Perl distros, and supporting C/C++ libraries1.

Twenty Years of Monthly CPAN Releases

I did it! For the last twenty years I’ve uploaded at least one new release to CPAN every month. How do I know? Neil Bowers has been keeping track on his CPAN Regular Releasers page for quite some time. I’ve had the montly release quite a long time there. The second place for monthly release streaks is Chris Williams (BINGOS), at 177 months, which is 14 years and 9 months. Also of note is Karen Etheridge (ETHER), who has maintained a weekly streak for 457 weeks (8+ years)!

A Sqitch “Declare Bankruptcy” Prototype

I wrote a prototype of a tool to “declare bankruptcy” on your Sqitch migrations and start over. If you have a project with 50, 100, or more migrations, this might be useful for you. The details are in the blog post I wrote on the ActiveState blog.

Perltidy Versus Black

I’ve recently been puttering about attempting to write a Postgres SQL & PL/pgSQL tidier in Rust called pg-pretty. If you’ve always wanted such a thing, don’t get too excited. It isn’t even close to usable yet. But this post is about Perltidy and Black. These are both source code tidiers (aka formatter aka pretty printers). Black is for Python. These two tidiers reflect their respective languages. Perltidy is all about TIMTOWTDI1 and Black is very much a TOOWTDI2 project.

My Move to Render is Complete

I’ve now moved all of my sites from my Linode box to Render. This includes: This blog - Uses Hugo. Repo houseabsolute.com - Contains my resume and links to conference slides. Also uses Hugo. Repo presentations.houseabsolute.com - A new hostname for my slides. See below for more details. Repo masonbook.houseabsolute.com - Just a static site. Repo vegguide.org - Just another static site. Repo I really like Render! It’s incredibly easy to use.

New Blog Software

Many, many years ago, in the flower of my youth (June, 1999), I registered the urth.org domain. I can’t remember when I started hosting my own email, but it was around that time. For many years after, I had a server in my home that hosted my email, various websites, and some web applications. Eventually VPS’s became cheap and powerful enough that I ditched the home server and moved everything to the cloud (Linode, specifically).

I Attended RustConf 2020

Like so many conferences this year, RustConf 2020 was a purely virtual event. I’d already helped organize and attended The Perl Conference in the Cloud 2020 as a virtual conference earlier this year, so I knew it could work. RustConf was very different from The Perl Conference. It was just one day and one track, lasting about five and a half hours with a break in the middle. The conference schedule was incredibly detailed.