Recent blog entries for Simon

Well, today was more or less a complete write-off. Did a little bit of work on the cookbook project, and a couple of Perl6 RFCs. Other than that, sat around being depressed.

Yesterday's diary got b0rken, so here it is again:

Well, it's been a very busy week. Saw Grandad, who's now at least slightly better. Then straight to YAPC::Europe which was a lot of fun, and it was great to meet at least some of the people I've been working with for the past however many months. And it was good to know that a fair number of the Perl 6 people have their heads screwed on the right way, which encouraged me to spend the past couple of days churning out Perl 6 RFCs. I still have quite about fourteen to write.

Today, however, was spent working on an article for PerlArchive; I'm supposed to be doing an operator-a-month series for them, but last month was cancelled due to moving house.

O'Reilly are going to be putting up my GNOME Perl tutorial series over at, and I'll be taking over the Perl 5 Porters weekly summary there as well.

I'm starting to feel I'm overcommitting myself.

Worked a bit on the talk this morning, but it looks like I'm not going to be able to present it. Just about to dash up to Wigan to see Granddad, who's been taken into hospital

Uhm, what did I do today? Not so much. Finished off that GNOME programming article and started touting it around. Then worked a little bit on the cookery thing.

Of course, that turned into another sidetrack; I wanted a columned list for the main recipe list, and it turned out that Gtk::CList was a little clunky. You have to store the data yourself, for instance, since it's tricky to get it back out of the object; it's more or less a display-only thing. So, I wrote a little module I called Gtk::HandyCList which holds the table as part of its private data. I then added some bits so that when you click on column names, you get the data sorted. And then reverse sorted if you click on it again. And then came a method for specifying the size of the columns as a percentage, and it just carried on from there. Released it to CPAN about lunchtime.

Another "is this a bug" day with Unicode stuff. People didn't seem to understand what use bytes does, which is understandable; I provided a bit more documentation. There was also a problem that print leaked UTF8; now I've "fixed" it so that if we're not in bytes, UTF8 is downgraded. I say "fixed" because now saying use bytes will make Perl print out the data in UTF8, and saying use utf8 will make it print it out as bytes. That's, uh, confusing.

It's time to start this thing up again.
Today was reasonably productive, although not much. I wrote some of the "Compleat Perl Internals" poem for the conference on Saturday, and thought a little bit more about my main talk.
Also did a bit of research on the Forking article, which is coming along nicely now. Spent most of the morning looking at a UTF8 bug unearthed by Gisle Aas, or rather, deciding whether or not it was a bug. In fact, it turned up a different bug, and when I looked into the source, I found that it would work perfectly fine if it wasn't for a && 0 on the end of one of the if statements. Do you get moments like that? When you think, "why the hell did I put that there? Did I put that there?".
The afternoon was spent looking for hotels in London for the weekend. God bless the Web.
This evening, I started writing a Perl/GNOME tutorial. Well, no, I didn't. I started off by wanting to write a nice application to collect all my recipes, format them out as TeX, and also give me the ability to say what ingredients I had in and get back recipes I could make. Then, for some bizarre reason, I decided it had to have a GUI. No, I don't know why. So, I started looking at Perl GNOME. Which didn't take long, as it has no documentation at all. Which meant I had to write some, naturally! I spent a while poring over the examples and a few applications already out there, and started piecing an article together. Don't hold your breath for it, though. And don't hold your breath for the recipe application, either. These sidetracks just roll on and on...

Weekends are strange; I seem to have the ability to go straight from Japanese time onto GMT. I woke up at about 5pm, which scuppered all chances of getting some writing done. Caught up on news and email, and hacked a couple of trivial Perl patches. Later on, I'll phone my friend Nik and arrange lunch tomorrow. I'll also be writing until the small (or probably relatively large) hours, unless I can find some more nice distractions.

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