31 Oct 2001 jmcnamara   » (Journeyer)

It's hard to find time to write code and write about writing code.


Version 0.34 of Spreadsheet::WriteExcel took a lot of work due to the addition of a module of helper functions and the implementation of images in Excel. However, it clears the way for work on the Excel 97+ format which is now the dominant theme of feature request emails.

I also set up a project page at Freshmeat. This was mainly to provide an announcement service for people interested in new releases of the module. A lot of people subscribed to the project. It is nice to get this kind of feedback.

The Perl Journal is back on-line and so is the article that I wrote last year about Spreadsheet::WriteExcel.


I attended YAPC::Europe in Amsterdam in August. In the absence of any other event this functions as the European Perl Conference. It was very well organised and I met nice people.

The best talks that I attended were Mail::Box by Mark Overmeer and Mutagenic modules by Robin Houston. Michael Schwern's talks were also very good as was his idea for CPANTS.

The lack of preparation of some of the speakers was disheartening. Although YAPC is a grass-roots event I felt that some people were too lackadaisical.

I also felt that there were too many joke modules and in-jokes. Perl has a light hearted feel about it but jokes can wear thin. London.pm has to take some responsibility for this. It seems to have detached into an alternative reality, perhaps even one where Perl doesn't exist. :-)


Unfortunately, I am also responsible for a joke module: Inline::PERL.

Partially as an atonement for this I decided to resurrect my original idea for Inline::AWK. I discussed this at YAPC with Brian Ingerson, the author of Inline, and posted the initial release to the Inline mailing list.

Since then I've refined the module and built a test framework based on all of the code from The AWK Programming Language. I still need to do a bit more work with it before I take it back to the mailing list and then to CPAN.

Where I come from every young boy dreams of one day writing an awk compiler. :-)

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