in search of excellent conference presentations

November 18, 2013

At OSCON this past year, I was a just little surprised by the still-shrinking Perl track. What really surprised me, though, was the entirely absent Ruby track. I tried to figure out what it meant, and whether it meant anything, but I didn’t come to any conclusions. Even if I’d more carefully collected actual data, I’m not sure I could’ve made any really useful conclusions.

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moving my homedir into the 21st century

November 15, 2013

Over the last few weeks, I’ve done a bit of pair programming across the Internet, which I haven’t done in years. It was great! Most of this was with Ingy döt Net and Frew Schmidt.

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Office Mode DEFCON

November 8, 2013

I picked up DEFCON a few months ago on Steam. It’s a game inspired by the “big nuclear war boards” we saw in movies like Dr. Strangelove or, closer to the mark, WarGames. Each player controls a section of the world. The game starts with a few very short bits of placing units and quickly turns into a shooting war. Players launch fighters, deploy fleets, and eventually sound out bombers, subs, and ICBMs. The game looks gorgeous.

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Mazes & Minotaurs

October 31, 2013

Over a decade ago, Paul Elliott wrote a tiny piece of counterfactual history called The Gygax/Arneson Tapes. It recounts the history of the world’s most famous role-playing game, Mazes & Minotaurs, in which the players take on larger-than-life Greek-style heroes in Sword and Sandal adventures.

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modules seeking homes

October 25, 2013

I don’t use Module::Install or Module::Starter anymore. For the most part, I don’t think anyone should. I think there are better tools to use instead.

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writing OAuthy code

October 14, 2013

I’ve written a bunch of code that deals with APIs behind OAuth before. I wrote code for the Twitter API and for GitHub and for others. I knew roughly what happened when using OAuth, but in general everything was taken care of behind the scenes. Now as I work on furthering the control of my programmatic day planner, I need to deal with web services that don’t have pre-built Perl libraries, and that means dealing with OAuth. So far, it’s been a big pain, but I think it’s been a pain that’s helped me understand what I’m doing, so I won’t have to flail around as much next time.

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the perl 5.10 lexical topic

October 3, 2013

In Perl 5.10, the idea of a lexical topic was introduced. The topic is $_, also known as “the default variable.” If you use a built-in routine that really requires a parameter, but don’t give it one, the odds are good that it will use $_. For example:

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I went to Tokyo!

September 26, 2013

I must have done something right when I attended YAPC::Asia 2011, because they invited me back this year. I was delighted to accept the invitation, and I’m glad I did.

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