We’ve been rolling out more and more metrics at work using Graphite and StatsD. I am in heaven. I’m not very good at doing data analysis, but fortunately there are some very, very obvious things I can pick out from our current visualizations, and I’m finding all kinds of things to improve based on these.
I got home from Lancaster, this morning. I’d been there for the sixth annual Perl QA Hackathon. As usual, it was a success and made me feel pretty productive. Here’s an account of most of the things I did:
If there’s money earmarked to be spent improving Perl 5, one seemingly obvious
thing to do is to try to use it to directly to improve
perl. In other
words, the mission is to “turn money into code.” The most successful
expression of this strategy, I think, has been in Nick and Dave’s grants. On
the other hand, it’s an expression that succeeded because of very specific and
felicitous circumstances. Dave and Nick were both well-established, trusted
participants in perl’s development, known as experts and conscientious workers.
They were given, by and large, free rein to pick the topics on which they would
work. The foundation trusted them to pick things of value, though with a means
for TPF to call shenanigans if needed. That trust has been well-placed, in
Matt S Trout wrote a very reasonable suggestion to brand the current Perl 5 implementation as Pumpkin Perl. The gist is something like, “take the emphasis off of 5, which sounds like one less than 6, and put it on the thing itself: the really nice language, all plump and ready to be used in a pie.” I can get behind that.
Over the past few years, the Perl Foundation received a bunch of nice big donations to be used for Perl 5. Some of this money has been used to pay for work by Dave Mitchell and Nicholas Clark to work on difficult problems in the Perl 5 core. This has, in my opinion, been money well spent. Dave and Nick know the Perl core very well, and they’ve worked seemingly tirelessly to make progress where progress is not easy, and to fix things that nobody else wanted to touch.
Last weekend, I went to Las Vegas for a one-day trip to attend a party in honor of my father’s many years coaching rugby. It was a great event, but the travel was, as usual, not a big bowl of cherries. I decided to make the most of it, though, and play Deadline on the plane.
Yesterday I released Email::Sender 1.300003. This is a pretty important release!
In my memory, before I “came back” to adventure games in the mid-nineties, Zork Ⅰ was an important classic and Zork Ⅲ was the serious, thoughtful capstone to the trilogy. Zork Ⅱ was, in my mind, an afterthought. It was something I had to get through before I could get to the trilogy’s endgame.
Zork Ⅰ is a really important game to work through, if you’re going to try to understand where interactive fiction came from. It’s not the first, but it’s a major early milestone of the golden age of commercial IF, and its book is alluded to repeatedly throughout later works. I’m really glad that I’ve played Zork Ⅰ, but my feeling after playing it again is that once was probably enough.