the 2013 Perl QA Hackathon in Lancaster

April 15, 2013  🐫 🧑🏽‍💻

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:

money into code: Perl 5 code bounties

February 25, 2013  🐫

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 my opinion.

spending somebody else's money… for Perl!

February 18, 2013  🐫

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.

The Great Infocom Replay: Deadline

February 16, 2013  🎲

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.

the great new Email::Sender

February 7, 2013  📧 🐫 🧑🏽‍💻

Yesterday I released Email::Sender 1.300003. This is a pretty important release!

The Great Infocom Replay: Zork Ⅱ

February 3, 2013  🎲

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.

The Great Infocom Replay: Zork Ⅰ

February 2, 2013  🎲

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.

The Great Infocom Replay: Foreword

February 1, 2013  🎲

Quite a while ago, I decided that I had too many petty interests, and that I should pick one and pursue it. I thought I’d work on running some really good D&D, but basically it hasn’t worked out. I have been unable to establish a regular-enough group of players, and have not felt entirely compatible with some of the players who I was able to attract. It has been a big let down.