first impressions of ActiveState Stackato

August 25, 2011  🐪 🧑🏽‍💻

When Heroku started to become popular, I thought it was pretty neat, but not neat enough to get me to change my primary development language. A year or two ago, a friend asked if I was interested in helping develop “Heroku for Perl.” I said I didn’t see much value in it for myself. I knew how to deploy applications “the hard way,” so investing in making it easier didn’t win me much. This year, a few PaaS providers supporting Perl have shown up, and I didn’t pay them any attention until someone told me that ActiveState’s Stackato cloud system was having a contest and that I should consider entering it.

too many healing surges!

August 24, 2011  ⚔️

I think my 4E party members have too many healing surges. I don’t think is peculiar to them. I just think it’s how 4E works. For example, Orc the Orc, a 6th level Weaponmaster, has 15 healing surges per day. A healing surge is worth about 25% of his total HP (which is 64) so he can take about 314 HP of damage before being dead, assuming he can always spend his healing surges by spending his second and third wind, by healing powers or potions, by exiting combat, or whatever other means.

promoting little gifts

August 23, 2011  🐪 🧑🏽‍💻

It’s pretty common, on IRC, for someone to say, “Thanks a lot, I owe you a beer.” I say it a lot, too, but I’m not sure I’ve ever actually bought someone the promised beer. I don’t feel too bad about that: I’m not sure anyone has bought me such a beer, either. Sometimes, “I owe you one” just means “I appreciate your help.”

flavor text considered harmful

August 22, 2011  ⚔️

I really don’t like the “flavor text” used in 4E D&D power descriptions. It is far too often just flavor, with no subtance. It isn’t clear what the power really means. It’s just a sentence or two trying to remind you that this abstract tactical maneuver is supposed to be related to your class’s theme, and not just a set of mechanics. This goes back to the Alexandrian’s excellent Dissociated Mechanics post from 2008.

the PAUSE micro-hackathon

August 14, 2011  📚 🐪 🧑🏽‍💻

When a generous Perl programmer decides to share his fantastic new library with the world, he probably uploads it to CPAN – that’s where most of the shared Perl libraries are found. In fact, though, he’s not uploading it to CPAN, but to PAUSE, the Perl Authors Upload Server. (The “E” is acronymically silent.)

how 2SWAP works

July 22, 2011  🧑🏽‍💻

I’m learning Forth. So far, so good. Even if I don’t end up using it for much, maybe it will make me a better dc user.

my big dumb URI router

July 15, 2011  🐪 🧑🏽‍💻

While hacking on a large system at work, months ago, I spent about a day looking at every URI router or request dispatcher on the CPAN. That day, I was feeling really unhappy with all of them. They all seemed just fine, if you were starting from scratch and had no particular vested interest in how your router worked. For me, though, none of them quite cut it. I decided it wasn’t worth trying to change the design for the rest of the application. I would just write a new, bespoke router.

my OSCON plans

July 6, 2011  🧑🏽‍💻 ✈️

I thought I’d post my travel plans, in case anybody else is by some strange coincidence on my flights and wants to chat or hack in flight, or ride the MAX together, or whatever.

YAPC auction considered lousy

July 1, 2011  🐪

Every year at YAPC::NA, there is a conference dinner where I end up sitting with some people I know and some people I don’t. We talk about the conference, and Perl, and our jobs, and the city, and so on. Once we’re part all the introductory small talk, the auction starts and we spend two hours waiting for it to stop. Once it’s over, we leave.