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Open Source

Submission + - How did WordPress win? (majordojo.com)

jamie writes: Byrne Reese discusses why WordPress beat Movable Type, and offers some insightful thoughts about licensing and the perception of "free." (I hope his impression that people think perl is "scary" isn't as common as he thinks.)

Submission + - Helping Perl Packagers Package Perl (modernperlbooks.com)

jamie writes: "chromatic has a great post today on the conflict between OS distributions' and CPAN's installations of perl modules, along with some suggestions for how to start resolving this maddening problem: '[Though Debian has] made plenty of CPAN distributions available as .debs, I have to configure my CPAN client myself, and it does not work with the system package manager. There's no reason it couldn't. Imagine that the system Perl 5 included in the default package... had a CPAN client configured appropriately. It has selected an appropriate mirror (or uses the redirector). It knows about installation paths. It understands how to use LWP...' The idea of providing guidelines to distros for how to safely package modules is a great one. Could modules request (a modified?) test suite be run after distro-installation? Could Module::Build help module authors and distro maintainers establish the rules somehow?"

Perl Migrates To the Git Version Control System 277

On Elpeleg writes "The Perl Foundation has announced they are switching their version control systems to git. According to the announcement, Perl 5 migration to git would allow the language development team to take advantage of git's extensive offline and distributed version support. Git is open source and readily available to all Perl developers. Among other advantages, the announcement notes that git simplifies commits, producing fewer administrative overheads for integrating contributions. Git's change analysis tools are also singled out for praise. The transformation from Perforce to git apparently took over a year. Sam Vilain of Catalyst IT 'spent more than a year building custom tools to transform 21 years of Perl history into the first ever unified repository of every single change to Perl.' The git repository incorporates historic snapshot releases and patch sets, which is frankly both cool and historically pleasing. Some of the patch sets were apparently recovered from old hard drives, notching up the geek satisfaction factor even more. Developers can download a copy of the current Perl 5 repository directly from the perl.org site, where the source is hosted."

Identify and Verify Users Based on How They Type 196

LinucksGirl writes to share an IBM DeveloperWorks article that shows how to support user verification through keystroke-dynamics processing by modifying the GNOME Display Manager (GDM). You can create and store a one-way encrypted hash of your keystroke patterns when entering your user name. The article shows how to add code to GDM to read current keystroke patterns and permit a user to log in when the characteristics are a match. An interesting idea to be sure but I know I certainly am not that consistent when I type, so I'm skeptical of how well this may work.

You Used Perl to Write WHAT?! 307

Esther Schindler writes "Developers spend a lot of time telling managers, 'Let me use the tool that's appropriate for the job' (cue the '...everything looks like a nail' meme here). But rarely do we enumerate when a language is the right one for a particular job, and when it's a very, very wrong choice. James Turner, writing for CIO.com, identifies five tasks for which perl is ideally suited, and four that... well, really, shouldn't you choose something else? This is the first article in a series that will examine what each language is good at, and for which tasks it's just plain dumb. Another article is coming RSN about JavaScript, and yet another for PHP... with more promised, should these first articles do well."

Perl 5.10, 20 Year Anniversary 304

alfcateat writes "Perl 1 was released to the public by Larry Wall 20 years ago yesterday. To celebrate, Perl5Porters have released Perl5.10, the latest stable version of Perl 5. Happy Birthday Perl! Perl 5.10 isn't just a bug fix version: it's full of new features that I'm eager to use: named captures in regular expressions, state variables for subroutines, the defined-or operator, a switch statement (called given-when, though), a faster regex engine, and more. You can read more about the changes in perldelta."

State of the Onion 11 278

chromatic writes "Larry Wall's State of the Onion 11 address is now online. Every year, he describes the state of Perl and its community through metaphor and analogy. This year, Larry explored the history of scripting languages, from their dimly-lit beginnings to their glorious future. Along the way, he also describes several of the design principles invoked in the design of Perl 6. 'When I was a RSTS programmer on a PDP-11, I certainly treated BASIC as a scripting language, at least in terms of rapid prototyping and process control. I'm sure it warped my brain forever. Perl's statement modifiers are straight out of BASIC/PLUS. It even had some cute sigils on the ends of its variables to distinguish string and integer from floating point. But you could do extreme programming. In fact, I had a college buddy I did pair programming with. We took a compiler writing class together and studied all that fancy stuff from the dragon book.'"

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