Brand New Year

Happy 2006!! I can't believe it’s a new year already! Here's how I spent the last few days of 2005 and first day of 2006.

When I was in college, around 1999 my co-worker did some Perl to process forms and email the data. I was more of their graphics person. He hated it, I'd say.. Oh Jayson! I have another form for you! I don't know if he disliked Perl so much or processing forms is just a boring task (I agree now). I dabbled a little in Perl but thought it was difficult and obsecure. I thought Perl geeks wrote it so they could boast about how clever they were because their code did X function in ONLY 25 characters! NYAH! Then I happened to find PHP, learned it, did a site for my then boyfriend (now husband) and that got me a job as a PHP programmer and like a horse with blinders, pretty much just did PHP (and JavaScript) until this the second half of this year, err last year.

I've been learning (re-learning? I don't know how much Perl I really knew at any one time) I've made some friends who are Perl programmers (Andy Lester and Liz) and they aren't like that at all, although they tell keep telling me that Perl is the "One True Language". Even the folks in the chatterbox at PerlMonks.org have been very nice in answering my noob questions.

I'm digging Perl. Once you get through "The Gory Details" in Programming Perl aka The Camel Book.

Maybe I'm a strange person, but I like testing. I've been working with Selenium to write tests for DotProject. Watch for an upcoming article on it at CodeSnipers.com this week. Andy Lester has a project called Phalanx which has the goal of getting 100 or so Perl modules with complete tests and documentation. Since I don't have any grand idea of a module that doesn't already exist in the 9283 modules in CPAN, I thought hey if I can help with testing a little bit than I can contribute in some tiny part.

Test::More - a uber simple test mod which should work for test in most cases. I asked Andy Lester if I should be using Test::Unit for testing a module (in PHP I would use PHPUnit) but he said that Test::More is all I need.

POD::Coverage - a mod that compares how much POD (plain old documentation) is in the module. Its good to have each subroutine documented (called "covered" as a opposed to "uncovered") and gives you a percentage, 100% is good. It will also list the subs that are uncovered. There is a way to set it to skip certain subs (private subs for example). You can run the POD::Coverage as part of the Test::More suites as well. Nifty.

Devel::Cover - a mode that checks your code coverage. I couldn't get this to work, since this is not compiled for windows and my Perl version on my server is a few points behind. Looking at the docs, it can check the statements, branch, condition, path, subroutine, pod and time. Was not able to find out too much about how it works it since I can't get it to run. This module is in alpha stage at this point, so I'm sure more information will be available soon.

I also made my first module, which was just a simple class I stole from an example. I couldn't get my module to run, so I went to PerlMonks.org and asked them. The said OH, you have your code after the __END__ it should be before - doh - So once I did that, it was fine.

Well, that’s about it for now.


Blogger Randal L. Schwartz said...

Have you been reading "Learning Perl", and its sequel, "Learning Perl Objects References and Modules"?

12:14 PM  

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