Programming

Web team balance benchmarking

In my current contract I’ve spent much time looking at the existsing system, frameworks, team management and such. It was only this week in a tech meeting as we were attempting to sketch out an architecture diagram that I had an epihpany: the team was far to small for the work that needs doing and […]


CPAN, Travis, coverall goodness

I’d used Webservice::Tesco::API to get DVD links for Cineastic and then Tesco announced that they’d revamped the API – a JSON REST layer over the original SOAP version. The original author, wasn’t really interested in updating the module so I took it on. While I was doing this, I reinstated a bunch of tests that […]


More perl test modules

  Today I learned about these cute perl testing chaps: Test::Portability::Files – Check file names portability across OSes Test::Synopsis – Test your SYNOPSIS code Test::Vars – Detects unused variables Test::DistManifest – Author test that validates a package MANIFEST Test::CPAN::Meta – Validate your CPAN META.yml files Test::EOL – Check the correct line endings in your project […]


CPAN pull request challenge: Crypt::OpenSSL::RSA

I think I got off lightly with this one. It’s a simple wrapper over a C library. In summary: There were 3 easily fixed perlcritic problems at level 3. CPANTESTERS had a couple of quibbles, also easily fixed. Test coverage was comprehensive. And that’s about it! Mistakes I’ve made in retrospect: I didn’t bump the […]


27″ Apple display and Dell PC for sale

Due to a project finishing in December I have two pieces of kit to sell. I can deliver to Cardiff or Bristol. Apple Cinema Display 27″ Widescreen LED LCD Monitor. I paid £580 off eBay in August and a ridiculous amount in postage. It’s one of the earlier ones so no Thunderbolt out, just 3 […]


New Relic site performance monitoring

I was having Christmas tapas with old colleagues and Paul, owner and CEO of Cognitran mentioned New Relic as an awesome piece of CYA software: “your app is too slow”, “uh, no, it’s your database, FIX IT”, “oh, OK”. I’m currently running it on Panda and Polar Bear and it demonstrates how awesomely tuned up […]


Static files in nginx

So, I’m redeveloping a little site on my home machine and for some reason, my browser is remembering that it wants the graphics from the live site on my VPS. Said VPS is returning “Bad Gateway” from for some reason. So, I should configire nginx to serve the static files directly. Easy: location /images/ { […]


#theweb.is conference

Having had a very disappointing APIcon in September which seemed to be just companies blowing their own horns about their own APIs, theweb.is was utterly refreshing. Seventeen speakers over two days on subjects ranging from accessibility to performance to using consoles to browse the web. Highlights for me were: Anna Debenham on browsing the web […]


Halting SSD on 2011 Macbook Pro

Throwing this one out there hoping the google juice will help people with the same problem. I’ve tried installing an SSD into the optibay my 2011-era Macbook Pro with no success: the SSD stalls on writes rendering the whole thing useless. Recently I went through the Crucial selection process, ordered one that was supposedly suitable […]


What’s new in perl?

For about four years, I’d been living in perl 5.8.8. land at the BBC, and some unicode issues aside, not really been fussed about recent perls. I’d had a nagging feeling that I’d been missing out on shiny new features that would make my life so much easier. Also being constantly being berated on the […]


AngelHack Hackathon Fall 2012

So that was a weekend. AngelHack is designed to throw a couple of hundred people of various disciplines together to see what wacky and zany ideas they can come up with in 24 hours. There are sponsors present, Microsoft pimping BizSpark and CouchDB amongst others, rewarding you with loot for sitting through their pitches. First […]


Getting DBD::Informix running on Mac OS X 10.7 (lion)

Throwing this out there and adding it to the Google-fu mix. According to the internets, DBD::Informix has issues on Lion. Many different solutions are offered, but this is what worked for me. Download the “Client SDK” from the IBM site. The problem: trying to build with out of the box everything, throws up: lipo: /var/tmp//cc56iZs2.out […]


A new Squeeze with Postgres on VMware

I feel the need to note this down because two of these three are largely unfamiliar to me, and the other one bit me in the unmentionables. Hopefully this permutation will help others. Also, this is the setup I needed for my current $ork. First, let’s download our operating system. I honestly can’t remember the […]


Maintaining a Darkpan

I didn’t find many references out there that did exactly what I needed, but with the help of Miyagawa and others, I cobbled together the right combination of incantations. To give some background, at the BBC we have a project whose technical debt has built up to the point where they require archaic versions of […]


Recruiters – what exactly are you for?

I was recently looking for a new contract, hopefully something leveraging what I’ve been doing recently (SCRUM) and outside what are usually seen as my core skills (perl, Hudson). This brought me into copious contact with that subspecies of human we call the “recruitment consultant”, “agent” or more collquially “pimp”. What I’ve found has staggered […]


Emacs as a perl IDE II

Having polled the assorted perlish hiveminds of the BBC, the London perlmongers and Reddit, I got a really good selection of responses. So, from Reddit: Put “perl -cw” into flymake so you can see syntax errors right away. Even more immediately than trying to compile? Could be useful. From London.pm: Dot mode attempts to emulate […]


Using emacs as a perl IDE

I admit, I’m an emacs philistine. I use it as a text editor and when I’ve got a machine or linux VM that I’m going to be using, I’ll set up “cperl-mode” with syntax colouring. I don’t even bother even creating a tags file to be able to bounce around files from the use of […]


Installing Maven on a fresh RedHat/Centos 5.5…

This one had me a bit baffled but the recipe turned out to be easy once you know which chickens to sacrifice in which order. So: Add the jpackage info into /etc/yum.repos.d: http://www.jpackage.org/jpackage50.repo Fix a dependency problem: rpm -Uvh http://plone.lucidsolutions.co.nz/linux/centos/images/jpackage-utils-compat-el5-0.0.1-1.noarch.rpm Then yum update and then: yum install maven2 400 updates later, you’re in business! # […]


Hudson and Selenium – Experiences

Tonight I gave a talk at the London Perlmongers about my experiences rolling out Selenium and Hudson at Photobox. PDF of the slides here: Hudson and Selenium You’ll have to imaging the handwaving and irrelevant asides. Any questions? Related Posts:Hudson and SeleniumRecruiters – what exactly are you for?New Relic site performance monitoringWhat’s new in perl?AngelHack […]


Hudson and Selenium

Sorry, geek day job alert. I have a baby Hudson and Selenium setup here. I’ve inherited a very nasty test harness that our testers are familiar with and can build tests for but it currently runs interactively on Windows and will be a ‘mare to port and enhance. I have a vision of a world […]