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by wjw (Priest)
on Nov 26, 2003 at 16:34 UTC ( #310300=user: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Perl Geek Location
The Farm on the Map

Computing Environment

  • Hardware: Sager NP2650
  • OS; <a">Bodhi 4.0
  • Finally back to a decent desktop....
  • Perl housed by PerlBrew

Other Spots:


  1. The number one - An oddity I noticed one day because of the discussion of what a 'base one' system of numbers consists of:

    You gained 1 experience point. You have 111 points until level 11 - Chaplain.
    ...just counting sticks...

  2. The number two - Another numerical coincidence:

    You have 22 votes left today.
    You gained 2 experience points.
    You have 222 points until level 13 - Curate.

General Reason for being here

Being involved (even if only slightly as compared to some) at the Monastery is a pleasure. I come here just to find out what others are working on, and how others go about learning.

I will participate now and again to practice talking about the language a bit, as a refresher, so bear with me if I say/ask something obvious.


You can see a bit about me at wjw's playground, just in case you give a damn... . A good deal of my work experience has been in product/process research and development and manufacturing automation. I have played a number of roles along the way from maintenance tech to engineer. Perl (mostly LAMP) has been a part of those roles since 1995. I recently worked as a Manufacturing Execution Systems project lead at a large agricultural equipment company.

I am a big fan of Linux, and generally dislike Windows and their product. I have nothing against Microsoft as a company, after all, they make boatloads of $$ and it is hard to argue with that. There is something about Unix/Linux though, that I simply like. I certainly like the fact that Linux and Perl are community projects. There are lots of others too, but these are two that I know. I am by nature a generalist. My interests are too varied for me to fit well into the "specialist" or "expert" categories. I am comfortable with that.... OK, enough about me already!

Observations about being on PM

Just a hint for those that are new and happen to get to this node. I have been observing/participating here for a some time now. Some observations that you might want to consider if you have questions:

  • if the perceived (by others) content of your question is I have a problem and need a program to solve it, can you help me?, or even close to that, you are going to get less than friendly responses. I would guess that my answer to such a question would be Sure, for $35.00/hr I will solve your problem for you (and that is cheap!).
  • If you are in the ChatterBox and wish to ask a question, Be concise and accurate! If someone points you off to some documentation, go check it out.
  • Probably most important: Try before you ask! Even if it is not a very good try, if you provide your code snippet, a brief des‎crip‎tion of what you expect it to do, and what you don't understand about what it did do, you will probably get very good help. Otherwise you are likely to be chastised or ignored.
  • In order to express the 'how to post a question' in short form for myself, I wrote Thought(s) about SOP questions... which you may find helpful with regards to posting. I try to use that as a template for myself when posting questions here. Sort of a fill out form of the advice offered in "Guide to the Monastery" filtered by my own experience here. I thought it important enough to myself to link it here and on my scratchpad above.

This is a community in every sense of the word. There is of course a hierarchy, and it is not exclusively measured in XP. Folks have good days and bad, get along sometimes, and don't other times. It takes time to blend in... .

That being said, This is a fun place to learn! Not only what people think about Perl, but more importantly HOW they think about Perl. Exposure to this exchange of thought will stretch your mind, and probably enhance your skills.

Recent Interests

  • Have been off in the SIMILE world recently attempting to latch on to some basic javas‎crip‎t skills. I have to admit that as I get older, my rate of learning slows down. However, together with some basic work with CGI/DBI/XML/JSON modules, the SIMILE code can provide for some very powerful data presentation... Here is a static example of a fun thing one can do with a SIMILE TimeLine.. Static Timeline

    When one ties that kind of presentation to a database, the results can be very useful.</p?

  • Freeplane Been interested in this ever since I read Robert Pirsig's work
  • Moo
  • Dancer2
  • Arduino
  • Raspberry Pi

I find that I like to 'interact with the physical world' via my computing as compared to just writing programs that muss about with existing data. Data acquisition adds a lot of motivation for me in computing. Thus my recent interest in the Arduino and Raspberry Pi(RPi). Additionally, there is some interesting work going on (finally) in the world of automation with automation control based on Linux. It is about time! The beauty of the Arduino and RPi is that it brings the world of RTOS to the consumer level. Perl just makes it that much more accessible to more or less single language folks like me. always, my curiosity and amazement far outstrip my skills and abilities, but I do have fun...

The Dungeon of My Mind(Spew-Spot - Enter at own risk)


Anonymous Monk is abused by some individuals in that it is sometimes used as a cover to slather (usually) non-productive criticism on oft times less skilled (like myself) members and non-members. I have only been the target of that a couple of times. I don't appreciate it. It bothered me enough that I wrote a long 'position' on it here. Doing so was a waste of time all in all except that after having spewed it all out, I was able to recognize it's triviality. Enough said.

I am not a sock-puppet, or any other kind of puppet for anyone. Suggest that those who say otherwise pull the hand (and their own head) out of their own ass first. :-)

Posts by wjw
storeBackup - A Gem of a Backup Solution in Meditations
1 direct reply — Read more / Contribute
by wjw
on Nov 20, 2016 at 11:49

    I was recently in a position where I needed a backup solution that was flexible enough to handle my laptop as well as my home server. I back up to a couple of older USB drives; A 1.5T for my laptop, and a 750G for my home server. The plethora of options out there is daunting, and the most obvious like rsync (which I really like and use often) are very nice. But I wanted something that I could set up quickly and would meet a couple of other needs easily.

    • I wanted it to conform to a standard backup scheme where there are a couple backups each day, a daily backup for a week or so, a monthly backup, and a yearly.
    • I wanted it to delete outdated backups
    • I wanted it to be tolerant of the backup drive not being available, such as when I am out of town with my laptop, but don't have the USB drive to back up to.
    • and ... I also wanted it to do something like rsync in that it stores only the differences, not an entire copy of everything in each backup.

    What I found was a Perl application called storeBackup. It has been around for a while, claims to be production ready/stable, and it seems to me as if it is.

    I did a non-exhaustive search here on perlmonks and did not find a reference to this handy tool, so thought I would mention it here in I was sitting here meditating about it. The darn thing works really well! It does exactly what I want it to do in that it meets all the requirements listed above, and has the added benefit that it is written in Perl.

    For anyone looking for a very sweet backup solution that is simple to set up, is tolerant of a dynamic environment, and provides efficient, accessible, and easily recoverable backup data, I would certainly recommend looking at this solution. From my perspective, it just plain rocks!

    ...the majority is always wrong, and always the last to know about it...

    A solution is nothing more than a clearly stated problem...

Gaps in the Maps of pm.orgs in Meditations
5 direct replies — Read more / Contribute
by wjw
on Nov 29, 2014 at 11:37

    I recently graduated to a situation where I might have time to explore Perl in a more 'social' context: by that I mean in meat-space. To my mild consternation, a look at the map of North American Perl Monger groups only to find that I am on the eastern edge of the great northern void.

    There are a couple of these desolate areas represented on the map, Some of these are perhaps more easily explained away than others I suppose. States with lower population densities or fewer urban areas are somewhat understandable as geographical deserts of Perl desolation. However, to my way of thinking, that does not explain all of these holes in the map of North America.

    Looking at the world map is even more strange to me. Perl is such a friendly, though quirky sort of language. It seems like it would bring people together more readily....

    One area in particular is odd to me, and the source of my mild regret. I currently reside on the Northwest corner of the Minneapolis/St. Paul area of Minnesota. This is not a massive or dense urban area, but it is not small either. There are numerous higher education institutions, a broad variety of industries are represented in the region, and yet no pm group. One would think that combined with the previously mentioned advantages, the winters we have here, would lend it to be an ideal place to attract a good number of Perl users interested in jaw-jacking over a beer or two. Come to think of it, there are some pretty good beers available here too....another reason which would support congregating on occasion.

    Apparently not.

    Searches on various engines indicate there have been efforts to establish such a group to no effect over the years. Once again, I find myself grateful for this site. I guess for now, my contact with the world of Perl will continue to be ethereal... . Not complaining, just saying... .

    PS. If someone knows of something my quick search missed, please do let me know. I could use a beer....

    Update:Thanks to those of you that responded. I am looking into opensource/linux and sundry tangential subjects in the area to see what might be leveraged. I do appreciate the encouragement, though I do want to investigate the reasons that it has not been done successfully previously first before I tackle something like this. Doing it poorly would probably be more damaging than not doing it at all...

    ...the majority is always wrong, and always the last to know about it...

    A solution is nothing more than a clearly stated problem...

Thought(s) about SOP questions... in Meditations
6 direct replies — Read more / Contribute
by wjw
on May 23, 2014 at 13:34

    SOP on PM: a basic template for successful questions


    To provide a 'thought' template (or form/checklist) that `concisely' guides a SOPW participant through preparing to post a question on said SOPW.

    How do I post a question effectively? is one of the places to really dig in to writing a good post. This hopefully serves the purpose of getting you to think about all that good advice.

    What I am working on(brief overview)
    • Platform
    • OS
    • Integrating with...(excel, libreoffice...etc...)
    • Perl Version
    • Using (module::name::?) if appropriate
    • What I want for output
    • What I am using for input
    • Combine this with 'What the problem is' below and you will have a good start to answering How do I compose an effective node title?
    What the problem is
    • First, ensure this is not XY Problem
    • Post relevant code (use code tags, 'code' or 'code')
    • Keep to relevant portions.
    • Make sure it compiles (or would if complete, copy exactly what you have(not data though))
    What you have tried
    • If you provide some of the above, it will prove you did something and are not looking for free coding service.
    Errors you're are getting ... if you already tried the following: (helpfully suggested by LanX)
    • use warnings;
    • use strict;
    • use diagnostics;
    • Then:
    • Copy/paste the errors in code tags with the rest of your post.
    My input
    • Include __DATA__ block or at least a few lines of the input file(also in code tags, 'code' or 'c')
    • If it is a known format like JSON or TNNAME.ORA, mention that.
    • Clean it for security purposes, but don't screw it up! Original size, character counts etc... are important!
    What it is you don't understand about solving the problem
    • I don't know how to format...
    • I don't understand the data structure...
    • I don't understand this code at line...
    • ...

    Further excellent suggestions regarding the subject matter from other PM's:

    If you manage to get at least one clear, concise statement about what you are trying to solve from each those first three main categories, you are likely to get pretty good, pretty quick help. If you can't do that, go back and ask yourself those questions in the first three categories, get them clear in your head, then write them. The clarity of your question might lead you to your own answer, and if not, it will surely help those attempting to assist you...

    No one is going to beat you up for not knowing how to state every question above. Hell, my posts have sadly not even followed this format! They will from now on! But if you give it half a shot your results are going to be a lot more satisfying, and the questions you get about your question for clarification will help you better define your question, and therefore your solution. Really, this is all covered in [id://174051>, but here is some of it again...

    Hope that is helpful...

    A solution is simply a well stated problem...otherwise the problem is not a problem, it is a fact...

      Updates:(newest first)
    • Added a few select links
    • Clean up, re-order in more logical step by step sequence base on other successful SOP postings(based on my opinion
    • Added link to suggestion, Added 'Purpose Statement'
    • Clean up, clarify Title
    • Added reference to XY problem
    • Added this update list
    • Added suggestions from subsequent posters
    • Provide example of Excellent Question
    • Provide example of Marginal Question
    • Provide example of Poor Question

    ...the majority is always wrong, and always the last to know about it...

    Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...

Nothingness - The far end of language development in Meditations
2 direct replies — Read more / Contribute
by wjw
on May 03, 2014 at 04:56
    After having read an impressive meditation by eyepopslikeamosquito here The 10**21 Problem (Part 2) I went on a bit of a walk-about through CPAN; Not looking for anything in particular, just looking.

    Along the way I ran into a Moose, which was a bit of a surprise. I had heard of this creature in the world of Perl, had seen references to it, read a bit about it. But my understanding was that is was one of those 'Object' creatures which I have, for a long time, 'Object'ed to.

    Not for any good reason I guess. Mostly because God and everyone had been talking about object oriented programming as if the worlds existence prior to its appearance was somehow miraculous. "How did people get anything done?". Being the obstinate type, I plodded along shaking my head and writing my procedural code, getting the job done without accessors, roles, classes, instances, methods or any of the other goofy constructs that generated a whole new way of talking about code. I liked(and still do like) my simple variables, and sub-routines.

    But that illusion is finally to be set aside. My obstinate Luddite attitude, I have to admit finally, is being undermined by my use of all those handy CPAN modules that make it possible for me to talk to databases, coerce odd date representations into something I consider readable, deliver web pages and data for them, etc... .

    Yes, I am finally, after reading perlootut and perlobj, ready to admit that the goddamn OO stuff is useful, and I probably should have been learning it instead of ignoring it.

    All this from a wander through CPAN... And then I find it... The ultimate module! The one which inspires me to realize that I might as well go a head and learn something new after all this time. Someday, I might write a module with this level of elegance...something so fundamental that it leaves observers with nothing but the unanswerable question 'Why?'. It will not generate debate like our current Voting Booth subject. Nor will it genearate heady (worth-while, informative) study like the one previously mentioned that started tonights personal Chautauqua.

    A module which is, and does and contributes like this one. Some day... . Someday, I will achieve M!

    ...the majority is always wrong, and always the last to know about it...
    Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...
PerlBrew (perlbrew list-modules) in Meditations
No replies — Read more | Post response
by wjw
on Apr 19, 2014 at 12:28
    has a bug(85493) noted in version 0.63 which has yet to be addressed. I spent a good 2.5 hours trying to figure out why 'perlbrew list-modules' didn't return anything. Finally found the the problem in the bug list at RT CPAN. The actual cause of the problem was pointed out Here on github.

    In simple terms: the command 'list-modules' will not work if you are use'ing or have switch'ed to an alias.

    You must use the full name of the Perl dist you are using as is shown in 'perlbrew list' or 'perlbrew available'. (See Update below for alternative)

    Perlbrew is fantastic! (minor rant) It is a bit disappointing that this ticket has been around for 11 months without being addressed. It is not an obvious(to me) issue to find or address. My searches(both here and google) rendered very little. The docs here don't make any mention of this either.
    My hope is that someone may save themselves some time finding this here when faced with this issue.


    Was unsure where to post this, but based on FAQ Re: Posting this seems the best place... please correct me if not.


    Found a workaround listed Stack Overflow which states that when installing a Perl via PerlBrew, one can use the '--as' install option to name the Perl install, accomplishing something like the alias command would. While it is good to know how to work around this problem, I would still rather have the 'alias' command work. I don't always know ahead of time what I might want to name a given install.

    Replaced the  <br> with  <p> for readability.

    ...the majority is always wrong, and always the last to know about it...
    Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results...
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