Saturday, 4 December 2010

Sat 4th Dec 2010: London Perl Workshop

I attended the London Perl Workshop today. The things I feel are most notable:
  • Matt Trout's extremely enthusiastic and informative talks
  • David Cross workshop on Modern Web Apps in PERL
  • DBIx::Class for Beginners by Leo Lepworth (
  • Perl6 Implementations (incl. Perl6 compilers written in Perl6.
  • is outdated and now PSGI (specification) & Plack (implementation) is the way to do web development; use Plackup to do testing; use the Catalyst framework (for example); go to for info.
  • Best book for Perl today is “Chromatics Modern Perl”

Stuff useful to me:
  • Top books to learn from: “Learning Perl”, “Programming Perl” and “Perl Cookbook”.
  • Lots of Perl stuff on and
  • Stuff I should learn about: Perlanet, Catalyst, Padre, Moose, DBIx:Class,, freenode #perl, Template Toolkit
  • Modules/Perl updates should all be easily available from CPAN
  • David Doorwood ( did a good lightening presentation on Testing. I will look him up because this is related to my line of work.
  • There are Social Networking APIs available on CPAN such as Net::Twitter and App:Twitch

About Perl6:
  • Perl6 is specification based but there is not yet a final consensus on the specification (it is still under development).
  • You can write compilers for Perl6 in other languages other than Perl6
  • You can run Perl6 in other runtime engines other than Perl6, such as implementations of Perl5 and Lisp. The leading implementation is Rakudo
  • You can lean about compilers in the Parot Compiler Toolkit
  • You can get free training in Perl6 by going to
  • Perl6 as a language is good for writing compilers.
(If any one who reads this and thinks I made a mistake here with this information, please let me know.)

Friday, 8 October 2010

RSPB campaign against agri-environment spending cuts

Agri-environment schemes channel government funding to help farmers manage their land in an environmentally-friendly way.

They recognise the important role farmers play in managing the countryside, and encourage and support farmers to change their farming methods to ways which will help wildlife.

They provide a payment for those aspects of farming, such as homes for wildlife, which benefit the countryside, and for which they would not otherwise be rewarded.

Each country of the UK has its own programme of agri-environment schemes, open to farmers. Reform of the Common Agriculture Policy has led to the design of new schemes which mean that new and old schemes will run concurrently for a number of years until existing contracts with farmers end.

Due to government spending cuts, Defra’s reduced budget means that funding of agri-environment schemes are threatened.

In the short term, agri-environment spending (especially the Higher Level Scheme) must be maintained as this is the key means of halting the loss of habitats and restoring biodiversity at home. To ensure long term success the UK government must do all it can to influence the reform of the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy (due in 2013) so that public money is used to reward farmers for delivering public benefits such as an attractive countryside rich in wildlife.

Please visit and e-mail the Government to voice your concern.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Radio 4 - it's worth listening

Did you listen to Radio 4 tonight?  You missed:
  1. The Bottom Line
  2. Episode 23 of Saving Species
Both of these radio programmes were excellent.

Bottom Line was about 'optimism' in business. Evan Davis was joined by Alex Cheatle, chief executive of the lifestyle management company Ten Group; Jasmine Montgomery, co-founder of branding consultancy Seven Brands; Robin Wight, president of communications group Engine.

Mobile Banking was mentioned as a fantastic business opportunity in Africa. Read a report on it at Mobile Money Exchange, also read "Is There Really Any Money in Mobile Money?"and about M-Pesa.

Quotes for business:
  • Optimists see a Doughnut and Pessimists see a hole
  • Success follows persistence
  • Every problem is an opportunity
  • People should learn from mistakes

Saving Species covered the interesting subject of fungi.

Although many of the worlds plant species are likely to become extinct over coming years there is a theory that it's actually a natural part of world evolution.  It does not mean that man is allowed to continue to be careless about the environment but it is a theory that I have been warming towards fairly recently.  If the dinosaur was wiped out then it's very likely that the world will one day get a better replacement for modern man!  In fact some species that are believed to be extinct (because no body has seen them for ages) may actually turn up in many years time.  It's not possible for man to see everything no matter how hard we try.

You can listen to both radio programmes now on the BBC iPlayer.

Tuesday, 5 October 2010

Learn Perl for CGI Programming with O'Reilly

I've started an online course by O'Reilly School of Technology (OST).  I wanted to try out some formal online Perl training and the best I found was with OST.

I've made a good start on the "Learn Perl for CGI Programming" course and think it's very good.

The O'Reilly School of Technology and the University of Illinois have partnered to offer Certificates of Professional Development in information technology and related skills.  The course I am doing counts towards one of their certificates.  I am thinking of carrying on with the "Web Programming Certificate" although my current passion is Perl programming.  I'll get the course done first and then think about if I want to do the others later.

Check out their site by clicking here.

Thursday, 30 September 2010

BBC Technology Programme: CLICK

Some interesting information c/o Click (

I just stumbled upon it but will be viewing other programmes and related web pages.  This is very interesting for people interested in technology.

Friday, 17 September 2010

Software Testing

I attended the SIGiST conference on 16 September 2010 in London and met some excellent people.  Thanks to everyone who talked to me about their experiences in testing.  Special thanks to:
Richard Roy, James Windle, Jennifer Lumley, Geoff Thompson, Stephen Allot, Graham Thomposn, Isabel Evans, Mohinda Khosla, James Lyndsay, Peter Morgan and Stuart Taylor.

Here is some links worth looking at if you are interested in Testing (and Agile):
 Have a nice read!!

Oh, and this is a fantastic tool for helping to write test cases/user stories etc:

Monday, 13 September 2010

On Climate Change

Climate change is inevitable.

“One way or another, climate change is going to affect every organisation and every individual in this country. If we are to thrive as a society, every organisation and every individual must adapt” said Lord Henley, the climate change minister to The Confederation of British Industry (CBI).

The government cannot afford to stop investing to protect the environment.  Please sign the Letter To The Future today.

Also consider Adopting A Jaguar to help the Sky Rainforest Rescue campaign in partnership with the WWF. Sky will match donations pound for pound to their campaign target of £4 million.