Thursday, August 26, 2010

plat_forms 2010/2011 : call for Perl teams

A new edition of the Plat_Forms programming contest is going to take place in end 2010 or beginning of 2011 : see .

The first edition took place in 2007 and our Geneva team on Catalyst was winner of the Perl track ( ). Unfortunately we will not be able to participate again this time; but I wish that another Catalyst team will be present. Reports from that contest got significant coverage in specialised press , and can play an important role in propagating a positive image of Perl. See for example the August 2010 issue of the prestigious "Communications of ACM" ( , full text available at ); the conclusion reads :

Is Perl outdated? No. In contrast, the small size of the solutions and their good modifiability suggest that Perl may be a particularly strong platform with respect to maintainability.

So, Perl programmers, please build up teams to participate in the 2010/2011 edition!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

rakudo perl6 runs on win32

The French Perl Workshop 2010 had a whole track on perl6; so before going there, I quickly downloaded the parrot and rakudo packages for win32 from sourceforge, with the intent of playing with perl6 during the (long!) trip from Geneva to Calais. I've been reading and hearing about perl6 for some years, but so far I had never taken time to give it a try.

Alas, the distribution did not work, complaining for a missing DLL that I didn't know where to find. So I had plenty of time for other, more urgent tasks during the travel, but sadly I hadn't written a single line of perl6 yet.

At the conference, I started telling my neighbour about this misadventure ... and it turned out that this neighbour was François Perrad, the author of the parrotwin32 package ! François quickly found out the problem with the distribution; we fixed it manually on my machine, and François is going to issue a new distribution within a few days.

So, because of this nice coincidence, I finally was able to write my first "hello, world" program in perl6.

The next step will be to try to do some real work ... but for this I need a database connection, and as far as I know, the DBI redesign for perl6 by Tim Bunce is not complete yet. I talked about this to Martin Berends, who had given several talks on perl6 during the day .... and nice coincidence again, it turns out that Martin has a "fakedbi" project that implements a subset of Perl DBI , ported from perl5 to perl6 !

So after these lucky coincidences, my only problem is that I no longer have any excuse for not looking seriously at perl6 !

slides for the perl french workshop 2010 : ORM and EDM

My slides for the French Perl Workshop 2010 are online :

  • Gestion documentaire pour les tribunaux genevois : Geneva courts of law rely more and more on Perl for all their information systems. This talk presents three facets of electronic document management : storing justice decisions, preparing projects of documents, and a project for building a paperless justice file, combining webdav and modperl.

  • DBIx-DataModel in detail : DBIx-DataModel is an object-relational mapping framework for Perl5. Schema declarations are inspired from UML modelling. The API provides efficient interaction with the DBI layer, detailed control on statement execution steps, flexible and powerful treatment of database joins. More on

Saturday, June 5, 2010

A testimony of Perl efficiency

Within our team, the person who so far was our specialist in front-end javascript / ajax recently took up a new project involving quit a lot of back-end Perl programming (Catalyst controllers, data validation, database and ORM, etc.).

Now at the middle of the project, she just announced that the initial effort estimate would be cut by about 40%, because she discovered that Perl and its libraries were easier to learn than she expected, and because Perl data manipulation facilities are surprisingly powerful.

Hear that message, you all IT managers who only swear by Java !

Thursday, May 20, 2010

talk proposal for MST

So people are voting for MST's forfeit for not having posted a blog during the last month.

My own last blog dates back to october 2009, so I don't really feel like I'm entitled to say anything on anybody dropping the ironman contest. But the idea is fun, and it gets me blogging again, so let's participate !

What I would be most delighted to hear would be if Matt could compensate for my poor sense of marketing and talk about Ten Reasons to adopt DBIx::DataModel :-)

But for a wider audience, I'd vote for a jump into the future : what about something like Initial design notes for perl7 ?