Thursday, May 21, 2009

Adding Perl Support to Google App Engine

I was asked the other day to help setup a website for our elementary school's PTA. I thought for a while about the various free services available vs. virtual hosting and finally wound up going with Google Apps.

You might be wondering what this has to do with Perl. Well one of my quirks, is that I tend to alternate between adding perl or linux to my google searches whenever I want to find a decent dialog on a topic. Guess what turns up with a search on: google + apps + perl?

Apparently about 9 months ago, Stephen Adkins, Dean Arnold, Brad Fitzpatrick, Artur Bergman, Chia-liang Kao, Yuval Kogman, Jonathon Rockway, and others were working on a Perl App Engine implementation for Google App Engine. It looks like it stalled.

But maybe with your help, and a show of support, we can get them to pick it up again. On the "Open Issues" list for Google App Engine, the top 3 requests are adding support for PHP, Ruby, and Perl. You can express your preference for Perl support by going to the "Open Issues" list, finding issue #34, and selecting the star beside it.

At the time I'm writing, Perl is about 300 votes behind Ruby and about 1,000 behind PHP.

Update: As of Sat. May, 23rd at 10:19 EST, Perl has almost closed the gap with Ruby by half. The current votes are:
  • PHP: 2055
  • Ruby: 1558
  • Perl: 1396

Monday, May 11, 2009

Padre on OSX

Work and life have been keeping Perl mostly on the sidelines this past week.

I've been following Gabor Sazbo's blog posts on Padre since he first asked for suggestions for a name. But I haven't actually used it. The idea of a cross platform internationalized open source editor written in Perl is actually pretty exciting. Especially with all the pluggins available and promise of better syntax highlighting. I've always heard that only perl can parse Perl. So it is nice to see a lot of developers actively developing a best of breed editor in Perl.

I noticed that the instructions for installing Padre on OSX would have had me running a massive update of the system's perl via cpan. I've always been a little risk averse. The idea of upgrading the operating system's perl sounds like a recipe for trouble.

So I tried installing padre using my local install of Perl 5.10.0. Unfortunately, Padre requires a Perl compiled with -Dusethreads. So... why not... I recompiled a threaded perl executable. I was then able to run cpan and install Padre without problem. Padre executes and comes up just fine.

I took a little time to update the wiki instructions just so the next traveller will know that it is indeed possible to run Padre on OSX compiled locally from source. But now my time is up. I'll have to write up my experiences with Padre next time.

Monday, May 4, 2009

cross pollenation of perl6 implementations

Most days, I try to drop by and scan through the conversations of the various people actually implementing and testing Perl6. More often than not, 98.6% of the conversations involve details that are over my head. But it is still nice to check in on the ebb and flow of progress. As often as not, I learn a thing or two too...

Today it was nice to see ├╝ber tester Jonathan Worthington and Rakudo's Patrick Michaud talking about refactoring Rakudo's p6opaque. What was nice, beyond the open and informative dialog... was the many references to SMOP's design and dialog with Daniel Ruoso. (FYI: SMOP is a bottom up implementation starting with Perl6 OO features.)

I often hear references to how the various implementations have exercised the specs from different angles. It is nice to see how the various implementations are strengthening and facilitating each other.