Author Archives: richard

Can you make it go faster, again?

You know how it is when management asks you to make an existing program go faster, it’s almost always a challenge which is taken up with enthusiasm. You get to explore the codebase, try out new approaches, fix those long clunky if statements, rationalize the code, all within the constraints of maintaining backward compatibility, and utilizing your …

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Widen your horizon

As programmers, many of us tend to be critical thinkers, by nature. We still need to widen your horizon. And mine. It’s no good just churning out the same old stuff, repeating what we were told, or read about, from earlier times. We need to use our brains to consider new ways of doing things, clearer, …

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Path to the truth?

How do you decide the best path to take to the truth? Does it depend on the circumstances? Are there exceptions where personal incentives are concerned? Do beliefs alter the approach to the question? Does the path vary depending on the outcome? How do you decide?

File::Data v1.20 released

File::Data – interface to file data DESCRIPTION Wraps all the accessing of a file into a convenient set of calls for reading and writing data, including a simple regex interface. Note that the file needs to exist prior to using this module! See new() SYNOPSIS use strict; use File::Data; my $o_dat = File::Data->new(‘./t/example’); $o_dat->write(“complete file …

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Pimps and whores

It’s easy to throw out a generalized statement, like pimps and whores, which pigeon-holes large groups of people together, and which usually serves only to focus their differences against one another. Like blacks and whites, or christians and muslims, us and them, and so on. This was brought abruptly to my attention recently when one …

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Does this health intervention work?

Here’s a simple graphic to describe the steps one needs to complete before declaring any health intervention as sufficiently valid to justify it’s use. The basic principle can be applied to many disparate processes.  

Looking for Perl software development work?

If you’re like me, (I’m a Perl software developer), from time to time, you’ll probably be interested in finding new Perl work; remote or onsite, contract or permie, whatever. You could just pop down your local jobcentre, but I’m not sure how useful that would prove. It’s almost certainly a better option to approach one of …

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AA and Snake Oil

I’ve been doing a bit of reading about AA and getting more than concerned about my (now ex-) wife’s gushing enthusiasm for Al-Anon. For those who don’t know, Al-Anon are the parallel group to the AA (Alcoholics Anonymous), where Al-Anon is aimed at the friends and family of AA members. Snake Oil Personally, I’m fairly …

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Is it fixed?

When you want to know if your software is fixed, you need to check it. This may seem obvious, but the number of people who don’t bother cannot be counted. And by “check”, I don’t mean “does the fix look like it worked?” followed by “yes, then let’s deploy it”, I mean something quite different. …

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Netiquette

Netiquette, often ignored at your peril. The beast that is the Internet drives relentlessly forward, with new social media platforms coming out with an awful regularity, “me too, me too, me too”. Never has it been more important to have a firm grasp of the basics of Netiquette. Born in the 1990’s, observing simple Netiquette …

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