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Perl - Getting a Unicode Character's Hex Codepoint

Posted in , Fri, 29 Sep 2006 18:00:00 GMT

I recently responded to someone asking how to get a Unicode hex codepoint from a Unicode literal on DevShed Forums. Since I think it may be more generally useful, here's my solution. The following function takes a unicode literal, converts it to a decimal representation using unpack and then converts it to hex usning sprintf:

sub codepoint_hex {
    if (my $char = shift) {
        return sprintf '%2.2x', unpack('U0U*', $char);

my $cp = codepoint_hex('カ'); # eq '30ab'
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Apple MacBook Pros - Aesthetics over Ergonomics

Posted in Sun, 17 Sep 2006 07:04:00 GMT

The other day I went to a store to check out the 13", 15.4" and 17" MacBook/Pros and especially their keyboards and touchpad placement. One of my pet peeves regarding laptops is manufacturers that position the touchpad in the center of the area below the keyboard vs. centering it under the G and H keys where hands are normally positioned. While centering the touchpad against the laptop is an aesthetic (appearances) win, it loses out on ergonomics (actual human usage) because it requires hand/palm movement to effectively use the touchpad. Laptops that center the touchpad typically have your thumbs end up in the upper left corner of the touchpad rather than centered unless you move your hands. This is compared to centering the touchpad under the G and H keys the palms typically don't have to move to use the touchpad.

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Perl 5 - Powering Web 2.0

Posted in , Tue, 05 Sep 2006 15:07:00 GMT

Whenever popular Perl sites are discussed, a number of large websites are mentioned with the usual suspects being Amazon, IMDB, LiveJournal, Slashdot and others. While this is a good list, what often doesn't get mentioned is the new Web 2.0 sites that Perl 5 is powering. Perl 5 web frameworks (such as Catalyst and Jifty), OO models (Moose) and other techniques (PAR) dramatically improve Perl for web development and large-scale projects making many complaints about the language irrelevant. These, when combined with CPAN, continue to make Perl 5 a very attractive language for new web apps.

Examples of Perl-powered Web 2.0 sites include, (which uses the Mason templating system / mini-framework), EditGrid (an AJAX-enhanced online spreadsheet running on the Catalyst framework) and Vox (a multi-user blogging site by Six Apart, maker of LiveJournal, MovableType and TypePad). Other sites include HiveMinder, IUseThis, and MighTyV. Of these six sites, four are running on the Catalyst framework. HiveMinder is built on the Jifty framework. Yahoo is even interested in developers with Perl/Catalyst skills along with C and Java for this Senior Software Engineering position (screenshot from Screenshots and links of active sites are provided below.
Description: Social Bookmarking
Perl Framework: Mason
editgrid EditGrid
Description: Online Spreadsheets
Perl Framework: Catalyst
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Notable social bookmarking/networking for Typo

Posted in , Sat, 02 Sep 2006 17:20:00 GMT

Benjamin Gorlick asked for WP-Notable-style social bookmarking/networking links on the #typo IRC channel so I put one together in the form of a single view (template file). WP-Notable, by Cal Evans, displays a row of icons with links to social bookmarking/networking sites under your blog article allowing for easy posting tovarious social bookmarking sites.

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Recommendations for The Perl Foundation

Posted in Sun, 27 Aug 2006 02:28:00 GMT

Bill Odom, President of The Perl Foundation, recently posted a blog entry called TPF RFC. My comment to that blog entry wasn't approved for some reason so I figured I'd post some easy-to-accomplish recommendations here.

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Typo - License for TypoGarden Themes

Posted in Sun, 27 Aug 2006 01:48:00 GMT

There has been some confusion about the license that covers the themes submitted to the 2005 TypoGarden Theme Contest. Many themes do not mention a specific license and the contest page simply says:

All themes submitted will be made available for download. Don’t submit it unless you want it to be used by tens of thousands of Typo users.

Geoffrey Grosenbach, of TypoGarden, mentioned on the #typo IRC channel that all the themes submitted are under the MIT License. This makes sense since Typo itself is under the MIT License.

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ICANN - Handing out a License to Steal?

Posted in Fri, 25 Aug 2006 14:09:00 GMT

George Kirikos discusses ICANN's proposed tiered pricing which will allow registrars to charge whatever they want on a per-domain basis. This is also being discussed on Slashdot. This currently covers the biz, info and org domains. The com TLD was recently renewed but the speculation is that it may go this way when it comes up for renewal again. Differential, per-domain per-year pricing has been confirmed by Vint Cerf of ICANN. Theoretically, Google could be charged $1million or even $1billion per year for say

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Hadoop Distributed File System

Posted in Wed, 23 Aug 2006 05:49:00 GMT

I just ran across the Hadoop DFS which is an open source alternative to distributed file systems such as GoogleFS, OneFS and others. GoogleFS and OneFS are both proprietary so it's nice to finally have a FOSS solution. MySpace uses OneFS. From the Hadoop Wiki:

Hadoop's Distributed File System is designed to reliably store very large files across machines in a large cluster. It is inspired by the Google File System. Hadoop DFS stores each file as a sequence of blocks, all blocks in a file except the last block are the same size. Blocks belonging to a file are replicated for fault tolerance. The block size and replication factor are configurable per file. Files in HDFS are "write once" and have strictly one writer at any time.

Until now, I had only been aware of MogileFS for FOSS solutions, however MogileFS is designed for smaller files such as images and the others are designed for very large files. It will be interesting to see how much traction Hadoop DFS gets since it could be very useful and a good FOSS compliment to MogileFS. Hadoop is part of the Lucene Apache project. Distributed File System digg:Hadoop Distributed File System reddit:Hadoop Distributed File System spurl:Hadoop Distributed File System wists:Hadoop Distributed File System simpy:Hadoop Distributed File System newsvine:Hadoop Distributed File System blinklist:Hadoop Distributed File System furl:Hadoop Distributed File System fark:Hadoop Distributed File System blogmarks:Hadoop Distributed File System Y!:Hadoop Distributed File System smarking:Hadoop Distributed File System magnolia:Hadoop Distributed File System segnalo:Hadoop Distributed File System

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Lucene on CPAN

Posted in Tue, 22 Aug 2006 01:15:00 GMT

Lucene is a Java-based fulltext indexing and search solution run under the Apache Foundation. It is arguably the most popular of many fulltext solutions now but its use of Java makes it a secondary choice for many non-Java projects. To improve the speed of Lucene, there are several C/C++ ports including:

  • Lucene4c: Apache Foundation project
  • Lucy: Apache Foundation project
  • CLucene: Sourceforge project
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Categories vs. Tags

Posted in , Wed, 16 Aug 2006 06:18:00 GMT

Today, Google announced the next version of Blogger, Blogger Beta. As part of this upgrade, Blogger will finally get categorization. Like Gmail, Blogger will only give you 'labels' which other blog engines such as Typo and MovableType give you both categories and tags. When both categories and tags are available, there's often a question as how to use them, either together or one or the other. This can be seen in some blogs where there doesn't seem to be rhyme or reason to what is a category and what is a tag. For Typo, this is somewhat complicated by that fact that tags came along after categories, so some blogs used them for the same thing but never got rid of the old categories after switching to tags so there appears to be some overlap.

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