John Ashmead on 28 Mar 2005 13:18:04 -0000

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[MPSIG] April 2nd, at 10:30am: $perl: how to have fun with perl, and make some $'s at the same time!

I'm going to be doing "$perl: how to have fun with perl, and make some $'s at the same time!" this coming Saturday at the April MPSIG (Macintosh Programmers Special Interest Group) from 10:30am to 12:30 am at McMobile in Upper Darby (directions:

I've been having a lot of fun with perl over the last few months, writing small scripts and larger ones to get various jobs done for my clients.

Perl is the Swiss Army Knife of programming languages. It can do just about everything. Even for jobs where you might not want to do the final version in perl, it can still be an excellent tool for getting a first take done (a bit like storyboarding a movie before shooting it!).

I've been having a lot of success with code generators in particular, using perl to write programs in other languages, like SQL or C#. There are a lot of tricks for writing good code generators: when to do this (& when not to!), what part of the work to let the code generator do, and what still has to be done by hand, and so on.

Once you've mastered this, it is an invaluable technique to have in your chest of tricks. This last week I was able to build an entire reporting system for a client, with 21 reports & 6500 lines of code, in only ten hours, using a trio of code generators I had built earlier. Needless to say, they were pleased!

What I'm going to do is talk about how you can use perl to automate the boring parts of programming, leaving you free to focus on stuff that is important and/or fun: how do you spot "boring parts", why is perl a good tool for doing this, how do you do this on the Mac, and so on.

Please bring your own stories of how to automate code as well: as interactive as possible is how we like it!



PS. We meet the first Saturday of each month at McMobile, in Upper Darby. Please park on the side, where the auto shop is, leaving the front for the regular McMobile customers. Thanks!

MPSIG's web site is I've also got MPSIG information up at my own web site, at

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John Ashmead Ashmead Software & Consulting, Inc. 139 Montrose Avenue Rosemont, PA 19010-1508 (610) 527 9560 fax (610) 527 4640

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