SPUG: Meeting Announcement -- Debugging mod_perl - 15 March 2005

Andrew Sweger andrew at sweger.net
Wed Mar 9 11:42:01 PST 2005

         March 2005 Seattle Perl Users Group (SPUG) Meeting
       Title: Debugging Perl and mod_perl
     Speaker: Kim Goldov

Meeting Date: Tuesday, March 15, 2005 
Meeting Time: 7:00 - 9:00 p.m. (networking 6:30 - 7:00)
    Location: Amazon.com Pac-Med Building
        Cost: Admission is free and open to the general public
        Info: http://seattleperl.org/


This month's regular meeting should be a treat. The Seattle Perl Users
Group is celebrating its seventh birthday this month. SPUG was born on 17
March 1998 (St. Patrick's Day, no less) at a community center in Ballard.
The group was the result of Tim Maher contemplating his life atop a
smoke-spewing volcano in Java, Indonesia a few weeks earlier where he
resolved to establish a local community to support those using that
fantastic language that is Perl. About two dozen people passed up their
inalienable rights as Americans to drink Green Beer to instead attend this
inaugural meeting in an unseasonably warm and humid community center.
There are hundreds of Perl groups now, but at the time, SPUG was only the
sixth ever formed. (Incidentally, this is why we've retained the SPUG
moniker, despite the fact that later groups came to be known by the "Perl
Monger" appellation.) [Adapted from Tim Maher's SPUG birthday announcement
17 March 2001]

I know folks have various opinions on how best to track down a problem
with a bit of code. For folks that know me, you know that I prefer to ride
along with the running code with the debugger and zero in on the culprit.
Others prefer methods of altering the code and chatting prayers that the
problem will somehow reveal itself (pfft [contempt]). Okay, okay. So
there's more than one way to debug it. Either way, I think you might be
interested to know how you can use the debugger on running CGI code. That
is, CGI code running on the web server. And how about using the debugger
on code running in the mod_perl environment! Even if you swear by print
statements, don't you want to see how this can be done? Next Tuesday, you

Please RSVP as soon as you can. I'm going to pick up a birthday cake to

See below for more information on...

    - Speaker Background
    - Presentation Description
    - RSVP
    - Pre-meeting Dinner
    - Internet Access at Meeting
    - PGP/GnuPG Key Exchange
    - Directions to Meeting
    - Directions from Meeting

Speaker Background

Kim Goldov has been using Perl since 1997. Kim came to Perl from a
background in Lisp and rule-based programming for aircraft definition. He
used Perl initially as a "glue" language in a product that allowed ICAD
engineers to deploy their applications on the web. Kim went on to work at
CarDomain.com, and then W3 Data, Inc. (formerly, WhitePages.com) where he
is currently a lead software engineer.

Presentation Description

The Perl debugger is a useful tool for finding bugs, and for gaining an
understanding of how code is functioning. Kim's presentation will first
review the debugger functionality. This will be followed by a discussion
of debugging code used on the web. Live examples will include both
stand-alone CGI scripts and code running under Apache mod_perl using the
Apache::DB module. Tricks for integrating with Emacs will be included.


Please take a couple minutes to sign-up on Meetup.com and indicate if
you'll be attending. It's not required, but it is immensely helpful to

If you personally feel that you have a 50% or better chance of showing up
at the meeting, please RSVP. Toward that end, I have setup a Perl
Meetup.com group,


Please consider signing up and joining the SPUG meetup.com group. Through
the website, you may manage your RSVP for the meeting and request
automatic reminders be emailed to you personally. 

Pre-meeting Dinner

I'm swamped this month at won't be able to attend a pre-meeting
dinner. For those that are interested, please feel free to start a new
thread on the mailing list to discuss logistics.

Internet Access at Meeting

A link to the Internet will be provided at the meeting (provided you have
suitable equipment). Tables, power strips, and Ethernet hubs will be
available in limited quantity. 802.11g WiFi will be available. Please use
the SSID: SPUG. The beacon will be broadcasting. No WEP/WPA. Please note
that the provided network services are _not_ secure. As I'm sure most of
you know, it is a trivial matter to "sniff" network traffic. Please use a
secure application encryption protocol or other secure VPN solution to
protect sensitive information. Use of the the provided network services is
at your own risk. Be a good network citizen. The network services are
provided gratis by our hosts. Access can be revoked at any time without
prior notification.

PGP/GnuPG Key Exchange

If you want to exchange PGP/GnuPG signatures, please contact me directly
with your public key (now!) and I'll bring fingerprint checklists for
participants. Contact me if you want to know more. Oh, and you have to
show up at the meeting to exchange ID's and all that, please. Otherwise
this whole key exchange thing doesn't work.

Directions to Meeting

Our meeting will take place at the Amazon.com headquarters at 1200 12th
Ave S, Seattle, Washington.

Please let me know if you find errors or a better route. Thanks.

I-5 (from North or South)

On I-5, take the S Dearborn St exit and turn West on Dearborn (I-5
Southbound: turn right; I-5 Northbound: turn left) and proceed
approximately one or two blocks.

Turn right on 8th Ave S (the first light) and proceed North for three

Turn right on S King St and proceed East for approximately five
blocks. You will pass under I-5.

Turn right on 12th Ave S and proceed South for approximately five blocks.
Along this way, you will cross over the Dr. Jose P. Rizal bridge and you
should see the Pac-Med tower directly ahead.

At this point, notice that you have been going in a circle.

Skip to Pac-Med Building below.

I-90 (from East)

On I-90, take the Rainier Ave S (hwy 900) exit Northbound and proceed
approximately six blocks.

Turn left on S King St and proceed West for approximately two blocks.

Turn left on 12th Ave S and proceed South for approximately five blocks.
Along this way, you will cross over the Dr. Jose P. Rizal bridge and you
should see the Pac-Med tower directly ahead.

Pac-Med Building

Turn right at Charles St (the light after the bridge). The Amazon.com
Pac-Med building is visible ahead and on the left as you make the turn and
proceed South on Charles (Charles borders the West side of the

The North parking lot entrance will be the second drive way on the left
(the first has a Do Not Enter sign). The parking lot is on the left just
past the parking attendant booth. The "carpool only" spaces should be okay
to park in after 6:30.

Walk to the South entrance of the tower. There is stair next to the
parking garage structure that leads to a convenient path that goes around
the building to the main entrance on the South side of the building.

Enter building and go to the security desk. Sign in and wait to be
escorted to the meeting room (just like when we met at Safeco in the
U-district, more or less).

Google Maps:


  (I just love these Google Map links!)

Yahoo! Maps:




Directions from Meeting

Getting Back Onto I-5 Southbound

(Thanks to member Ron Pero for this helpful information.)

Although there is an I-5 northbound exit at S Dearborn St, there is no
entrance back onto southbound I-5 at Dearborn. So don't bother trying to
simply go back the same way you came.

Exit the Pac-Med parking lot on the East side of building (this is Golf Dr
S) and turn right. Bear left onto 15th Ave S (the right fork is 14th Ave
S. Proceed approximately 1.5 miles. Turn right on S Spokane St and go down
steep hill. Turn right at light and follow signs to I-5 southbound.

If you exit the Pac-Med parking lot on the West side of the building, turn
right on 12th Ave S and then right again on Golf Dr S (the light is the
one at the South end of the Dr. Jose P. Rizal bridge). Continue as above.

Technically, there's another way onto I-5 SB, but it involves some other
crazy route that I'm not going to provide here.

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