[Kc] Meeting Minutes: 2003_02_11

Garrett Goebel garrett at scriptpro.com
Wed Feb 12 10:46:09 CST 2003

Last night's meeting was attended by: Stephen Clouse, Garrett Goebel,
Michael Morgan, and Doug Sparling.

Before everyone had arrived, Doug describe some fly-by-the-seat-of-his-pants
late night coding sessions under high-stakes deadlines. Once we figured
everyone who was coming had arrived I launched into puzzles...

We quickly went over last month's "100 Monkeys" puzzle, and I also presented
"100 Monkeys Redux" for this month. The winners of last month's contest were
Gene Daschel and Paul Kulchenko. Congratulations! I'll post the winning
answers separately, and get with the winners to see about getting them their
books. I'm still fiddling with the best way to award prizes to encourage
participation. So this month, one of the prizes will be given by selecting
one entry randomly from the pool of all entries which succeed in producing
the correct result.

I'm seriously trying to figure out ways to attract more people and more
activity to our meetings and mailing list. In that vein, please consider
copying your fellow perl coders in on the monthly puzzles. For instance,
I've just hooked one of my co-workers on this month's puzzle, who hasn't
coded much perl since perl4. Other's who aren't concerned with producing the
most elegant solution to a particular problem, may be happy submitting
something that just plain works with a reasonable chance of winning a free
book. Time to step back down off that soap box... and get on with the
minutes ;)

Doug gave a fine review of Manning's Graphics Programming with Perl (GPWP).
I wasn't quite as prepared myself to review Web Services with Perl (WSWP).
So I made do with an overview and a promise of a more thorough review next
month. Stephen thought that WSWP might just be the thing to help out with a
work related request to publish a portion of his company's web application
server's interface via Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) with Web Service
Definition Language (WSDL).

Michael Morgan mentioned an interesting problem which I urged him to present
on the list. But now that I've brought it up, I'll go ahead and beat him to
it. The question was how to write a script which will read in a list of all
image files in a particular directory, rename them using an ordered sequence
of 1.jpg .. 10.jpg, and resize each image to 640x480. It sounds like a
problem many of us have faced at one time or another. If anyone would like
to post partial or complete solutions to the list, I and I'm sure Michael
would appreciate it.

Along similar lines to Michael, I've been playing with Barrie Slaymaker's
AxKit Image Gallery tutorial
(http://www.perl.com/pub/a/2002/09/24/axkit.html). After the recent birth of
my son Ethan, I figured I'd use the tutorial to come up to speed on AxKit
while also providing a neat way to distribute baby pictures to my
co-workers. Unfortunately, I ran into a snag when Apache via the AxHandleDir
directive invokes a fast handler on the directory holding the images. This
percolates up to Apache::AxKit::Frovider::Filter before throwing a qq{Can't
locate object method "get_handlers" via package "Apache::Filter"} into the
apache error_log.

So far my searches have indicated the "get_handlers" error comes when
mod_perl was compiled without support for PERL_STACKED_HANDLERS. However,
I've recompiled and verified via the return value from
Apache->can_stack_handlers that mod_perl was indeed compiled with support.
Most likely I've misconfigured something along the way. So I'm putting out a
feeler for anyone familiar with stacked handlers and any code examples which
might make use of stacked handlers independantly of AxKit or otherwise show
me how I could hopefully begin to narrow down where the problem lies. Doug
thought he might have run accross some useful code snippets and recommended
I check out the perl.apache.org's documentation and the highly recommended
"mod_perl Developer's Cookbook".

After this, we wandered through various recent events and topics of
interest. Stephen described some of the work he'd done with Perl's Database
Interface (DBI) Module beneath the exposed interface in order to increase
performance querying Oracle databases. This lead into general discussions on
web server arrangements for serving images, dynamic, and proxied content.
And then on into Apache mod_perl 2.0 and the upcoming libareq 2.0 which when
it arrives will enable many of the Apache related CPAN modules to work on
Apache 2.0.

By this point, discussion pretty much puttered out as we each started
glancing quickly at our watches, pagers, and clocks. So we wound up, headed
out, chatted a bit in the parking lot, and went our separate ways. At least
until next month ;)


Garrett Goebel
IS Development Specialist

ScriptPro                   Direct: 913.403.5261
5828 Reeds Road               Main: 913.384.1008
Mission, KS 66202              Fax: 913.384.2180
www.scriptpro.com          garrett at scriptpro.com
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