Dear Doctor Perl

November 2005 Meeting

How many times have you written code and said to yourself "Wow, that's ugly. There has to be a non-awful way to do this."?

Well, here's your chance to pick each other's brains, share cool solutions, and discuss bad solutions. Bring your ugly, slow, broken or confusing code to the February meeting, and we will brainstorm and discuss. No judgements will be passed, no insults hurled... just advice and ideas from people who have plenty of glass-house code and better not throw the stones of contempt.

How to 'bring' code:

  • Put it online, so that we can point Firefox, etc. at it;
  • email it to, and fishbot will run it through the HTML syntax colour machine, and place it online;
  • bring it on a CD, diskette or USB keyfob; or
  • post it on the wiki with a descriptive name, and link to this article.

What sort of code? How long? What if it has dependancies?

Ideally we don't want to talk about one problem for more than 20 minutes or so. Try to pair down the code so that the problems are easy to understand, if possible. Other than that, anything goes. So long as the solution is > 51% perl!

Discussion examples:

At our first Dear Dr. Perl session, we discussed five people's projects:

Included above is LLoydCarr's code, Simon's, Elbie's, and fishbot's. ShuchitVelkar presented slides and code as well.


Here are a few examples of code and discussion from KWPM's recent past.

  • GlobWalk - Here is a bit of hacked code that was discussed at the pub in Nov 2004. Shuchit gave fishbot some helpful ideas.
  • NineBlocks - Here is some code that DanielAllen posted for critique, and the discussion that followed. This is a bit too in depth for a 15-20 minute discussion, but the idea of constructive criticism is there.
  • M, MData and MGenerative - LLoydCarr's mystery code, and different ideas for improvement
  • MrFood - code fishbot presented at the Jan 2005 meeting - a few very helpful ideas have yet to make their way into the code.