Friday, September 10, 2010

New AFT release!

AFT development has dormant for about 1 year, so I decided to reboot it with a minor (experimental) release (5.098) that supports Indexing. This is mostly useful for LaTeX output. I'm not sure how useful the HTML output will be.

I've also started to clean up the Perl source for AFT.  I am currently reading the new edition of Effective Perl Programming and hope to apply more idiomatic Modern Perl conventions to the 14+ year old AFT sources.

As always, AFT is available through "sudo apt-get install aft" under Ubuntu (and Debian?). But to get this new release, go to the AFT website. (For a quick look at Indexing in action, look at the aft reference manual and scroll to the last page).

I need to start archiving my art...

This is an airbrush I made 23 years ago:
Miles Davis

I need to scan in all my old artwork and figure out the best place to post them.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

I miss Perl...

I've been going through my old books and came upon a stash of Perl tomes.  I had a love/hate relationship with Perl. I wrote AFT in Perl, but have not used it as my language of choice in (almost) a decade.

Stumbling across these books got me wondering: Where have all the Perl hackers gone?

Well, I can't say where they have all gone (Ruby? Python? Retirement?), but I miss the funky vibe that Perl had in it's day.  Perl was messy, but the language attracted the most interesting people.  I've always seen it to be the language of poets (as opposed to engineers).  Perl people loved wordplay. Perl people weren't just interested in producing interesting apps, but also making the app source code look interesting.

Well, Perl isn't gone. Apparently, strides have been made in Perl 6 and Rakudo is available for playing around with a lot of Perl 6 features.

But, will the hackers come?

I am reminded of a quote from Ratatouille (Colette introducing the kitchen staff to Linguine):
 "... So you see: We are Artists. Pirates. More than cooks are we."