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Programming Perl Apple

Something For (Almost) Every Developer 263

First up, reader martinjlogan sends along a tutorial for setting up a workable Erlang/OTP development environment on a Mac. Next, reader acid06 notes news of Perl 5.12, including what may be the first delivered fix for the Y2K38 bug. (Hit the Read More link below for some details on Perl's new release strategy.) "After two years of development, the new major version of Perl is now available. Notable new features are: better Unicode support, proper support for time after the Y2038 barrier, new APIs to allow developers to extend Perl with 'pluggable' keywords and syntax, warnings for deprecated features and more. From the linked post: You can get it from the CPAN right now or wait for a platform-specific release (such as Strawberry Perl for Windows)." Finally, from reader snydeq: "InfoWorld's Martin Heller provides an in-depth review of Visual Studio 2010 and finds Microsoft taking several large steps away from its legacy IDE code. 'Visual Studio 2010 is a major upgrade in functionality and capability from its predecessor. Developers, architects, and testers will all find areas where the new version makes their jobs easier. Despite the higher pricing for this version, most serious Microsoft-oriented shops will upgrade to Visual Studio 2010 and never look back,' Heller writes. Chief among the improvements are Microsoft's revamping the core editing and designer views to use WPF, its overhaul of IntelliSense and support for test-driven development, and its intelligent support for multiple versions of the .Net Framework."

Re: Perl. This release cycle marks a change to a time-based release process. Beginning with version 5.11.0, we make a new development release of Perl available on the 20th of each month. Each spring, we will release a new stable version of Perl. One month later, we will make a minor update to deal with any issues discovered after the initial ".0" release. Future releases in the stable series will follow quarterly. In contrast to releases of Perl, maintenance releases will contain fixes for issues discovered after the .0 release, but will not include new features or behavior.
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Something For (Almost) Every Developer

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  • Re:VS upgrade cycle (Score:5, Informative)

    by AndrewStephens ( 815287 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:33PM (#31841052) Homepage

    Agreed. I work in a "serious Microsoft shop" and we have just migrated our projects to VS2008. Experience has taught us that although the Microsoft Dev environments are of high quality, for the first 12 months there will be service packs and patches. We do not want to have to migrate our whole team and our projects every 3 months just to keep up.

    That said, I am looking forward to using VS2010 eventually. I couldn't care less about .NET but the new C++ language features are neat.

  • Re:Stereotyping? (Score:4, Informative)

    by FooAtWFU ( 699187 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @09:52PM (#31841180) Homepage
    Well, almost every Unix developer uses Perl for glue code, and almost every Microsoft developer will use VS2010, and if you're programming a Mac, I don't see how you could be sufficiently non-erudite to use anything but Erlang.
  • Strawberry Perl has been doing betas all the way through the 5.12.0 RC process, so the production release should be out in a week or so.

    What the summary doesn't mention is that there's some stuff in 5.12 that allows Strawberry to add:

    GCC-based 64-bit support for Windows servers

    Strawberry Portable (flash drive) stuff finally works in a first-class manner (with separate core/vendor/site installation targets).

  • Re:VS upgrade cycle (Score:5, Informative)

    by yuriks ( 1089091 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:01PM (#31841232)

    Actually, one of the features of 2010 is that you can target old compiler versions (starting with VS2008) with the new IDE.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @10:24PM (#31841348)
    While you're waiting for Strawberry Perl to put out a release, why not try a package from a company that has their stuff together? Activestate's ActivePerl 5.12.0 is free-for-non-commercial-use and already out []. 32- and 64-bit builds for Windows, Mac, and select Linux distros are available.
  • Re:VS2010 bug (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:04PM (#31841540)

    Actually, the post you mention points out that this is a bug in x64 Windows, not in Visual Studio.

  • Re:Perl 5.12? (Score:5, Informative)

    by mr_mischief ( 456295 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:45PM (#31841698) Journal

    Perl 6 is mainly usable, and some form of it is being used in production at multiple sites. It's just not ready for public "launch" yet. If you really want it, you can get it. [] has it.

    Perl 5 hasn't exactly been sitting still the past decade. The changes between 5.6 and 5.8 or 5.8 and 5.10 are huge. I haven't looked over the full changes list for 5.12 yet, but it sure isn't the language Perl 5 was in 2000.

  • no brainer? (Score:4, Informative)

    by thoughtsatthemoment ( 1687848 ) on Tuesday April 13, 2010 @11:53PM (#31841750) Journal

    I've been using VC++ Express 2008 and was excited to get an upgrade. But instead I was surprised by a few seemingly "dumb" moves:

    1. The default fonts for the editor and tool windows have been changed to a font that looks very blurry on Windows XP. To change them back, you have to change them one by one for every window.

    2. The drag'n Drop capability to add buttons to the tool bars is gone. You have to find the button from another dialog and then click "MoveUp/Down" several times to move it to the place you want.

    3. The GUI I used the most in the Option Dialog, the directories of Exe/Include/Lib, is moved to a place that I haven't yet found.

    4. The startup time is much longer than that of 2008.

    5. The new GUI has a high contrast. Maybe it's just me, but after staring at it for a long time, I feel like I am starting to see ghost images.

  • by MrCrassic ( 994046 ) <deprecated AT ema DOT il> on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @12:53AM (#31841990) Journal

    A few days ago, I used a copy of Visual Studio 2010 that I got from my MSDN Academic Alliance account. It looks really nice, but it ran absolutely dog slow. And this was for debugging VBScript!

    I gave it another shot with Visual Studio 2010 Web Developer Express, which I heard can debug VBScript just like the full devenv can. It was a little faster (though still slower than VS2008), but it nor Visual Basic 2010 Express would debug my VBScript.

    I haven't tried coding on it for real (I also do C/C++ development; can't wait to port that script over to a REAL effin' language), but if it's as slow as I remember it being, I can see lots of companies turning back really quickly.

  • Re:VS upgrade cycle (Score:3, Informative)

    by YttriumOxide ( 837412 ) <yttriumox&gmail,com> on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @01:27AM (#31842128) Homepage Journal

    most people don't upgrade until necessity forces it on them.

    My "day job" is C#, using Visual Studio, and yes, I'd agree with this in general. Not exactly for the reasons you mention, but close enough to it. My job is basically maintaining and extending an SDK that's handed down from our parent company and then handing it over further to third party development companies (plus a bit of in-house coding ourselves, using the same SDK) and providing code level support for them. The current release of our SDK is entirely .NET 2.0 with VS2005 solution files. We've only just very recently started releasing demo applications for the third parties with VS2008 solution files. It'll be a very long time before we even think about touching VS2010 outside of my "playground" Virtual Machines, since any upgrade we do, we're essentially forcing on several hundred other companies...

  • In contrast to ActiveState's ActivePerl (a Windows port of Perl, sponsored by Microsoft, which works well but changes things enough that you generally can't just download some random CPAN module and compile it, you have to use one of the precompiled binary modules they make available), Strawberry Perl is a Windows port of Perl that tries to remain as close as possible to the original UNIX version, but tweaking just enough to get it to work well on the platform. I believe the goal is to move toward Vanilla Perl, which would be essentially taking the plain old normal Perl that runs on UNIX, and just running that on Windows without changing anything.

  • by ais523 ( 1172701 ) <ais523(524\)(525)x)> on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @02:26AM (#31842346)
    I'm offended by your statement that it's impossible to write valid Perl in Latin, and offer this counterexample []. Arguably, a Latinised syntax fits it even better than an English-like one; in both Perl and Latin, there's often enough context to put things in a (relatively) arbitrary order. Of course, I'm someone whose signature is an INTERCAL statement, so you may want to take what I've said with that in mind.
  • Re:VS upgrade cycle (Score:3, Informative)

    by serviscope_minor ( 664417 ) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @04:26AM (#31842760) Journal

    It's interesting to contrast this with bash TAB-completion, which operates in a very similar fashion (albeit in a somewhat different context). The basic capability has been around for a long time, but increasing numbers of utilities are taking advantage of it.

    I think you may musunderstand how BASH tab completon works. The completion has nothing to do with the utilities. BASH has programmable completion, and the program usually decides what to do based on the firstr token (i.e. the command name). It will then make finer grained decisions based on the argument before the cursor.

    This is all programmed in BASH, and the utility authors have no input. What has changed recently is that distributions have started shipping with a long and rather complete program for the command history.

    But as you have surmised correctly, the changes have arrived piecemeal. BASH scripts are easy to parse, and all my completion programs make use of only simple text maniuplation to figure out what to do. C++ on the other hand is very much harder to parse.

    Basically to make intellisense work, you need a C++ parser, and C++ is sadly one of the nastiest languages to parse. I would strongly suspect that they upgraded the compiler front end. To go with it, they updated the back end (the fron tnd has new features), the libraries (TR1 benefit from and C++0x libraries require C++0x support), and intellisense.

    By the time they've done that, they may as well upgrade the GUI.

  • Re:IDEs (Score:3, Informative)

    by moonbender ( 547943 ) <> on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @06:22AM (#31843210)

    I don't know about "just opening it", but you can simply select Import -- Existing Project into Workspace and that's that. This has never been an issue for me with all kinds of projects (some of them rather large). A workspace is just a set of projects; I think many IDEs have a concept like that. If you don't want to bother with it, you can simply have one workspace for all projects with no real downside, that's what I do at home.

    That said, setting up the development environment for a legacy project can be anything but mundane. You need to have all the dependencies available, deal with version changes, have the compiler settings in place. Project files help a lot with that.

  • Re:VS upgrade cycle (Score:3, Informative)

    by bondsbw ( 888959 ) on Wednesday April 14, 2010 @10:02AM (#31844416)

    But the software couldn't be built anymore because it could only be built via Visual Studio and the current release of Visual Studio was incompatible with the version of VS that the app had been created under.

    That hasn't been the case in many years. Every .NET version of Visual Studio (2003, 2005, 2008, and 2010) are backwards compatible with the previous project files and solutions from prior .NET versions. Since I don't use VS for C++ or VB, I can't say whether compatibility goes back further.

    As far as the language and libraries go, Microsoft makes a point to keep things compatible unless there was a major bug with an API. C# 4.0 will compile C# 1.0 source code, and the libraries will still work, assuming you used them correctly and are not dependent on bugs in 1.0/1.1. (One major exception... ASP.NET 1.0/1.1 code is somewhat incompatible with later versions. I call this a feature, considering that the newer versions more strictly conform with the XHTML standard.)

    .NET 3.0+ features like WPF are not available on certain older operating systems, but that's a different subject. The 3.0 features are just additional libraries that run on CLR 2.0. If you don't use those libraries, compile your code for .NET 2.0 and you can use it on the older operating systems. 2.0 compilation has been provided since its introduction in VS 2005.

In less than a century, computers will be making substantial progress on ... the overriding problem of war and peace. -- James Slagle