Friday, May 29, 2009

Catalyst-Action-REST update

A while ago, I talked about my plans for Catalyst-Action-REST, and since then I've made some progress on refactoring to use roles instead of classes. Unfortunately, I've been stalled for the last few weeks, and I could use a nudge to get back on track.

My brain is stuck, basically, on naming issues. This feels a little silly and trivial, but it's something I've run aground on twice now, so I need to fix it somehow. The biggest problem is "serialize" -- Catalyst-Action-REST uses it both as a generic name for "things that either serialize or deserialize" and specifically for "things that serialize" (that is, "convert data to formatted text"). This means I end up wanting to use it to describe a bunch of things:

  • Serialization formats, like YAML or JSON
  • Common code shared by all serialization formats
  • Actions implementing specific serialization formats
  • The role for actions that do either serialization or deserialization
  • The specific action role that does serialization
You can see the results of this sort of naming confusion in the current code on github: Catalyst::ActionRole::SerializeFormat is a pretty goofy namespace.

In my previous post I threatened to split serialization out into its own distribution. I'm not sure how this would overlap with something like Data::Serializer, which is currently used by some of C-A-REST's serialization formats. Maybe it'd be simpler to just punt to Data::Serializer for all the serialization and deserialization, but even then I'd have to keep some class names around for backwards compatibility.


(originally posted at OpenSourcery)

Friday, May 22, 2009

local::lib followup: now with easy bootstrapping

Last week I posted about local::lib, some of the work I was doing on it, and what I wanted to get done.

Well, it's done (for now). As of 1.004001, local::lib comes with an example script that completely bootstraps local::lib into an arbitrary directory. It installs cleanly on a fresh install of Perl 5.8.8, just like this:

wget -O- \ | TARGET=./local perl (I copied the script to my server so the URL is shorter -- it's the same as what's on CPAN, though.)

Future enhancements:

  • A shorter url (t0m suggested, which would be pretty cute)
  • Better shell/environment integration -- right now, you have to Just Know how to get at the directory that local::lib created for you
  • Build tool integration, e.g. make locallib, make localinstalldeps (that's a bit of a mouthful)
Anyone have other suggestions for useful features?

(originally posted at OpenSourcery)

Friday, May 15, 2009

working on local::lib

local::lib is really, really fantastic. It's a simple module: it bundles up all of the settings and environment variables needed to install Perl modules into a private directory. By default it uses ~/perl5, but you can give it some other directory for an argument, so it's perfect for bundling dependencies with your application or installing things in a scratch directory for testing. (It also depends on the correct versions of toolchain modules needed to make things behave consistently, which is a sweet bonus.)

The Makefile.PL has a bootstrap mode, which means that you can configure and install local::lib into one of these private directories without having it pre-installed at all and without touching your @INC.

This is really great, but I want one step better; I want to be able to bootstrap local::lib into a target directory without having to find the latest version, unpack it, etc. I've been working on a script to do this, something like

wget -O- $some_url/local-lib | TARGET=./local perl

(possibly with some sort of integration with David Golden's -Mylib), but there are a few tangles I still have to work out.

I did make some progress yesterday. I found a bug in Module::AutoInstall that was breaking the normal installation of local::lib under some circumstances, and I fixed the bootstrapping code in Makefile.PL so that the latest version should install cleanly on Perl 5.8.8 (still the default on many operating systems). Hopefully I'll figure the rest of my problems out this weekend, and local::lib will become even easier to use.

(originally posted at OpenSourcery)

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ticket tracking with SD

I have a few longer posts that I want to write, but none of them are coming together in my head right now, so I'll put together a quick note about Prophet and SD, by Jesse Vincent and Chia-liang Kao. Prophet is a replicated, peer-to-peer database (I'm cutting its sales pitch short, see the website for more), and SD is a bug tracking system written on top of it.

I had looked at SD a year or so ago, and then forgot about it until I read a post by gugod describing how to use SD to interact with, through SD's helper script git-sd. This caught my interest, of course, because I use for all the CPAN distributions I maintain.

What makes SD interesting to me, at least more so than other local-storage ticketing systems like ticgit, is that it has adaptors ("foreign replica" classes, in Prophet terms) for several other bug tracking systems, including (as mentioned above) RT and Trac, both of which we use at work.

I like the idea of having tickets available right there with my repository, and I especially love not to have to switch contexts, fiddle with my web browser, etc., every time I finish one bug and I'm ready to move on to the next, but I don't have the luxury of telling all my coworkers that we're switching to some new ticketing system. The fact that I also get free disconnected operation is just icing on the cake. SD feels like git in this regard -- distributed, customizable, and able to play well with existing systems instead of needing a complete change-over.

Since reading gugod's post and getting excited about SD, I've tweaked git-sd a little, and pushed my patches back upstream. In particular, git-sd now defaults to using GIT_DIR/.git/sd for its replica, instead of requiring that you manually configure one, which streamlines the process of setting it up. I have plans for a few more things that I want to do before I use SD heavily:

  • make it easy to store username and password per-replica
  • give replicas a short name to refer to for push and pull, like git remote

SD and Prophet are relatively young, but so far almost all the problems I've run into have been minor interface issues rather than big showstopping bugs. Here's the only thing I'm aware of that might fall into that category:

<obra> soooo close to trac roundtrip too
<confound> which would be great for me
<confound> since we use trac at work
<obra> I have one crippling bug.
<obra> I just need a 4 hour block of time
<confound> what is it?
<obra> when you create a ticket in sd, push to trac and pull from trac, it doesn't properly map the uuid
<obra> oh.
<obra> I know what it is now
<obra> (explaining problems)++
And now that Jesse has achieved enlightenment through explaining the problem to me, I expect it'll be fixed quickly. So glad I could help! :)

(originally posted at OpenSourcery)