Reconstructed History (1999-2004)

Boston Perl Mongers

from posts of: Ronald J Kimball, Uri Guttman, Elaine HFB, etc.


Boston Perl Mongers history is divided into three parts, like Gaul.

Key Highlights (annals)

(Note. This file is in Reverse chronological order, most recent at the top. All start with a table of contents by year.)

Extracted 1999-Oct to 2004-Sep from mailing list archives, public and Private. Public Archive

The Boston University era 2004-04-27 - 2005-04-12

Sean Quinlan and other BU staff arranged for classroom use in BU Kenmore building. Second Tuesdays only if no Red Sox Home Game, we had to be flexible.

(The BU Era continues up into/down from Mid History; the file break is because because Mid History is history from the Wiki Era.)


##Tech Meeting Tuesday, August 3

We’ll have two presentations at tomorrow’s meeting.

Ian Langworth will be giving a talk on Kwiki, a Wiki environment written in Perl.
This will be an updated version of his talk from YAPC.

(Narrator: This talk was the inspiration for Boston.PM getting it’s on kWiki. And that kWiki provided a separate history. END OF AN ERA)

Also, Uri Guttman will give a talk on Parallel Sessions in Perl. Although I did not see this talk when Uri presented it at OSCON last week, my understanding is that it is not entirely about Stem.

In addition, we’ll hear about our own Dan Sugalski getting hit in the face with a pie and other goings on at OSCON.

Tech Meeting w/ Damian Conway, Tuesday, July 13

Damian Conway will be giving his Everyday Perl presentation at tonight’s meeting. 404-archived To allow him more time, we’ll be starting at 7pm (instead of the usual 7:30pm).

Greg London, longtime member and author of Impatient Perl, will be sponsoring refreshments at tonight’s meeting. At my suggestion, Greg will be providing cookies, pretzels, and other snacks. Please make your own arrangements for dinner.

“Impatient Perl” => A GNU-FDL training manual for the hyperactive Free HTML/PDF downloads at paperback/coil-bound available for $8.50+s&h [GNU-FDL = GNU Free Document License]

If you’d like to help decide which talk we’ll ask Damian to give, check out the list at and then post to the discussion list or send your choice to me. I recommend a vote for one of the following talks: Everyday Perl, Sufficiently Advanced Technologies, Time::Space::Continuum.

The pizza and beverage fund needs a (corporate) sponsor.

(Damian now presents updated Everyday Raku - Bill 2022)

Tech Meeting Monday, June 14

Greg London showed off his new book, Impatient Perl, “a Perl training manual for the hyperactive programmer”, and gave out review copies. has more info, as well as HTML and PDF versions of the book, and a link to the print-on-demand publisher from which you can purchase a nice bound hard copy of the book.

I showed a short web script I’ve written for users of , which is an online version of the Ricochet Robot board game. If you enjoy board games and puzzles, check out the site!

Ken highlighted some interesting Perl code in a project he’s working on, leading to a discussion on methods for securely storing credit card data.

We also discussed Tim Kohl’s templating needs and Chris Devers’s DBM needs.

Afterwards, we went to Boston Beer Works, where we talked about board games and puzzles, the upcoming remake of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, 30-foot-tall houses of cards, and digital photography.

Many thanks to Ken for going to get his laptop in the middle of the meeting, and to Tim for being the BU liaison this time around.

Tech Meeting Tues, May 18

Uri will be giving his full presentation on Sort::Maker, a module that makes it easy to create powerful and efficient sorting functions.

May 11 - 2d Tues meeting moved because Red Sox Home Game

This meeting will put us onto our new schedule of the second Tuesday of every month, except when this would conflict with a Red Sox home game.

Tech Meeting Tues, April 27

Yes, Virginia, there is a tech meeting! Next Tuesday, April 27, we will have a meeting at Boston University, Kenmore Classroom Building, 565 Commonwealth Ave.

This will be our first meeting at BU; if it works out we may have future meetings there as well.

The format for this meeting will be a series of short talks. (Like lightning talks, but not necessarily limited to 5 minutes. :) So far, Uri Guttman, Greg London, and Sean Quinlan will each be speaking about projects they’re working on. I’ll (Ronald Kimball) also be looking for an interesting obfuscation to present for our amusement and/or bemusement.

If you’re interested in giving a short presentation at this meeting (or a longer presentation at a future meeting), please let me know.

Thanks to Sean Quinlan for securing the meeting space for us!

The era 2001-02-13 - 2004-01-13, the Boston Globe online property, used Perl for their feeds in and out, and was happy to sponsor at their Seaport / Fort-Point-Channel district offices. A couple sheets of plywood converted the pool table into a casual conference table for (sponsored) Pizza.

January 13th, 2004 - Dan Sugalski - Parrot

Dan Sugalski (former local, Perl 5 core dev and chief architect for Perl 6 Parrot VM ) will be presenting a tutorial on Parrot.
Here is his description of the talk:

The talk is a run-through of an Introduction to Parrot tutorial session I’m giving at the NordU conference later in January. It’s a three hour (more or less) introduction to parrot, covering some history, the reasons and driving principles, and the basic architecture. There’ll be some demo programs, including a demo of my current work project (a compiler for an old 4GL with integrated screen and DB handling–the demo program is a screen-based DB data editor that’s entirely in parrot)

(The Parrot VM was one of the original Perl 6 platforms.) (Dan was a co-author of Perl 6 Essentials (ISBN:0-596-00499-0, Allison Randal, Dan Sugalski, Leopold Tötsch, 2003: O’Reilly & Associates.)

Also, Darren Chamberlain will be giving away a copy of his new O’Reilly book, Perl Template Toolkit.

END OF AN ERA - Last Tech Meeting at


Social Meeting Mon, Dec 29 - John Harvard’s (brewpub) Harvard Sq.

Tech Meeting Tues, Dec 9

Uri Guttman will be giving a short talk on his File::Slurp module, which provides a convenient way to read in an entire file.

Bill Ricker will discuss solving word puzzles with Perl one-liners, such as the RN puzzle from Nov 23 at .

Free review copies of three new books from O’Reilly: one each of the Perl Cookbook 2nd edition, Learning Perl Objects, References, and Modules, and the Regular Expression Pocket Reference. These will be given out on the condition of writing and posting a review.

(Another presentation to be determined. Perhaps you have a neat script you’ve written, or a favorite CPAN module you want to evangelize, or an obfuscation to stump us with.)

Tech Meeting Tues, Sep 30 w/ Damian Conway - Perligata

Damian Conway will be giving his infamous Perligata talk.
Learn how to program Perl in Latin!

CPAN Lingua::Romana::Perligata

Tech Meeting Tues, August 19 - Parrot

Ronald J Kimball will be presenting an exclusive look at (former Boston.PM local) Dan Sugalski’s recent research in Parrot development.
(The Parrot VM was one of the original Perl 6 platforms.)

We may hear from Kenneth Graves on his plan to port CLU to Parrot.

I’ll also find an interesting JAPH or obfuscation for us to dissect.

Also, O’Reilly recently sent us a review copy of two different books, which I will give out at the meeting to Mongers who agree to write reviews in exchange. (Sorry, I don’t have the books at hand; you’ll just have to come to the meeting to find out the titles!)

Tech Meeting Tues, June 10 - Kevin Falcone - AxKit

Kevin Falcone will be giving a talk on AxKit:

AxKit - Moving beyond static content with taglibs and providers

When developers start working with AxKit, their first thoughts are creating static XML pages and rejoicing in the separation of content and display that the stylesheet pipeline provides. However, once developers move beyond simple websites, AxKit provides two ways to aid in the generation of dynamic content. Taglibs provide custom tagsets for use in your pages, while providers are used to create modules that work like mod_perl handlers. This talk will compare and contrast these two approaches to dynamic content and provide examples of when each would be most useful for a site.

If you are speaking at YAPC or TPC, and would like to present your talk at this meeting, please let me know.

Social Meeting Wed March 26th w/ Schuyler Erle - CBC

Schuyler Erle is in Boston this week on business for O’Reilly (Perl etc publisher), and he’d like to hang out with us! We’ll be getting together tomorrow night (Wednesday, March 26) at the Cambridge Brewing Company in Kendall Square, Cambridge. 7pm to Whenever.

Social Meeting Thursday, March 6 BBW Fenway

Boston Beer Works

Tech Meeting, Jan 21 - Damian Conway

Damian Conway will be talking on Life, the Universe, and Everything!

Thanks to Uri Guttman for acting as Damian’s liaison.


December 10, 2002

We should be getting a demo of the new Mac::Carbon module from Chris Nandor.
After that, we may head to a nearby social environment.
Come to tomorrow’s tech meeting, where you can decide what happens!

Hosted at offices of in Seaport/Fort-Point-Channel District.

Pizza and refreshments will be provided by

November 21 - Social meeting, Village Smokehouse, Brookline Village

Weds, October 23 - Tech Meeting

Due to scheduling conflicts, there will not be a Tech Meeting this week or next. Instead, the Tech Meeting will be on Wednesday, October 23. This is later in the month than usual, but it was the most workable date for myself and our hosts at

Uri Guttman will be presenting “A Stem Cell Cookbook”. This talk will cover how easy it is to create working Stem Cells and how to incrementally add features to make them more powerful.

Jim Freeman will be presenting “A New Kind Of Module”.

Tech Meeting Tues, Sep 17

Uri has arranged a couple lightning talks for us.
I (Ronald J Kimball) will be giving a lightning talk on my proposal for a new syntax for L<> in POD, and I believe Uri will be giving a lightning talk entitled “the ‘instant’ Stem cookbook”.

Greg London will give a half hour talk on his new module, EasyArgs, which makes using command line arguments easier.

This leaves us with time for one more mid-length talk. Let me know if you have something you’d like to present (whether it’s a module, a script, an obfuscation, whatever), or a topic you’d like to have people discuss at the meeting.

Also, I will be giving out a review copy of two new O’Reilly books (which arrived the day after last month’s meeting :/ ), Mastering Regular Expressions 2nd Ed and Perl and LWP.

Tech Meeting Tues, Aug 13

Federico Lucifredi will be giving a talk on Perl<->Qt Bindings. Here’s Federico’s abstract for his talk:

The PerlQT bindings enable developers to create graphic applications in the scripting language of choice within the OpenSource movement. The author will initially cover all the Qt basics necessary to understand how GUI programming is done ‘the Qt way’ as well as Perl module programming fundamentals. After reviewing what changes in the Perl bindings we will then proceed to simultaneously review PerlQt and C++/Qt code showing the same functionality. This will conclude the presentation by highlighting the shortcomings of the currently available release of the bindings while at the same time providing a real world example of their use.

Additionally, Uri has arranged a lightning talk to begin the meeting. Jerrad Pierce will give a short talk on his figlet module. FIGlet is a program for drawing text in fancy ASCII letters.

Damian Conway Classes July 1-3

monday-wednesday, july 1-3, are the 3 days of classes Damian will be teaching. the location is now set and it will be in Davis sq. i will mail directions to the registrants. remember, that students and the currently unemployed can take any or all of the classes at 50% off! more info can be found at


Damian Conway - Special Tech Meeting Monday July 1

Our next tech meeting will be Monday, July 1, with Damian Conway! Damian will be giving his infamous Extreme Perl talk.
This meeting will be free and open to anyone who wants to attend. Pizza and refreshments will be provided by - Ronald

monday July 1 at 7pm is Damian’s free lecture to it will be at the usual meeting place in’s place. Damian will be talking about extreme perl. pizza and drinks will be generously provided by


(Full title is “Extreme Perl – The Horror That Is SelfGOL”.)

Sunday June 30th, Damian Conway Social

Sunday June 30 at 3pm is the social. food (from including veggie side dishes and salad) and beverages are FREE!! and you are welcome to bring your own food. we will have a grill to use. i need RSVP’s ASAP!! so far only 2 of you have said you are coming. that is ridiculous for free BBQ and beer. so reply now or lose out. i will email directions to my place soon.


Tech Meeting Tues, June 11

This is great opportunity for people who will be presenting at YAPC to try out their presentations and get feedback. Please email me if you would like to give your YAPC talk at the tech meeting.

Kevin Falcone will be presenting on Mod_Parrot: embedding and extending the parrot virtual machine. This talk will demonstrate the use of Parrot’s current embedding interface, and how to create a custom PMC to communicate with an external library.

Tech Meeting Tues, May 14

Andrew Langmead will give a presentation on the integration of Perl and Zope.

Tech Meeting, Tues, Apr 23

There’s no formal presentation scheduled for this meeting, but I’ll work on one or two things to present. Also, if you have a piece of code you’d like reviewed, this could be a good opportunity.

I presented, a program I’d written that solves basic cryptograms.

The program (and a bunch of input files) are now available at (404; modern URL:)

Download it, play around with it, send me comments or questions! I’ve made a few minor changes since the meeting, but haven’t worked on the major suggestions yet.

Social Meeting Tuesday, April 16 - the Burren in Davis Sq.,

from 7pm until whenever. Under 21 welcome.

Tech Meeting Wed, Mar 13

Jon Gunnip will be unable to attend tomorrow night’s tech meeting. Watch for his Ruby talk at a future meeting.

Instead, Mitchell Charity will give a short presentation on Inline, from the point of view of “We should glue orthogonal objects together using C APIs and Inline, instead of the current practice of over-stuffing C extensions.”

We’ll also have Dan Sugalski’s update on the status of Perl6.


(A social meeting may have happened. I can’t tell from the mailing list archive if they ever agreed where & when.)

Tech Meeting, Jan 16, 2002

Jon Gunnip has offered to give a short presentation on Ruby, a language that shares many similarities to Perl.

Dan Sugalski will give an update on the status of Parrot, the future Perl6 interpreter.


Tech Meeting Dec 11

Jesse Vincent will be giving a presentation on RT. Here’s his blurb:

RT is an enterprise-grade ticketing system built in perl. It’s used by a couple thousand sites around the world to track bugs, manage customer service, manage a NOC and even track sales leads.

I suspect that folks would be more interested in seeing how RT is put together from the inside than that I rehash my “how to use the tool” schpiel. It’s on the order of 25,000 lines of OO Perl. It’s got a CLI frontend, an incoming mail gateway. It has a web UI written in HTML::Mason. It’s got some automation to haul its dependencies down from CPAN in a slightly smarter way than vanilla CPAN prereqs. It’s got a plugin architecture so that local sites can drop in custom business logic without having to modify the core codebase. Oh and it talks to an SQL database using DBIx::SearchBuilder to abstract out almost all of the database dependent behavior.

Afterwards, I’ll have an obfuscation or some such to share. - Ronald

About 20 people attended the tech meeting at last night.

Jesse Vincent presented RT, his enterprise-grade ticketing system built in Perl. He gave an overview of the system, showed it in use at, and discussed issues including module dependencies, managing a large project, and dealing with spam to the mail gateway.

For more on RT, go to

I (Ronald) presented a JAPH of mine that animates letters swapping around until they form the usual phrase. Tip: if your script produces no output, check the line endings. ;)

You can see the JAPH on Perl Monks at

Thanks to everyone who attended, and to for hosting. Next month’s meeting will be on a Monday or Wednesday, to accommodate people who haven’t been able to come to the Tuesday meetings.

Tech Meeting, Nov 13

Greg London has offered to give a talk on his parser and profiler modules, Parse::Nibbler. “The last tweak on version 1.08 has it parsing verilog at 1140 lines per second. The profiler is a module I wrote to attempt to track down subroutine usage and timing in the parser.”

I’ve also found a very interesting obfuscation on Perl Monks for us to enjoy.

Greg London presented Parse::Nibbler, his parsing module written in pure Perl. See his previously sent followup message for more details.

I presented an obfuscation by Marcus Post. The code is a stereogram which, when executed, rewrites itself to contain a new image! You can find this obfuscation on Perl Monks:

Tech Meeting, Oct 23

Dan Sugalski will be giving his presentation of Parrot, originally scheduled for last month’s meeting. Parrot will be the core of the Perl 6 interpreter. See for more information about Parrot.

Tech Meeting Sep 11

I don’t have an agenda for this meeting; if there’s something you’d like to present or discuss, let me know. I will be sure to find an interesting obfuscation to dissect; it’s been a while since we’ve done that, I think.

(Narrator: This meeting didn’t happen.)

Tue Sep 11 10:41:07 CDT 2001

Tonight’s tech meeting has been Canceled. Best wishes to everyone who has been affected by this morning’s tragedy.

Tech Meeting Aug 14

Dan Sugalski will give his presentation on Perl6 internals.

Elaine Ashton will give her talk on Grokking the CPAN.

Sean Quinlan will lead a discussion on getting modules ready for distribution.

Tech Meeting, Damian Conway, July 9th, Perl 6

Okay, I’ve tabulated the votes for Damian’s presentation. It looks like the practical won out over the fantastical (although with Damian you’ll always get some of both) and the winning topic is…


Perl 6 Prospective This talk looks at what is known, surmised, guessed, wished for, and dreaded about Perl 6. It discusses the history, motivations, syntax, semantics, and likely idioms of the new Perl.

Damian will give his talk on Monday, July 9, at the offices of The meeting will begin at 7:30. Pizza and refreshments will be provided, as usual. Directions below.

As always, the tech meeting is free and open to everyone who wants to come. Please RSVP to me if you plan on attending.


P.S. Don’t forget to RSVP to Uri (uri at if you want to go to the social meeting on Sunday, July 8. Damian will be there too!

Now that we’ve all had time to recover from Damian Conway’s information-packed presentation at last Monday’s tech meeting, here’s a followup on the meeting.

We had about 55 people, possibly our largest tech meeting ever. After introductions (which take a lot longer with 55 people!), Damian spoke for about three hours on the subject of Perl6. (With frequent threats to talk even longer. :) For more on Perl6, check out

Halfway through, there was a break to give away goodies. Joe Johnston had brought several O’Reilly books, including the new XML book which he coauthored. I managed to come up with a new and amusing way to give away the books; each book went to the person who gave the best impression of the animal on the cover! Here’s a quick summary:

CVS Pocket Reference (x4) Sheep Mastering Algorithms w/ Perl Wolf Advanced Perl Programming Panther Perl for System Administration Otter Programming Web Services w/ XML-RPC Jellyfish

There were also several copies of the Proceedings from last year’s Perl Conference that Ranga Nathan had brought, and the gang gave out funny little packets of paper-like mints.

Thanks to for hosting, to Damian for presenting, and to everyone who showed up for being there.

Social July 8th, 2001 - Uri’s house - with Damian Conway and Michael Schwern

Sponsored by Damian Conway’s Advanced Object Oriented Perl class July 10-11, arranged by Uri, which were a paid event at Kendall Sq Marriott.

Tech Meeting, Jun 5

Uri Guttman will give us a presentation on Stem, his Perl-based general purpose networking toolkit:

How to Use and Configure Stem

This is a practical guide to Stem. First it will cover the top level architecture and design. Then configuration of Stem Cells will be shown with many examples. Finally, the internal API which supports making Stem Cells will be explored.

Uri will also be presenting Stem at YAPC.

Tech Meeting Tues May 1

Kirrily “Skud” Robert and Shane Landrum will be presenting Reefknot, a shared calendaring project. An abstract of this talk is included below.

Also, Chris Nandor will tell us about the current state of MacPerl. With the recent releases of both perl5.6.1 and Mac OS X, there’s a lot going on! will be providing pizza and beverages.

Reefknot: shared calendaring in Perl

Kirrily “Skud” Robert and Shane Landrum

Have you ever wished your enterprise could do without MS Exchange? Ever wanted to schedule events with other members of your club, family, or organization? Do you use Perl? If so, you want to know about Reefknot.

Reefknot is a project to build standards-compliant shared calendaring tools in Perl. We want to make it easy for Perl programmers to build calendaring clients and servers that speak iCalendar (RFC2445) and other standard protocols.

The Reefknot project’s major work to date is a major revision of Net::ICal; release 0.14 will be available soon on CPAN. We’ll talk about the project’s goals, show some of our recent work, and discuss what we’re working on next. Bring your ideas for how you want to use calendaring tools.

See for more information.

If you want to see what’s going on before the meeting, check out:

Also see my development journal:

Chris Nandor pudge at
Open Source Development Network pudge at

Social Meeting - April 30 - CBC

(With the ReefKnot speakers)

Some have expressed interest in having a social meeting, since there hasn’t been one in a while. Well, here’s your chance.

I’m anarchically calling a social meeting for Monday night (4/30), 6:30pm and after, at the Cambridge Brewing Company at Kendall Square. Since Skud’s only going to be in town for a few days, this seemed like the best time. She and I will be there; feel free to join us. We’ll do drinks and dinner, then ponder other amusements in the area (pool, movies?). Or maybe we’ll just hang around and talk.

Please send me mail if you’re planning on coming so I know how big of a table to ask for.


– Shane R. Landrum slandrum at

Tech Meeting Apr 17 - Time::Schedule - Ronald Kimball will be having a technical meeting this coming Tuesday, April 17, at the offices of, starting at 7:30 pm.

I would like to present one of two projects that I have been working on recently:

The serious project is a package that allows for flexibly scheduling items, with limits on the number of items in certain time periods. Each item can control how it is rescheduled when there is a conflict.

Good news! I will be presenting the aforementioned scheduling package.

This package contains two modules, Time::Schedule and Time::Schedule::Item, which work together to create a schedule. The Time::Schedule object has limits on the number of items that may be scheduled within a certain time period (i.e. no more than three items every hour or six items every three hours).

When there is a conflict in inserting a new Time::Schedule::Item object, the object’s reschedule() method is called with the next available time. The reschedule() method may simply return the suggested time, or it may calculate and return a preferred later time. In the latter case, reschedule() will be called again if that time is also unavailable. Alternatively, reschedule() may cancel the insertion by returning a negative number.

I designed this package with an eye towards flexibility. Thus: 1. The Time::Schedule object does not care what the items are, nor what the time units correspond to. 2. Each Time::Schedule::Item may have its own arbitrarily complex reschedule() method. 3. Derived classes may be created from either or both modules.

Remember to RSVP to me if you plan on coming to the meeting on Tuesday.


Tech Meeting Tues March 13

James Freeman will be presenting PISE, rescheduled from the previous meeting. PISE is a system for creating web interfaces to command line tools via XML.

Other topics of discussion may include the DeCSS code that we’ve been discussing on the list. Does anyone know how it works? :)

Another successful meeting at! We had about 20 people at the meeting last Tuesday.

James Freeman presented presented PISE, a system written in Perl for creating web interfaces to command line tools using XML templates. The system has some very nice features, such as forking a process to execute the command line in case it will take a long time to finish. It was noted that the Perl code wanted some improvements, however.

While James was setting up, I played with the nifty features of the projector, such as pointers, underlining, and zoom. Reading the manual really does pay off! :)

After the presentation, we discussed the short DeCSS code that was recently posted to the list. I reviewed a thread on the Fun With Perl list, that resulted in the code shrinking from 526 characters to 472. I wasn’t able to explain the algorithm used in the code, though.

Thanks to James for the presentation, for hosting, and everyone who attended!

If you are interested in giving a presentation at a future technical meeting, let me know! If you’re giving a presentation at an upcoming conference, this is a great way to rehearse.


P.S. Uri brought three copies of Network Programming with Perl and Data Munging with Perl, and gave them to those who gave the most convincing sob stories about why they needed one book or the other.
Nancy’s tale of woe involving Visual Basic and inconsistent fixed width formatting was especially heart-rending. :)

I was touched by the fact that the VB code was written by a manager.

Gosh, I’m honored that my sob story was so well received. The tough part is that it’s TRUE! We’re still struggling with those VB files even today - but I hope to get Perl to the rescue soon. (At least we’ll start using Perl to enforce the interfaces we create.) - Nancy V.

Tech Meeting Tues Feb 13 - First meeting at

Boston Perl Mongers is having a technical meeting this Tuesday, February 13, at the offices of near South Station, starting at 7pm.

Andrew Langmead will be posting directions.

The topic for the meeting is practical applications of XML. James Freeman will present the open source software package Pise (Pasteur Institute Software Environment). An abstract of this talk is included below. Mike MacHenry will present Any2XML, a set of modules that will allow extraction of selected data from any text file into one or more XML documents using a template which is also an XML document.

Pizza and beverages will be provided.

If you have not already RSVPed, please email me if you plan on attending.

Pise (Pasteur Institute Software Environment)

Abstract of James Freeman’s presentation:

There is a growing field called Bioinformatics, that can be defined as understanding complex biological systems through the use of experiments tied with computer-based data storage, tracking, and analysis. Software written in this field is usually written to run on the Unix command line. Traditional biologists find learning the command line for each new tool confusing, difficult, and consuming time better spent in the lab. As a result a local programmer in the lab is tasked to wrap the command line into a cgi-bin script with the usual html input and html output pages. PISE (Pasteur Institute Software Environment,, written by Catherine Letondal, has been created to automate this process by writing a system to parse a single XML definition of the command line tool. Parsing this XML definition the PISE system automatically generates an html form, a Perl cgi-bin processing script; an html output form and, if necessary, post processing as well. These features plus automatic defaulting, specification of simple and complex interface options, and many other features makes this an extremely valuable system. This system was developed for Bioinformatics, and the default XML interfaces are for these kinds of command line tools, but it has been simple to create new XML interfaces. The PISE system is general enough to handle any program that runs on the Unix command line. I will present this system at the next tech meeting.

Last month’s tech meeting was held on Tuesday, Feb 13 at the offices of, shortly before the mailing list went down.

Mike MacHenry presented Any2XML, a set of modules for extracting data from any text file into one or more XML documents using a template which is also an XML document. Mike explained the whole process and showed various examples.

Mike’s presentation led to an involved discussion of XML.

Elaine gave away several programming books, to the amusement of everyone in the room. ;)

I presented an obfuscation by Colonel Panic of, which was built on the module. Or was it…?

Thanks to everyone who attended! The locale worked out great, so we’ll be meeting there again.

Hopefully this message will go through with all the list headers and the subject line properly set. Announcement of this month’s technical meeting to follow.

The Focalex, Inc Era 2000-03-06 - 2001-01-17

Focalex, Inc provided meeting space and sponsored pizza.

Pizza and beverages were provided.

Focalex offices were in Newton Highlands, but short walk to MBTA D stop of same name (and parking!).

The size of the group grew, while Focalex added cubicles as their staff grew, so the meeting space shrank. There was a white wall, but no projector, so we were borrowing projectors (or brining paper listings!) monthly until Nov 2001 when an older one was “permanently loaned”.

Tech Meeting Wed, Jan 17, 2001 - Last meeting at Focalex, Inc

I’m afraid I do not have a topic in mind for this meeting. If you would like to give a presentation on something related to Perl, please let us know! (It could be a feature of Perl, a favored module, some code you’ve written, etc.) I have a program that solves word ladders that may be interesting. (script)

Anyway, we’ll review some obfuscated code, discuss random things, and have a good time whatever happens. Pizza and beverages will be provided.



Tech Meeting, Dec 12, 2000

Suburban Tech Meeting, Wednesday, Nov 5, at NuSphere Bedford ROAD TRIP

MySQL’s Monty Widenius

at NuSphere, Bedford (with a corp Shuttle bus from Alewife!)

NuSphere permanently loans a projector to

Social Nov 3 or 4

Tech Meeting, Oct 10

Definite topics for tonight include HTML::TokeParser, HTML::TreeBuilder, and another clever JAPH. Bring presentations on other topics, questions that you want answered, original code that you want reviewed or obfuscated code that you want explained. [I do not know if there will be a projector tonight.]

Tech Meeting, Sept 12

Tech Meeting, Aug 8

Tech Meeting, July 11

This will be an open meeting; there is no set topic. If there’s something about Perl you would like to discuss, this will be a good opportunity!

Tech Meeting, Tuesday June 6

John Saylor will be presenting a preview of his YAPC talk on batch processing with Perl.

I will discuss the recent (Perl 5.6) additions to Perl’s extended regex syntax, e.g. (?<=...) and (??...). Other topics will be announced at the meeting.

Tech Meeting Monday! May 8 - Automated Poetry - Ronald Kimball

I will be presenting the sonnet generator I wrote for The Perl Journal’s Poetry Contest.

First, I’d like to thank Focalex for hosting the Tech meeting again, and all the Mongers who attended for my presentation of my sonnet generator.

Acutance unpretending maypop shoo
Till hip fallal ungainly summersault
Concert appellant trull seduce wahoo
Dehorn terrane unchurch attract basalt
Chronologist hump phylum goy parole
Inferno brilliantly deceive untack
Apprentice fortress poll arrhythmic role
Nacelle mortician fubsy laughter plaque
Court bathythermograph arrange opine
Cryptorchid actinomycete resent
Insinuating pastern hominine
Aggrieve poulard default potpie outwent
  Felicitation billbug fleshy aisle
  Glegly unposed elope snook pash beguile

You may find all the files relevant to here: (404; modern URL:)

including the main program, the data file generator, and all the data files. Have fun!

Here are some of the suggestions that were made tonight for future versions of

Feel free to send more ideas!

thanks, and see you next time!


April 3

Monday, March 6 - DBI

Walt Mankowski of brought tales from the first day of ArsDigita boot camp!

19th February Super Social - Joy of Winter - Elaine’s

In the spirit of the Joy of Winter :) We are hosting a very special February Social meeting on Saturday 19 February 2000…some of the features are…

Addison-Wesley will be there with books for attendees [ hey, ORA isn’t the only publisher in town :) ] The Boston Globe will be covering the party for the paper.

There may be a few other special guests and such but mark your calendars now :)

Bring something along that you might want to eat or drink…I’ll have a few things on hand as well.

When: 7p [ 5p for tutorial ] 19 February 2000

Where: The HappyFunHouse, (404), Arlington, MA 02476

I hope everyone can come join in the fun :)


I’ll let the columnist speak for himself:

My name is Jeff Burke and I'm a columnist for Digitalmass from  I was wondering If I could attend your next meeting and
report on it?

I admittedly know little about perl, (I've gotten as far as `hello world`
:) but the purpose of the column is to highlight the goings on of the
high-tech community.
I promise to be as unobtrusive as possible.

I don’t know whether the DigitalMass column also appears in the Globe or if it’s just on the website.


Jeff Burke’s column about this month’s Social meeting appeared on the DigitalMass website today. (archived)

There is a link to the What We Do page on the website. It may be time to update this page again. (It was last updated in April. :)


The Uri’s Attic Era 1999-01-25 - 2000-02-07

boilerplate (for those who lost it again and newbies): holds a technical meeting at 7pm on the first monday night of the month. at these meetings we try to discuss perlish stuff. sometimes we have a theme, sometimes we have chaos. we always have fun and sometimes we learn or teach something. we intend to have guest speakers too (anyone interested?). this is not a replacement but an adjunct for our monthly social meetings which are chaotic and fun but rarely educational.

showing up on time is helpful so we can have everyone on the same page.

(old address 404) Arlington, MA 02474

easy to get to from most anywhere except jamaica plain


2000-02-07 Last regular tech meeting in Uri’s attic END OF AN ERA

this is an early warning alert about the next tech meeting. if this was a real tech meetin announcement it woul have more boilerplate. the meeting will be this coming monday, feb. 7 at 7pm at the usual place.

last time we had 13 (count ’em 13!) attendees and my oxygen resources were strapped. so please rsvp if you are coming so i can get more cylinders.

and (drum roll) now to announce the topic. i am sure many of you will want to attend.


and i will ask our resident sgml and xml expert, michel, if he is interested in leading this trip down markup lane.

more later,


Social Dinner, Sun Jan 16th, at CBC - with ziggy

ziggy is coming to town this weekend and i am organizing a social dinner for sunday night.


For those of you who are wondering ‘wtf is a ziggy?’, the person in question is Adam Turoff, leader of the and a very nice guy.

We will be meeting at the Cambridge Brewing Company, in Kendall Square, at 7pm tonight.


Tech Meeting, Mon January 10, 2000

we seem to have a good list of potential attendees. the topics are the Class::* modules and relates ones like and several of us are bringing copies of object oriented perl which will be our prime source of knowledge. also the appropriate pods will be used. if you have a copy of OOP or can print the pods of those modules then bring them.

we don’t have a specific teacher for this meeting so we will just wing it in a group way.

as always, anyone with interest in perl can attend, and any experience level is fine.


Social Dinner, Dec 26

emerGGency! emerGGency! everyone to get frum streeeet!! †

this is an emergency announcement of a boston pm dinner gathering. we have a guest of honor in town and we will be going out sunday night (tomorrow), december 26, 7pm at kung luh, in arlington center. it is a mongolian/chinese place and very good. it is located on medford st. just off mass ave. next to the regent theater. email if you need more info or directions.

our guest is the (in)famous abigail!

rsvp to the list and i will make a reservation.


†(A possibly obscure cultural allusion to a coldwar farce movie, 1966.)

Social, Fri Dec 17, Elaine’s HappyFunHouse “HappyFunHolidayze”

Party like it’s 1999

Monday, Dec 6th, 1999, in Uri’s Attic

the only topic mentioned so far is any others are welcome. bring code to review, modules you wish to learn/teach, etc.

1999-12-05 - (anti)Social paintball outing

Alright folks,

I'm on the phone with the paintball field now, and I'm going to

need a final show of hands to get everything finalized. To recap:

We will be playing at **Friendly Fire Paintball**, located at 108 Grove Street

in Upton, MA. Cost is $25.00 for a rental mask, gun, CO2, and hip belt. Paint is sold separately.

There’s a small bagel / coffee shop next to the Grille, so the caffeine heads of the group can grab so go juice =)

The field opens up at 8:00AM, and play goes until 3:00PM. Play doesn’t usually start until 9:00 or so, but it’s wise to grab a table early. I’d say we should meet in Hopkinton between 8:00 and 8:15.

If we want to ensure our reservation, we have to leave a $10.00 per person deposit. If the day isn’t fully booked, we don’t have to.

Any more questions, feel free to email me.


Andrew Stanley

Nov 1999 Socials – Joseph Hall and Randal Schwartz

(dates hard to decipher; Nov 18th Thursday was one of them?)

Tech Meeting, Monday Nov 1, with Sockets!

reminder about this month’s tech meeting. it is tonight at 7pm in my newly cleaned up attic (you can see more of the floor and coffee table top).

the topics are sockets and IO::* and GD/gifgraph and related stuff.

i think tonight is the dilbert season premier and if so we will watch that.

current list of attendees:

elaine ronald boris uri

please email the list if you are planning on coming.

BTW is the actual mailing list as big as it was before the HFB problems? any way of checking if we lost names?

we had one of our better meetings with 7 attendees( ronald, walter, beardsley, jason, boris, paul, and myself). we went covered sockets and client servers with forays into IO::Select and server designs. then we shifted gears and covered GIFgraph and learned from a line graph example boris wrote.

this is what i envisioned these meetings to be. everyone learned/taught something and had fun.


1999-10-20 Discussion list moved to

Greetings! About a week ago, the old mailing list at went down. Now, thanks to Chris Nandor and Ben Hockenhull, we have a brand new list at! To send mail to our new list, address it to boston-pm at .

We’ve done our best to create the new mailing list with the most up-to-date subscriber list from the old mailing list, but it is possible that recent subscriptions/unsubscriptions will need to be repeated.

We apologize for any inconvenience this situation may have caused, and hope you will enjoy our new list.


(Initially, the interface was sending mail to the majordomo @. From this point forward there is actual history and not just “annals”. and that history carried over to mailman on continuing to 2022+, the present as i edit this history.)

The Dark Ages, 1998 - Oct 1999

The email archives of the crashed original server at are lost in the mists of time, so we have only annals from the History file.

1999-09 Uri Guttman holds a haiku contest on the (old) list

Phil Johnson, J Proctor, & John Saylor win books

1999-06-07 is founded

we’re still not sure why :)

1999-04-27 hosts a party

during O’Reilly’s Perl Tutorials in Boston

1999-03 Ronald Kimball takes over as leader of

1999-01-25 First regular tech meeting, held in Uri Guttman’s attic

1998 - The Innocent Era - prior to regular meetings

For before the modern mailing lists archive beginning, all we have currently is the highlights summary timeline in History, which are duplicated here.

1998-10-?? First of many social meetings at Elaine Ashton’s house

1998-09-?? Meeting at MIT with Randal Schwartz

1998-02-01 Discussion list created

(at but it crashed, 1998 and most of 1999 history isn’t preserved.)

1998-01-30 founded by Chris Nandor was a very early member of the Perl Mongers network of user-groups, after brian d foy formed both New York Perl Mongers (, at TPC, August 1997) and Perl Mongers (registered 1998; merged with TPF & YAS 2000/2001).

Chris Nandor (called “Pudge”, in honor of “Pudge” Fiske) was one of the earliest developers of Slash software (a Perl codebase) at Slashdot with founder Rob “CmdrTaco” Malda, after acquisition mid-1999.

Chris “Pudge” Nandor is distinguished by having entries at imdb , github, Linkedin, PerlMaven - recognizing White Camel Award 2000 for Perl Advocacy, wikipedia, and 15 minutes of fame as half-time entertainment in the GOP Debate.

Chris would also later co-author the MacPerl book.