Weekly Update 117: Progress with Perl
This is a copy of our weekly newsletter for developers which you can subscribe to here.
Since we embarked on the programming mission, Instant Answer coverage using PerlDoc has increased dramatically and MetaCPAN is showing more results, having been upgraded to the v1 API. This means that overall Perl coverage has more than doubled from around 20% to almost 45%, and includes new or updated Instant Answers such as:
- Core module coverage
- Increased coverage for special variables
- Increased coverage for operators
- Improved keyword and function presentation
As usual, this kind of progress would not be possible without great contributions from the community, in particular from GuiltyDolphin and gabriell. You can join them and help improve Perl Instant Answers even more by discussing ideas and making code contributions. Details and current status are in the Perl Overview post on the forum, where John is happy to help with support and guidance.
Here are some specific issues we're currently looking for help with...
- Help improve the MetaCPAN Instant Answer: Behaviour for exact match
There are a few possibilities such as expanding the synopses or descriptions.
- Help improve the PerlDoc fathead
We could add more categories and check that only one article exists for each function.
- Help with additional Perl QA sources
Do you know of sites that could provide answers to Perl queries?
- Add ideas to the Perl Brainstorming discussion
What kinds of IAs would you love to see? What would save you time or make you more productive?
Like last week's "back to basics" tip, this week we're going to simplify things but specifically for debugging. I'd like to tell you about a low-tech technique called Rubber Duck Debugging. It's not related to DuckDuckGo but it gets our seal of approval!
So here's how it works... When there's a bug in your code but you can't find it, you explain what your code does to a rubber duck, line by line. This forces you to break down your code into basic chunks, re-thinking what each chunk is for, and hopefully discovering the problem. It's surprising how often this kind of simplification makes you look at what you've written from a different perspective, seeing things you hadn't noticed before.
Of course, you could do this with any object but we think ducks work best!
That's all for this time — enjoy your weekend!
- The DuckDuckGo Staff