Archive for April, 2008

9 April, 2008

This week in geekville.

by gorthx

PDX.pm! Held at FreeGeek. 16 attendees this week. A couple of new people.

Announcements:
– Call for shirt designs – must be in sometime in the next month.
Barcamp is coming up.
– Something about Summer of Code? ;)

The “Say Your Name Game” topic tonight was to answer one of two questions:
– Where are the younger perl users?
– What can *you* do in 20 minutes a day (or two hours a week) to get Perl 6 out the door?

The general consensus on the younger users question is that Perl needs to be “cooler”. Programming games was a popular suggestion on how to change Perl’s image a bit; Wil suggested “more sex”.
Naturally the “20 minutes a day” question resulted in a lot of riffs on “rock hard abs”. Which eventually became “rock hard Parrot”.

Meeting:
Serious projector issues, as seems to happen every 3rd or 4th meeting. Selena upped the ante from “whiteboard with a non-dry-erase marker” to “VNC with all laptop-bearing attendees.”

IM IN UR DATABASE, Selena Deckelmann (a talk about procedural languages in PostgreSQL)

(This will be short because I want to be lazy & just link to her slides.)

A procedural language (such as PL/PgSQL, PL/Perl, PL/Python) is basically the expansion set for the SQL toy – you can create functions that do fun things like date calculations (what I usually use it for) or loop over a set of data. Essentially, you are letting the database do what it’s good at (handle data).

The first example we looked at was PL/LOLCODE. Mainly because it’s (currently) a very simple example, and fun. (Fun is the theme here.) You can only return one row at a time with PL/LOLCODE right now though. Selena suggests reading the docs; Joshua Tolley is doing an excellent job of documenting what he’s doing and this would be a valuable manual for anyone else who wants to write a procedural language for PostgreSQL.

Then we moved on to PL/PgSQL. Same basic format (CREATE function, RETURN, double-dollar quoting etc), but much more robust, of course.

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