Archive for April, 2008

9 April, 2008

This week in geekville.

by gorthx! Held at FreeGeek. 16 attendees this week. A couple of new people.

– 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”.

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.