Saturday, July 14, 2007

Being Better


I probably won't be officially "tagged" but a meme is going around about what one would do in the next 6 months to become better. Hanselman, in his podcast, spoke of a few things and the responses seem to be going up around the blogs.

How will I be better? Most of the things people mentioned are things I already try to do: reading technical books, working on my software, looking at open source, training others... but one thing I want to do is to start posting code.

I write a lot of code and much of it doesn't make it here because I'm sheepish about looking foolish. But getting better is about having courage to show my work because without that, how could it get any better?

I'm going to start with my JAPH, a program that prints "Just Another Perl Hacker." It's meant to be novel and I actually like mine since it leverages some language features that don't exist in my mainstay, C#. The map operation can visit each item on an array performing some opertion - in this case I'm using a regular expression on each item and grabbing alternating characters! I haven't been writing perl for a long time so hopefully over time I can claim a better one but at least this is my own thinking at play, destined for improvement. I did post it on usenet (a first version which had some foolish mistakes) but this is after a little bit of massage:

#!/usr/bin/perl -w
# David's JAPH, volume 0.1
map(print(/(\w)\w/g," "),
qw(Jaubsctd Aenfogthhiejrk Plemrmln Hoapcqkresrt));

The original JAPHs, from Randall Schwartz, were not really about obfuscation but more about language features. The use of map, regular expressions, and $_ in the above are what make it interesting to me.


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