Being a Dancer

(re-post from blogs.perl.org)

For some time now, I am a Dancer contributor. It all started in the last Christmas (everything in the Perl community start or end at Christmas time), with Dancer Advent Calendar.

Getting a little behind… I tried to learn to use Catalyst some time ago, reading a Packt Publishing book and found at that time that the book was already outdated. Unfortunately that is standard in Technology, and the books that keep up to date for some time are the ones that focus the foundations of computer science, and not the technology itself. It didn’t work. Probably I was not tuned to the MVC model, or I didn’t have a concrete project where to test Catalyst.

Time passed, and I needed to put a website up. CGI was not an option. I do not think CGI is that bad, but if web frameworks exist, is because they lessen the work needed to make a website run. At that time I was pointing to Mojolicious, as I listened to a talk on a Portuguese Perl Workshop, and it seemed easier to learn than Catalyst. When I finally decided to learn a web framework I found that Dancer Advent Calendar, read the first two or three days (can’t remember exactly) and I liked it.

I started to build a web site with it, and it felt good. With little effort I got the basics working. Of course problems arise, and I needed to visit #dancer on irc.perl.org for help. The users present on that channel at the time tried to help me. I confess they didn’t find the solution, as it was some weird problem on redirects and the fact that I needed to use Open3. That was the time when I needed to develop POSIX::Open3.

But since them, I was hanging on #dancer. Listening to development discussion and newbies asking for help. I tried to help them as good as I could. Sometimes I needed to hack Dancer code to correct some bug or add a functionality requested by one of those newbies. And no, I wasn’t a Dancer developer then. Just trying to help.

Accordingly with the Changelog, my first patches were released in Dancer 1.3001. I do not want to search on GitHub the exact date for my first pull request, but this release was out in January/February 2011. That is, only one or two months after I started using Dancer.

The pull requests continue to pop in github. And I can be a hassle, poking the developers to merge my code 🙂 About eleven releases after (a quick count, didn’t take care of what were stable or developer releases), Dancer developers started to name stable releases with names of somebody that helped/contributed a lot to that release. The first release of this kind was named after Michael Schwern, and the next was released after my name (1.3030, April 13th). About four months after I started using Dancer.

As I did not stop to write code, fixing bugs and adding some new features, they made me a Dancer core developer in May 9th.

I continue to help (I think) in the development of Dancer. And it all started with a simple site I needed to put online.

As a final note, my thanks to Alexis Sukrieh, Damien Krotkine, David Precious, Franck Cuny and Sawyer X for putting up with me and for welcoming me to this community.

The Ant Bully (2006)

The Ant Bully (2006)
The Ant Bully (2006)

The Ant Bully movie is not great on animation (it is good, but not on the best) and does not have a really new story. The basics are the usual on a kids movie, trying to learn to respect nature, and respect one another. Then, add the hey, I shrunk the kid and you have a movie. Nevertheless, you can have some good time watching it. The usual amusement of seeing small things as big ones is nice, and the imaginary of being small can lead to some nice thoughts.

Probably this was a strange paragraph. Forget it and watch the movie… oh, and try to find out who is Nicholas Cage and Julia Roberts, hihihi.

Up (2009)

 

Up (2009)
Up (2009)

I like animation movies, not just because of the story itself, but because they are usually comic and also because I like to see the advances on computer animation. And Pixar movies always astonish me because of the animation and graphics quality. This is not an exception. This movie is great.

Unfortunately I am not that happy with the story. Not because it is not plausible. I am used to that in animation stories (and not only animation…). But because I lack humor. There are a few that I can recall, but most of the movie is a drama, or just old jokes. And that is a shame. I am a really admirer of some animation movies that have different levels of humor, from kids to adults. In this I could not find adult jokes… but probably I was distracted….

The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

The Shawshank Redemption
The Shawshank Redemption

I finally got the time and took the initiative to see this movie. It is in the top of IMDB, so I really needed to watch it. Well, the truth is that I do not like some of the movies in the top IMDB, and the truth is that this is not one of my favorite movies. I agree it is good, the story is great, the acting awesome. But it is not the type of movie I crave. It is a drama. And it is difficult to me to rate high a drama. Sorry.

In any case, the movie is worth its more than two hours of length. And note! There aren’t girls! And I watched it till the end. That says a lot about it 🙂

Death at a Funeral (2010)

Death at a Funeral
Death at a Funeral

First, yes, I know there is an European version. Second, no, I didn’t watch it. Third, no probably I wont, although people say it is better. It just happened to have this passing by me. Not a movie I really planned to see.

Now that I excused enough, about the movie: it is a comedy, you can really laugh for two or three times in a movie of more than one hour. So, probably not that a comedy. More like the usual gags. Yes, you will not get truly bored, but it is kind of easy to predict most actions.

I usually like comedies, and usually like some stupid ones (like Scary Movie). But this one didn’t convince me. 5 in 10!

Try Seventeen (2002)

Elijah Wood and Mandy Moore @ Try Seventeen
Elijah Wood and Mandy Moore @ Try Seventeen

Try Seventeen is one of those movies… I can compare with Lost in Translation, but this has a story. Not a great movie. Just one movie. A love movie? Luckly, there are two nice girls, Mandy Moore and Franka Potente. Curiously, two different type of girl, both cute. But the movie is fun and the acting is good.

Into the Blue 2: The reef (2009)

Into the Blue 2
Into the Blue 2

I confess, this movie was on my watch list, after watching the first, because of the girls. The first had Jessica Alba, this one has Laura Vandervoort. And this is the only reason to take 92 minutes and watch it. 30% of the movie are underwater images of fauna and flora, 30% are girls (and, unfortunately, boys) in the beach, and 40% of the movie is action. The story? The same as the first Into the Blue. Nothing new. Also, not properly narrated, as the movie ends and there is no information about what happened to the bad… don’t tell me they were preparing a third movie… only if you add top-less to 20% of it 😛

XeTeX

You already knew I am a LaTeX fan. I finally got the courage to go and experiment XeTeX. In fact, I was almost forced, as I am the Portuguese official translator for The Not So Short Introduction to LaTeX. By the way, you can buy the Original (English) or the Portuguese versions from lulu.com.

OK, enough advertisement. XeTeX is one of two Unicode TeX motors. The other is named luaTeX and I think (didn’t have the time to look into it yet) and is scriptable in the lua programming language. What does it mean to be an Unicode engine? It means it expects your text to be written in Unicode (in fact, UTF-8). This gives you the ability to typeset any symbol or character you like, as far as it is available in the Unicode tables, and you have a font that is able to render that character.

This leads to a small problem. In fact, a problem that the main alternative (Microsoft Word) also have. You need to have the fonts installed in your system (or in the folder where your tex document is, or any other place where tex would search for include files). But this gives the ability to select any font, and any font for any language. I was able to typeset about 30 translations for “Good Morning”, including Arabic, Persian, Korean, Japanese, Traditional Chinese, Georgian, Greek, Hebrew, Urdu and others. Note that some of these languages are written right to left, other left to right. But as far as you are able to include the characters in your Unicode file, then with the correct fonts and some TeX packages, you will be able to typeset them.

If you want to give a try, look into fontspec and polyglossia packages for a start. Who knows if in the future I do not add another post with further details on how to use XeTeX.

Nikita, Season 1 (2010)

Maggie Q as Nikita
Maggie Q as Nikita

Yep, the screenshot seems from another kind of movie/series. But it isn’t what it seems.

Well, what can I say about this TV show? It has Lindsay Fonseca (unfortunately not in bikini/lingerie). I do not like that much Maggie Q, but why not.

Now, there are some good action episodes, and some dull ones. The last few are the best, although I did not like (spoiler alert) to see Lindsay Fonseca getting to the bad side. But hey, better that than disappearing completely. Waiting for the next season.

Oh, talking about dull episodes, how can you have a pair of earring explode, or melt, with a phone call? That’s what I mean about dull episodes, some unrealistic ideas. But, why not…

House, Season 5

House playing.
House playing.

Yeah, I know the seventh season just ended, but I am kind of behind. What can I say about this season? Well, it maintained the type of episodes from previous seasons, there are no new actors, no big changes in the story. Just probably two. And stop reading here if you do not want spoilers.

First, Cuddy adopts  baby. Not that big change, but finishes all the story about trying to get pregnant. Second, Kutner dies, suicides himself. Regarding this fact, the series director failed on explaining why. It wasn’t in the last episode, so the reason could pop out already.

Finally, didn’t like much the latest episodes, with the hallucinated House. We know he is hallucinated by himself, no need to have Amber popping out to haunt him…