mod_perl, DateTime::, and other

Various tech things going on that I thought I’d mention.

DateTime Perl modules

The biggest one, I suppose, is that Dave Rolsky has rejuvinated the Perl DateTime module jihad that I started way back in May 2001, and which subsequently died because I did not have the time or energy to fight the status quo.

Dave’s actual note is here, and is very very worth reading if you have any interest in the state of Date/Time modules in Perl, and the general arean of date/time/calendar calculations on a grander scale.

Summary: Date/Time modules in Perl are a huge joke. There’s more than 15 ways to do any given thing (a case where TIMTOWTDI is not necessarily a good thing is when it gets way out of hand) and they might give different results. There’s no document, other than the random chicken scratchings that I have produced, that give you a roadmap of the available modules. And I really fell down on that pretty early. And, most importantly, the modules can’t talk to each other. So you can get a date in the Discordian calendar, but if you want to convert it to a date in the Mayan calendar, you’re out of luck, because they use different syntax. Or, if you have a date in the Vedic calendar, and want to know what holidays it corresponds with in China, well, that’s really hard too.


Well, not really much to say about mod_perl. Two things, both of them small in the grand scale of things.

One, I have been receiving the mod_perl mailing list at work for 2 years, and periodically deleting all the messages when the total unread message count goes over 2000. That’s gotta stop. It’s an important list, and I need to be reading at least some of it. So I’ve moved the subscription to home, where I have better mail filtering, and tend to be more careful about reading incoming mail. And I’m going to read it all, or at least those things with topics that seem to be important. Consider it a new years resolution of sorts.

Email, Again

SpamAssassin, for no apparent reason, stopped putting spam in /var/spool/mail/spam, and started delivering it to my users, but with [SPAM] in the subject line. This was ok for me, but was not OK for my parents, who did not have an appropriate filter in place, and so received 200+ [SPAM] messages a day for about 2 days.

Then it stopped.

First of all, I blamed this on the upgrade to Perl 5.8, but it turns out that this is one of the machines on which the upgrade was not performed. So I am baffled. Particularly about it stopping.

Oh, and a VERY important lesson that came out of this. First, don’t edit regular expressions at 1 in the morning. Second, the regular expression [SPAM] is not the same as the regular expression [SPAM] Exactly what foolish thing I did is left as an exercise to the reader.