Perl 5.17.8’s release epigraph

Yesterday I had the pleasure of releasing version 5.17.8 of Perl. Perl has had regular, time-boxed monthly development releases for about three years now. This great improvement on the previous situation has been accomplished partly by making the release process into something that can be done even by people who, like me, are far from being experts in Perl’s internals.

One of Perl’s long-standing traditions is that release announcements are accompanied by an epigraph, chosen by the release victim volunteer. Here are some notes about the epigraph I picked for 5.17.8.


Using git jump with Emacs

Git version 1.7.8, which is shortly to be released at this writing, contains a handy new program git jump. The idea is that you can say things like git jump diff to have your $EDITOR go directly to the lines within your files that contain unstaged changes.

The design of git jump is particularly helpful for Vim users, but what if you prefer Emacs?


How not to handle errors

Sometimes the code running a dynamic website will encounter errors. There are a variety of ways to handle runtime errors, of course. Some are better than others, and today I encountered a site that manages to get a surprising number of things wrong.


All Tomorrow’s Parties

Last weekend, I was at the All Tomorrow’s Parties festival in Minehead. It’s unusual as music festivals go: it’s held in a holiday camp, which is great for those who, like me, find that the pleasures of actual tent-in-a-field camping are no match for those of beds and indoor plumbing.


Showing your Git branch in your shell prompt

One of the great things about Git is that it makes branching and merging so simple as to be a delight, not a chore. One of the consequences of that is that you tend to use far more branches than you would if you were using a lesser revision-control system. Which can make it easy to forget which branch you’re on at any given moment. So wouldn’t it be nice if you had a simple, easy-to-see reminder of where you are, visible at all times?


Perl safe signals

Once upon a time, handling signals in Perl code had a pretty big gotcha — one that you couldn’t work around. Perl 5.8 changed signal handling in a way that eliminated that gotcha, but replaced it with a different one, harder to trigger, but no less surprising.



What do you do when you’ve got a large collection of chillies in the house? Well, if you’re us, you make harissa.