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Blog: Perl!

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This isn't the usual sort of thrilling, glamorous, SHOWBIZ thing I post about here, i know, but it's making me VERY EXCITED. It's PERL!

Anyone who understands what that means will now be writhing on the floor with agreement/ECSTACY but for those who are unlucky enough not to: it's a programming language. Yes, i know: THRILLZ!

The PARTICULAR reason it's made me so excited is that i think it might be The Answer To The Blogger Problem (NB for me). MANY MANY years ago (over a decade ago in fact - YIKES!) when I did my MSc in Computing (also known as "had a day off work for two years and got a qualification at the end") my final PROJECT was to construct an online database of our department's staff, which was then used to create conact lists online.

What was FIENDISHLY clever about it was that i DIDN'T use MySQL or anything like that, no, i wrote MY OWN DATABASE SYSTEM in PERL! Yes! I then went on to use this in perhaps my most FANTASTICAL (work-based) ESCAPADE ever - THE GIANT THROBBING BRAIN!

This was a system built for The Trent Institute, an organisation which sought to unify RESEARCH and Training Courses across Leicester, Sheffield and Nottingham Universities. I went to lots of meetings with The Board, during which I took GRATE delight in referring to the database by its codename.

They had to call it that too. "So, how is progress with... The GIANT THROBBING BRAIN then Mark?" "The GIANT THROBBING BRAIN, you say?" "Er... yes."

IT WAS FANTASTIC. I did have to tone down the pictures of GIANT THROBBING BRAINS in all my entity relationship diagrams, but otherwise everyone quite happily went along with calling it that. It was a way of managing the joint webpages, where each centre entered details on their courses, venues, and staff into a central system which then generated webpages. It was TREMENDOUSLY EXCITING.

Anyway, I've just had a look at my service provider, and discovered TWO (2) interesting things. I already knew that I'd have to QUADRUPLE my monthly fees to be able to run PHP and MySQL but I see that I'm already paying enough to have CGI and PERL running! KER-ZANG! That could WORK - and in a FIT of giddy excitement i've ALREADY drawn an Entity Relationship Diagram (calm down at the back!) showing how i could use a database to manage NOT JUST the blog but also details of gigs, setlists, releases, songs etc etc. If i could get THAT working... blimey, it would make updating things a LOT easier.

And secondly i noticed that, if i DIDN'T get that working, i do actually seem to OWN MYSELF after ALL... so I could just move the whole thing to a content provider who were a) cheaper b) more reliable c) nicer d) more full o'functionality! It's like a BRIGHT NEW DAWN or something!

I ask you then to prepare your PITY for Mr S Hewitt, who is going to be spending much of the weekend with me in Leicester. He may be hearing about this quite a lot.

posted 12/2/2010 by MJ Hibbett

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i have just found an old homespun-db-on-perl site that i fiddled with is STILL ON LINE

good grief.
posted 12/2/2010 by jaunty alan

Ooh, and on Tripod too! Perl is GRATE!
posted 12/2/2010 by MJ Hibbett

i'm sure you'll all be delighted to hear that SO MUCH ROCK happened in leicester that this didn't even get a mention!
posted 15/2/2010 by CarsmileSteve

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