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Online book: Extreme Programming with Perl

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  • Rob Nagler
    I finally got enough time to put my book online: www.extremeperl.org The book is evolving. I hope to finish the continuous design chapter fairly soon.
    Message 1 of 16 , Apr 11, 2004
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      I finally got enough time to put my book online: www.extremeperl.org
      The book is evolving. I hope to finish the continuous design chapter
      fairly soon. Please give me feedback.

      Thanks to those of you who sent me stories. I have them, and I will
      be adding them in. The book has taken a backseat to just about
      everything else, unfortunately.

      Thanks again to all the people who reviewed the current version.

      Rob
    • chudpi
      Rob, What would be the best way of providing you with direct feedback? I m enjoying the book tremendously so far and would like to offer a couple of
      Message 2 of 16 , Apr 26, 2004
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        Rob,

        What would be the best way of providing you with direct feedback?
        I'm enjoying the book tremendously so far and would like to offer a
        couple of nitty-gritty comments and questions, which I'm not sure
        belong in the group blog.

        Thanks.
        Pete.
      • Rob Nagler
        ... Well, we re not exactly flooded with msgs on this list, and I enjoy the kind of feedback public discussion provides. Why not try sending a point or two to
        Message 3 of 16 , Apr 26, 2004
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          chudpi writes:
          > What would be the best way of providing you with direct feedback?
          > I'm enjoying the book tremendously so far and would like to offer a
          > couple of nitty-gritty comments and questions, which I'm not sure
          > belong in the group blog.

          Well, we're not exactly flooded with msgs on this list, and I enjoy
          the kind of feedback public discussion provides. Why not try sending
          a point or two to this list, and we'll see how it goes.

          The reason I put the book online is that it was sitting offline too
          long without much constructive feedback. I was falling prey to Major
          Release Syndrome. The only way this book is going to get better is if
          people read it and tell me (us) what they think about it.

          I've had a few side discussions recently, but they're mostly about
          typos or word choice. Probably best to send those directly to me.

          BTW, our little group has doubled in size in the last few weeks.

          Thanks,
          Rob
        • chudpi
          After reviewing the list of things I marked, there is only one which would qualify as constructive. In Chapter 2, the last sentence in the Feedback section
          Message 4 of 16 , Apr 26, 2004
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            After reviewing the list of things I marked, there is only one which
            would qualify as 'constructive.' In Chapter 2, the last sentence in
            the Feedback section is an observation by Johannes Rukkers, that "XP
            uses feedback to integrate towards a solution, rather than trying to
            get it through a discontinuity." I'm not sure if I follow exactly
            what Johannes means by discontinuity. I was wondering if you wouldn't
            mind expanding on that statement?
            Admitedly, XP is a concept quite new to me (hence my enthusiasm), so
            this could be something obvious to the dwellers of this group. In
            that case, I apologize for introducing redundancy.

            The rest of what I had marked were simple formatting errors I noticed,
            which will probably get hashed out in editing anyway. Please let me
            know if you would like me to send you a list of these anyway.

            Thanks,
            Pete.

            --- In extremeperl@yahoogroups.com, Rob Nagler <nagler@b...> wrote:
            > Well, we're not exactly flooded with msgs on this list, and I enjoy
            > the kind of feedback public discussion provides. Why not try
            sending
            > a point or two to this list, and we'll see how it goes.
            >
            > The reason I put the book online is that it was sitting offline too
            > long without much constructive feedback. I was falling prey to
            Major
            > Release Syndrome. The only way this book is going to get better is
            if
            > people read it and tell me (us) what they think about it.
            >
            > I've had a few side discussions recently, but they're mostly about
            > typos or word choice. Probably best to send those directly to me.
            >
            > BTW, our little group has doubled in size in the last few weeks.
            >
            > Thanks,
            > Rob
          • Lance Wicks
            Rob, I would just like to say how much I enjoyed reading your online version of the book. (I lost track a bit on some of the code examples, I have to confess)
            Message 5 of 16 , Apr 27, 2004
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              Rob,

              I would just like to say how much I enjoyed reading your online version of
              the book. (I lost track a bit on some of the code examples, I have to
              confess)
              It is one of the best resources I have struck to introduce Extreme
              Programming to newbies. I have found that most references to Extreme
              Programming are not overly helpful when you are trying to get started down
              the XP path.

              If I can help with the development of the book in anyway do let me know.

              Lance




              [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
            • Karl Scotland
              ... I m a recent joiner. I got a pointer to your site out of the blue - not from one my usual XP sources - so I suspect word is spreading. I ve not seen an
              Message 6 of 16 , Apr 27, 2004
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                > -----Original Message-----
                > From: Rob Nagler [mailto:nagler@...]
                >
                > BTW, our little group has doubled in size in the last few weeks.
                >

                I'm a recent joiner. I got a pointer to your site out of the blue - not
                from one my usual XP sources - so I suspect word is spreading. I've not
                seen an email on main xp yahoo group. There's also a perl unit yahoo
                group. Have you thought of 'advertising' there for feedback?

                I've scanned the book, but not had time to review it properly yet. I'll
                definitely do so though as its precisely the book I've not been able to
                write myself - we use perl and XP a lot! One thing I wondered was
                whether it might be easier to review as a pdf - or is that just me being
                too lazy to print out all the chapters separately?

                Karl

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              • Adrian Howard
                Hi, ... [snip] While I still have not had the time to read the book (sorry Rob :-) I would guess that Johannes means that feedback is integral in the XP
                Message 7 of 16 , Apr 27, 2004
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                  Hi,

                  On 27 Apr 2004, at 04:13, chudpi wrote:

                  > After reviewing the list of things I marked, there is only one which
                  > would qualify as 'constructive.' In Chapter 2, the last sentence in
                  > the Feedback section is an observation by Johannes Rukkers, that "XP
                  > uses feedback to integrate towards a solution, rather than trying to
                  > get it through a discontinuity." I'm not sure if I follow exactly
                  > what Johannes means by discontinuity. I was wondering if you wouldn't
                  > mind expanding on that statement?
                  [snip]

                  While I still have not had the time to read the book (sorry Rob :-) I
                  would guess that Johannes means that feedback is integral in the XP
                  process: from the fine-grained feedback you get during TDD, the
                  continual feedback you get from having an onsite customer, the feedback
                  from regular iterations and releases, etc. With some more traditional
                  processes the feedback is separate from the development (now we do the
                  development, throw the application over the wall to QA, QA do some
                  testing, feedback eventually comes back to the developers - usually by
                  the time that they're working on the next bit).

                  More feedback and tighter feedback loops are one of the main reasons
                  that XP works so well in my experience.

                  Adrian
                • Adrian Howard
                  Hi, On 27 Apr 2004, at 09:43, Karl Scotland wrote: [snip] ... [snip] Another vote for a downloadable version (although a .tgz of the HTML would be just as
                  Message 8 of 16 , Apr 27, 2004
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                    Hi,

                    On 27 Apr 2004, at 09:43, Karl Scotland wrote:

                    [snip]
                    > One thing I wondered was
                    > whether it might be easier to review as a pdf - or is that just me
                    > being
                    > too lazy to print out all the chapters separately?
                    [snip]

                    Another vote for a downloadable version (although a .tgz of the HTML
                    would be just as useful as a PDF for me).

                    I get the most time for reading on the train - where there is an
                    annoying lack of connectivity.

                    (and if I was less bone idle I'd use wget - I know :-)

                    Adrian
                  • Rob Nagler
                    ... The best example of this I can think of is the development book itself. As far as you (the customer/user) are concerned, the introduction is a
                    Message 9 of 16 , Apr 27, 2004
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                      chudpi writes:
                      > uses feedback to integrate towards a solution, rather than trying to
                      > get it through a discontinuity." I'm not sure if I follow exactly
                      > what Johannes means by discontinuity. I was wondering if you wouldn't
                      > mind expanding on that statement?

                      The best example of this I can think of is the development book
                      itself. As far as you (the customer/user) are concerned, the
                      introduction is a discontinuity, a major release. That's bad, because
                      it is a disruptive event.

                      Disruptions can be good with books, because they are outside of the
                      flow of your work. That's what is fun about books. They make you
                      think (hopefully :-).

                      Disruption is bad with software, because software is hard to get
                      right. If you continually disrupt people with big changes (Windows
                      98, SE, ME, etc.), they won't use your software (unless you are a
                      monopoly :-). If you transition with itty bitty changes, people
                      accept the changes more readily. This is why Microsoft and others
                      have moved to a "patch" model with automatic updates. Sure, I have to
                      reboot my machine every now and then, but I don't really notice the
                      change and the change isn't likely to disrupt my flow. The problem
                      with Microsoft's patch model is that they aren't changing anything
                      fundamentally.

                      XP allows you to make fundamental changes a little bit at a time.
                      This works at all levels (like Adrian mentioned).

                      > Admitedly, XP is a concept quite new to me (hence my enthusiasm), so
                      > this could be something obvious to the dwellers of this group. In
                      > that case, I apologize for introducing redundancy.

                      Discussion is good. XP is evolving. If we get to 10% of the traffic
                      of extremeprogramming@yahoogroups, we can consider creating a faq for
                      these types of things.

                      > The rest of what I had marked were simple formatting errors I noticed,
                      > which will probably get hashed out in editing anyway. Please let me
                      > know if you would like me to send you a list of these anyway.

                      Please do. You are the acceptance test of the book. I try to fix
                      little errors pretty quickly so they don't annoy others.

                      Thanks for the feedback.

                      Rob
                    • Rob Nagler
                      ... Thanks, and yes, the examples are hard. It s a feature. :-) XP is about the code. There s a good book by Tom Cargill called C++ Programming Style:
                      Message 10 of 16 , Apr 27, 2004
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                        Lance Wicks writes:
                        > I would just like to say how much I enjoyed reading your online version of
                        > the book. (I lost track a bit on some of the code examples, I have to
                        > confess)

                        Thanks, and yes, the examples are hard. It's a feature. :-) XP is
                        about the code. There's a good book by Tom Cargill called C++
                        Programming Style: http://www.awprofessional.com/title/0201563657 I
                        modeled my examples after that book, that is, I tried to make the code
                        substantial so you'd have to sit down with a pencil and paper and try
                        to work out what it does.

                        This isn't a cookbook or even a patterns book. It's about how to bend
                        the software to fit the problem instead of the other way around. This
                        is a tricky thing to get across in a few pages (another goal of mine :-).

                        That being said, if you can tell me which parts are tricky to
                        understand and why, I'll try to smooth them over with more text or
                        whatever makes sense.

                        > It is one of the best resources I have struck to introduce Extreme
                        > Programming to newbies. I have found that most references to Extreme
                        > Programming are not overly helpful when you are trying to get started down
                        > the XP path.

                        Wow! Thanks. I'm glad.

                        > If I can help with the development of the book in anyway do let me know.

                        The feedback is great. Even the compliments help me to, because then
                        I know that the book is useful. I'm a bit egotistical about
                        controlling the source to it right now. I've put a lot of sweat and
                        buckets of tears :-( into it, and I'd like to continue with the
                        writing part myself. That's unfortunate, because I'm pretty busy with
                        other things, and the book has to take a back seat.

                        I may ask for help on the website at some point. It's a bit simple,
                        and there's no search mechanism. Adding an index might be good, too.
                        But let's see how many people actually read it, and ask for the
                        features instead of getting into "that would be useful" kinds of
                        discussions. YAGNI!

                        Cheers,
                        Rob
                      • Rob Nagler
                        ... It was a bit of an experiment (I just finished reading the Tipping Point) to see how fast it would spread with two seeds (xpdenver and this list). If you
                        Message 11 of 16 , Apr 27, 2004
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                          Karl Scotland writes:
                          > I'm a recent joiner. I got a pointer to your site out of the blue - not
                          > from one my usual XP sources - so I suspect word is spreading. I've not
                          > seen an email on main xp yahoo group. There's also a perl unit yahoo
                          > group. Have you thought of 'advertising' there for feedback?

                          It was a bit of an experiment (I just finished reading the Tipping
                          Point) to see how fast it would spread with two seeds (xpdenver and
                          this list). If you want to mail other lists, you're more than
                          welcome.

                          > I've scanned the book, but not had time to review it properly yet. I'll
                          > definitely do so though as its precisely the book I've not been able to
                          > write myself - we use perl and XP a lot!

                          That makes two of us who use that combination. ;-) It's been fun to
                          write. I don't think there is a big audience, but I'm hoping that it
                          helps evolve our (bivio's) internal process.

                          > One thing I wondered was
                          > whether it might be easier to review as a pdf - or is that just me being
                          > too lazy to print out all the chapters separately?

                          I had it as a PDF, but that stopped working. I was using Stas
                          Bekman's DocSet, and for some reason that broke, and I was too busy to
                          fix it. Alternatively, I could probably make the book a single HTML
                          page fairly easily. Would that work for you?

                          Rob
                        • Matthew Albright
                          Wow, looks like there s activity here now! I m also a newcomer to the group... someone on the san francisco perl mongers group pointed me here after I gave a
                          Message 12 of 16 , Apr 27, 2004
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                            Wow, looks like there's activity here now!

                            I'm also a newcomer to the group... someone on the san francisco perl
                            mongers group pointed me here after I gave a talk to them (and the bayxp
                            group) about the perl/XP process we're following here at Airwave
                            (http://www.airwave.com).

                            Reading the book is something I have on my to-do list, but just haven't
                            gotten a chance yet. I'm very excited to see if there are cool ideas we
                            could use here...

                            The reason I was asked to do the talk is that the XP people thought that
                            using perl was rather unique, and the perl people thought that using XP
                            was intriguing.

                            It sounds like there are other people here that are doing perl/XP
                            professionally... so, where is everyone located, what size of group do
                            you have, what kind of product are you doing, how long have you been doing
                            perl/xp, etc?

                            I'll start:
                            Airwave is in San Mateo, CA, USA (San Francisco Bay Area)... we are
                            developing (and selling) a wireless network management application. It is
                            nearly 100% OO perl that was developed over the past 3 or so years with a
                            full XP process (pairing/tdd/2 week iterations/etc). Our group is
                            currently 7 developers, looking to get to 8 very soon (hint hint).

                            Let's hear from everyone else!

                            matt
                          • Greg Compestine
                            Hi Matt, I m Greg Compestine. I had the pleasure of working with Rob in Colorado back in 2002 and 2003. I m now in the Bay Area working for this investment
                            Message 13 of 16 , Apr 27, 2004
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                              Hi Matt, I'm Greg Compestine. I had the pleasure of working with Rob in
                              Colorado back in 2002 and 2003. I'm now in the Bay Area working for this
                              investment firm called AXA Rosenberg.

                              This place is an Eiffel stronghold, and I've been involved in the Eiffel
                              Open Source community for several years. I'm now in the rather strange
                              position of promoting Perl to a collection of Eiffel and C# programmers.


                              In some respects, it makes sense for this place to use Perl. There's a
                              huge amount of legacy VMS processing, and we have Perl 5.6 running
                              there. All new development is targeting Windows, so Perl gives us a
                              cross-platform scripting language.

                              I have one coworker who's quite enthusiastic about adopting Perl (he's
                              sick to death the DCL, a sort of DOS Batch language with messianic
                              tendencies). While it's not team programming, he's been having me
                              regularly review his Perl code and "Robify" or refactor it, using
                              techniques I learned from Rob. This usually leads to significant
                              reductions in the size of the scripts, and usually, greater clarity.

                              Greg

                              -----Original Message-----
                              > From: Matthew Albright [mailto:mattalbright@...]
                              >

                              It sounds like there are other people here that are doing perl/XP
                              professionally... so, where is everyone located, what size of group do
                              you have, what kind of product are you doing, how long have you been
                              doing perl/xp, etc?

                              I'll start:
                              Airwave is in San Mateo, CA, USA (San Francisco Bay Area)... we are
                              developing (and selling) a wireless network management application. It
                              is nearly 100% OO perl that was developed over the past 3 or so years
                              with a full XP process (pairing/tdd/2 week iterations/etc). Our group
                              is currently 7 developers, looking to get to 8 very soon (hint hint).

                              Let's hear from everyone else!

                              matt
                            • Lance Wicks
                              Hi all, My name is Lance Wicks. I am a general IT geek/nerd here in the United Kingdom (tho originally I am from New Zealand). My involvement in Perl is
                              Message 14 of 16 , Apr 28, 2004
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                                Hi all,

                                My name is Lance Wicks. I am a general IT geek/nerd here in the United
                                Kingdom (tho' originally I am from New Zealand).

                                My involvement in Perl is primarily CGI web applications. And mainly for
                                pleasure as opposed to for work.
                                That said, the driver that had me looking for XP info and specifically XP
                                stuff for Perl is a project here to prototype a web based e-learning
                                solution for The Aziz Corporation/ Pzzaz ( www.azizcorp.com
                                <http://www.azizcorp.com> ).

                                I am also primarily a XP soloist, in other words no pair programming
                                available as I am the sole person tasked with writing code.
                                I have been using "the planning game" to manage the prototype development
                                and also to assist in getting buy-in from the sales team and trainers.

                                From my perspective, the idea of building a working application then adding
                                to it iteratively is just right. My chances of getting the time allocation
                                to do a BDUF style development was slim to naff all. As yet I have not
                                really started using the full XP range of tools/ideas. I have found Rob's
                                book the best resource so far for a newbie like me. Sites like
                                extremeprogramming.org are really good but can be intimidating IMHO.

                                Well... Thats about all about me.


                                Lance




                                [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                              • Adrian Howard
                                Since everybody else is doing introductions... Programming since 81. Been paid for it since 86. First used Perl in 96. Started along the agile/XP route around
                                Message 15 of 16 , Apr 30, 2004
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                                  Since everybody else is doing introductions...

                                  Programming since 81. Been paid for it since 86. First used Perl in 96.
                                  Started along the agile/XP route around 2000/1. Joined the extremeperl
                                  list (quick grep of the mbox) sometime in 2002. Have mostly lurked (not
                                  that there has been a lot to lurk around.)

                                  Not had a chance to more than skim a couple of chapters of Rob's book
                                  (this annoying "work" thing keeps getting in the way), but what I have
                                  seen looks jolly good.

                                  Been a contractor / consultant type since 1999 so I don't have my own
                                  little XP team to play with (sigh), but all my clients get the spiel
                                  and a few XP practices thrown in for good measure!

                                  I'm of the opinion that XP and Perl are an excellent fit. The XP
                                  practices stop the creation of golf/line-noise code, allowing its nice
                                  features to shine through.

                                  Oh yes, I wrote Test:Class for any xUnit fans out there.

                                  Cheers,

                                  Adrian
                                • norbertgruener
                                  Hi Rob, ... getting a single HTML page would be a real relief. --Norbert
                                  Message 16 of 16 , May 18, 2004
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                                    Hi Rob,

                                    --- In extremeperl@yahoogroups.com, Rob Nagler <nagler@b...> wrote:
                                    > Karl Scotland writes:
                                    >
                                    > > One thing I wondered was
                                    > > whether it might be easier to review as a pdf - or is that just me
                                    > > being too lazy to print out all the chapters separately?
                                    >
                                    > I had it as a PDF, but that stopped working. I was using Stas
                                    > Bekman's DocSet, and for some reason that broke, and I was too
                                    > busy to fix it. Alternatively, I could probably make the book
                                    > a single HTML page fairly easily. Would that work for you?

                                    getting a single HTML page would be a real relief.

                                    --Norbert
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