Extending and Embedding Perl
Extending and Embedding Perl by Tim Jenness and Simon Cozens
Manning Publications, 2003
Nothing instills more fear in the average Perl programmer than working with XS, Perl's technology for interfacing with eXternal Subroutines in other languages, most notably C. Calling C libraries from Perl is a delicate science, as is the related technique of embedding the entire Perl interpreter into an existing C program. Not every Perl programmer needs to do such things, but when faced with the task, it's hard work.
Written by two respected members of the Perl community, Extending and Embedding Perl attempts to address the needs of such programmers. It covers a lot of ground: XS, the Perl API, alternatives to XS, embedding, the Perl internals, compiling and the Perl development process.
I particularly liked the use of real examples (and working source code) when discussing various aspects of this technology. There are code snippets from Tk, Apache::mod_perl and the Perl sources. I also liked how the authors often would present an obvious solution to a problem, only to highlight its shortcomings, refine the initial solution and then present the improvement. This made the book's material real and useful.
I don't agree with the authors' assumption that they provide enough C in the two chapters they devote to the language. Programmers already competent in Perl and C will get the most from this book. If all you know is Perl, you'll likely struggle with the material. This is not really the authors' fault: XS isn't easy, and the style of C that's used within the Perl sources and the XS interface is somewhat obscure (that's being kind). I was amazed how often I found myself looking at the presented C code and shuddering. That aside, this book is a welcome addition to the arsenal of Perl books. It should help with demystifying XS and associated technologies. As to whether Extending and Embedding Perl is a book for every Perl programmer, I'd have to say it is not. However, if you do need it, you will find it an invaluable reference.
Practical Task Scheduling Deployment
July 20, 2016 12:00 pm CDT
One of the best things about the UNIX environment (aside from being stable and efficient) is the vast array of software tools available to help you do your job. Traditionally, a UNIX tool does only one thing, but does that one thing very well. For example, grep is very easy to use and can search vast amounts of data quickly. The find tool can find a particular file or files based on all kinds of criteria. It's pretty easy to string these tools together to build even more powerful tools, such as a tool that finds all of the .log files in the /home directory and searches each one for a particular entry. This erector-set mentality allows UNIX system administrators to seem to always have the right tool for the job.
Cron traditionally has been considered another such a tool for job scheduling, but is it enough? This webinar considers that very question. The first part builds on a previous Geek Guide, Beyond Cron, and briefly describes how to know when it might be time to consider upgrading your job scheduling infrastructure. The second part presents an actual planning and implementation framework.
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With all the industry talk about the benefits of Linux on Power and all the performance advantages offered by its open architecture, you may be considering a move in that direction. If you are thinking about analytics, big data and cloud computing, you would be right to evaluate Power. The idea of using commodity x86 hardware and replacing it every three years is an outdated cost model. It doesn’t consider the total cost of ownership, and it doesn’t consider the advantage of real processing power, high-availability and multithreading like a demon.
This ebook takes a look at some of the practical applications of the Linux on Power platform and ways you might bring all the performance power of this open architecture to bear for your organization. There are no smoke and mirrors here—just hard, cold, empirical evidence provided by independent sources. I also consider some innovative ways Linux on Power will be used in the future.Get the Guide