Perl CamelSPUG

The Seattle Perl Users Group

Event Description

The regular SPUG meeting for Tuesday, 15 March 2005 will be held at 7:00 pm (PST) at the main offices. This month will feature a presentation on using the Perl debugger in a mod_perl environment.

This month's regular meeting should be a treat. The Seattle Perl Users Group is celebrating its seventh birthday this month. SPUG was born on 17 March 1998 (St. Patrick's Day, no less) at a community center in Ballard. The group was the result of Tim Maher contemplating his life atop a smoke-spewing volcano in Java, Indonesia a few weeks earlier where he resolved to establish a local community to support those using that fantastic language that is Perl. About two dozen people passed up their inalienable rights as Americans to drink Green Beer to instead attend this inaugural meeting in an unseasonably warm and humid community center. There are hundreds of Perl groups now, but at the time, SPUG was only the sixth ever formed. (Incidentally, this is why we've retained the SPUG moniker, despite the fact that later groups came to be known by the "Perl Monger" appellation.) [Adapted from Tim Maher's SPUG birthday announcement 17 March 2001]

I know folks have various opinions on how best to track down a problem with a bit of code. For folks that know me, you know that I prefer to ride along with the running code with the debugger and zero in on the culprit. Others prefer methods of altering the code and chatting prayers that the problem will somehow reveal itself (pfft [contempt]). Okay, okay. So there's more than one way to debug it. Either way, I think you might be interested to know how you can use the debugger on running CGI code. That is, CGI code running on the web server. And how about using the debugger on code running in the mod_perl environment! Even if you swear by print statements, don't you want to see how this can be done? Next Tuesday, you can!

Please RSVP as soon as you can. I'm going to pick up a birthday cake to celebrate!

Speaker Background

Kim Goldov has been using Perl since 1997. Kim came to Perl from a background in Lisp and rule-based programming for aircraft definition. He used Perl initially as a "glue" language in a product that allowed ICAD engineers to deploy their applications on the web. Kim went on to work at, and then W3 Data, Inc. (formerly, where he is currently a lead software engineer.

Presentation Description

The Perl debugger is a useful tool for finding bugs, and for gaining an understanding of how code is functioning. Kim's presentation will first review the debugger functionality. This will be followed by a discussion of debugging code used on the web. Live examples will include both stand-alone CGI scripts and code running under Apache mod_perl using the Apache::DB module. Tricks for integrating with Emacs will be included.

Pre-meeting Dinner

I'm swamped this month at won't be able to attend a pre-meeting dinner. For those that are interested, please feel free to start a new thread on the mailing list to discuss logistics.

Internet Access at Meeting

A link to the Internet will be provided at the meeting (provided you have suitable equipment). Tables, power strips, and Ethernet hubs will be available in limited quantity. 802.11g WiFi will be available. Please use the SSID: SPUG. The beacon will be broadcasting. No WEP/WPA. Please note that the provided network services are _not_ secure. As I'm sure most of you know, it is a trivial matter to "sniff" network traffic. Please use a secure application encryption protocol or other secure VPN solution to protect sensitive information. Use of the the provided network services is at your own risk. Be a good network citizen. The network services are provided gratis by our hosts. Access can be revoked at any time without prior notification.

PGP/GnuPG Key Exchange

If you want to exchange PGP/GnuPG signatures, please contact me directly with your public key (now!) and I'll bring fingerprint checklists for participants. Contact me if you want to know more. Oh, and you have to show up at the meeting to exchange ID's and all that, please. Otherwise this whole key exchange thing doesn't work.

Directions to Meeting

Our meeting will take place at the headquarters at 1200 12th Ave S, Seattle, Washington.

Please let me know if you find errors or a better route. Thanks.

I-5 (from North or South)

  1. On I-5, take the S Dearborn St exit and turn West on Dearborn (I-5 Southbound: turn right; I-5 Northbound: turn left) and proceed approximately one or two blocks.
  2. Turn right on 8th Ave S (the first light) and proceed North for three blocks.
  3. Turn right on S King St and proceed East for approximately five blocks. You will pass under I-5.
  4. Turn right on 12th Ave S and proceed South for approximately five blocks. Along this way, you will cross over the Dr. Jose P. Rizal bridge and you should see the Pac-Med tower directly ahead.
  5. At this point, notice that you have been going in a circle.
  6. Skip to Pac-Med Building below.

I-90 (from East)

  1. On I-90, take the Rainier Ave S (hwy 900) exit Northbound and proceed approximately six blocks.
  2. Turn left on S King St and proceed West for approximately two blocks.
  3. Turn left on 12th Ave S and proceed South for approximately five blocks. Along this way, you will cross over the Dr. Jose P. Rizal bridge and you should see the Pac-Med tower directly ahead.

Pac-Med Building

Turn right at Charles St (the light after the bridge). The Pac-Med building is visible ahead and on the left as you make the turn and proceed South on Charles (Charles borders the West side of the building).

The North parking lot entrance will be the second drive way on the left (the first has a Do Not Enter sign). The parking lot is on the left just past the parking attendant booth. The "carpool only" spaces should be okay to park in after 6:30.

Walk to the South entrance of the tower. There is stair next to the parking garage structure that leads to a convenient path that goes around the building to the main entrance on the South side of the building.

Enter building and go to the security desk. Sign in and wait to be escorted to the meeting room (just like when we met at Safeco in the U-district, more or less).


Directions from Meeting

Getting Back Onto I-5 Southbound

Although there is an I-5 northbound exit at S Dearborn St, there is no entrance back onto southbound I-5 at Dearborn. So don't bother trying to simply go back the same way you came.

Exit the Pac-Med parking lot on the East side of building (this is Golf Dr S) and turn right. Bear left onto 15th Ave S (the right fork is 14th Ave S. Proceed approximately 1.5 miles. Turn right on S Spokane St and go down steep hill. Turn right at light and follow signs to I-5 southbound.

If you exit the Pac-Med parking lot on the West side of the building, turn right on 12th Ave S and then right again on Golf Dr S (the light is the one at the South end of the Dr. Jose P. Rizal bridge). Continue as above.

Technically, there's another way onto I-5 SB, but it involves some other crazy route that I'm not going to provide here.