Ken's Voyages Around the Sun

On Safari
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As I mentioned last night, I spent nearly all Sunday re-coding scripts to make our college course database work on the CSUN web server. This ought not to have been necessary.

Thanks to Kenny's helpful diagnosis on Friday, when I hit a roadblock, it appears to be the case that the version of Perl on the university server has been compiled with a compiler no longer on the machine. Therefore, when trying to install some Perl modules I ran into a bunch of error messages.

Apparently those modules prefer to be compiled with the same version of the compiler used for Perl on the same box. But because that version was no longer available, I had no way to compile the modules that I needed for my Perl code, which had been developed and tested on another machine. Ergo, the only opion was to convert the Perl script to PHP, which does work there.

And that brings me to Safari, O'Reilly's on-line bookshelf of technical reference books. I have a great fondness for O'Reilly manuals, and to find them all online -- searchable, capable of copying and pasting code snippets -- is a real boon. I'd even pay for it... but I don't have to. Simply access their site with a .edu address, and you get them for free. I can do this from home too, after connecting through the university.

Their on-line availability made the weekend coding go significantly faster, since I could just lookup whatever bit of syntax I needed for regexs or database connections and then copy and paste it into my scripts. Had Safari not been available, I'd have driven down to a bookstore, bought the paper book, then type in what I needed. That's not nearly so elegant.

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