In the Practical Perl Programming elective (which, incidentally, will be offered again this fall semester), students are graded based a midterm test, a final test, and a course project. One of the projects was to list an audio CD's tracks according to the information available at CDDB or FreeDB.
Many students found a major stumbling block - the Audio::CD Perl module (which we had recommended) did not quite work on Windows. There were a couple of Perl modules that did the job on Windows only, using MCI and stuff, but they were also somewhat unwieldy to set up and use. So, it seemed that the only submission we would get on this project would be one from a very courageous student, who had written a small Perl program using the Audio::CD module, and had never actually tested it - for lack of access to a Linux machine. She was kinda frightened when stepping up to us at the exam, but I actually admired her courage&8230; and amazingly enough, the program worked great, with the exception of one or two minor problems that were mostly due to the badly documented Audio::CD interface.
Interlude (and yes, I know that the interlude does not usually follow the prologue... so what?)
And then another submission for the same project came along - Lina had found the Net::FreeDB module, which purported to work on both Windows and Linux. So I happily downloaded it (well, fine, so it wasn't in the FreeBSD ports collection, so I'll build it from source using BSDPAN), extracted it, ran perl Makefile.PL…
Unable to determine OS, Exiting
We probably shocked a couple of students poring over their own Perl tests and projects at the FMI lab, when we both laughed out hysterically at this message. Okay, fine then, another reboot to Debian, and her project seemed to work just fine. Still, something kept nagging me in the following days and weeks about this module not being available for FreeBSD…
Finale (or should that be a Grand Finale? Nahhh, not bloody likely…)
So here it is - a port of the Net::FreeDB module to FreeBSD. Here's the source patch, the port is already in the ports collection, and for the impatient, here's a tarball of the port if you'd use it before your next CVSup run :)
I've sent the patches to David Schultz; here's hoping that the next version of this module will run on FreeBSD out of the box! And thanks to Lina for pointing it out - and for the laugh at the "unknown OS" bump :)
Okay, so it's probably no news that my blog in Bulgarian has seen a bit more writing than this one - there have been a couple of things in the past few months or maybe a bit more that I've only written in Bulgarian and have not translated into English so far… or maybe, looking at the link farm in that last sentence, "a couple" is a bit of an understatement - it would seem that most of the things I've written there have not really been translated. Nope, this is not yet another one of those "I'm not writing here cause I've nothing to say but that don't really mean I've nothing to say, just I don't feel like saying it and stuff" entries - just a mild statement of wonder, even on my part, that it seems it's a bit easier for me to write in Bulgarian (heh... big surprise there, eh?), and so this blog may see fewer updates than the one over there in the future, too. There. You've been warned. Now go do something productive ;)
I think I have mentioned some time ago the incredible, grotesque, dreadful story of Nikolay Barovsky. The story of a young Bulgarian architect, musician, human being just like you and me, who has already lost - no, who has already had taken away from him a year of his life, a year of his youth, a year of his world - and, it seems, there will be more to come. The dreadful part about this story is that even though, at the seventh (or was it eighth?) month of his detainment things did really start moving along, they are still moving along at a horribly slow pace and in a horribly wrong direction - a direction that is horribly wrong from a humanitarian, heartfelt, just human point of view; Nikolay is still being detained, although he has now been formally charged and a law suit has been started. The court denied the request to let him out on bail, they digged up some reasons - no, pretexts - no, muttered excuses, which would have been funny and silly to the point of bringing out tears if they were not just astonishing to the point of a loss for words.
And as I've written before… For those who know what this is all about; for those who have not come across it yet; for those who know who Nikolay Barovsky is and what has happened to him, and think that this does not concern them; for those who have no idea who he is; for all Bulgarians - take a look at what this is all about, take a minute to understand what has befallen a Bulgarian who had been lingering in detainment for seven months before he was even charged with anything, and is still detained, as a result of a gross error (not to use much stronger words), find a way to help!
Well, well, well - it took me about a month, but now they're finally here: the pictures from the trip to Trigrad on August 12th, 13th, and 14th - almost a month ago. The original idea was to go visit the "Slunceluna" (Sunmoon or something similar) music and art festival there, but it turned out to be quite a bit more :)
As usual, if the gallery is giving you trouble as to access control, usernames, passwords, that kind of stuff, all you need to do is ask.