martinjevans's blog

Software Support and the deminishing usefulness of search engine results (a rant)

I've written commercial software and I maintain some open source software. I've also helped out with software support in various companies when the support person escalated the support issue to a developer. In the Open Source arena I think I've provided good support for the software I maintain and the company I work for now provides exceedingly quick support which more than often sorts the problem out immediately. All this is done by looking at the problem and provided information and providing a custom response but as far as I can see a descreasing number of companies manage to do this.

Perl DBIx::LogAny might replace DBIx::Log4Perl

Whilst at YAPC::EU 2012 (what a great conference BTW) a friend suggested I might change DBIx::Log4perl to DBIx::LogAny (where Log::Any did not exist when I wrote DBIx::Log4perl). DBIx::Log4perl came about when I was writing a large DBI based application and needed to know what was going on and realized the DBI tracing was far too detailed for us. DBIx::Log4perl logs at different levels DBI method calls and in particular everything it can find when an error occurs. Mostly all I needed was everything I could find when an error occurred but logging SQL passed to do and prepare and bound parameters etc was useful too.

Perl DBD::ODBC 1.42_0 release

I've just released Perl DBD::ODBC 1.42_0 development release.

There is no reason to upgrade unless you are using the MS Access ODBC Driver.

=head2 Changes in DBD::ODBC 1.42_0 November 28 2012

[BUG FIXES]

MS Access requires a longchar column to be bound using SQL_LONGVARCHAR.
However, MS Access does not support SQLDescribeParam and we default to
SQL_VARCHAR in this case. The point at which we switch to SQL_LONGVARCHAR
was defaulted to 4000 (for MS SQL Server). We now default to SQL_LONGVARCHAR
for MS Access when data is > 255. This means you can remove those

Perl DBIx::LogAny replacement for DBIx::Log4perl

Whilst at YAPC::EU 2012 there was a talk which included Log::Any. I didn't attend that talk but a friend (Jens Rehsack) was and he wondered why DBIx::Log4perl wasn't DBIx::LogAny. The simple answer is that Log::Any did not exist when I wrote it and we were using Log::Log4perl.

I had plans for today but the weather was poor and so I thought I'd try a quick hack of DBIx::LogAny. You can find it here. There are 2 problems:

Pro 100M Wireless Shutter Remote Control Release for use with Nikon D3100

I just bought a Pro 100M Wireless Shutter Remote Control Release fits Nikon D90, D3100, D5000, D7000 Digital Cameras from Amazon supplied by BV-electronics for £13.99 delivered.

I have a Nikon D3100.

Ordered Sunday night and arrived Wednesday morning.

Perl DBD::ODBC 1.40_3 released to the CPAN

I've just uploaded the DBD::ODBC 1.40_3 development release to the CPAN. If all goes well this will be the official 1.41 release in a weeks time.

The eTRV (electronic thermostatic radiator valve) and saving energy in my home

I've just bought an eTRV from Chalmor for £59.99. There are much cheaper electronic TRVs but the reviews on screwfix slated them for noise, low battery life, losing settings when battery fails and other faults.

A side note on pricing on web sites

Inserting unicode characters > 0xFFFF (surrogate pairs) into MS SQL Server with Perl DBD::ODBC

Until recently it has been difficult to insert unicode characters above 0xFFFF into MS SQL Server. DBD::ODBC could do it in such a way that you can select them back correctly but the built in functions (like length, sorting and upper/lower etc) did not treat the surrogate pairs as such so it was limited.

Microsoft SQL Server 2012 introduces a new collation suffix (_SC) and it supports surrogate pairs (although there is an indication that the UTF-16 encoded data must be sent little endian and I've not managed to test on a big endian machine as yet). Here is some test code:

 

New Perl DBD::ODBC development update - important changes, please test

I have released a new development release of Perl DBD::ODBC. This contains some important bug fixes and changes so I strongly advise you to test this out.

There was a problem introduced in the test suite in 1.40_2 when run to non MS SQL Server which results in a few tests failing because done_testing is called twice (please ignore this - it is fixed in subversion trunk).

Perl DBD::ODBC on the Raspberry Pi

I got my Raspberry Pi a week ago and wrote up my first impressions about the RP and whether it would work to get our children programming at Raspberry Pi - will it get our children programming? and if so why not in Perl?.

Since then I wanted to get DBI and DBD::ODBC installed and install an ODBC Driver.

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