'Tis the Season: The Perl Advent Calendar

by Juliet Kemp

Tip of the Trade: Less chocolatey, but more useful. Since 2000, the Perl Advent Calendar has been providing a useful Perl module each day from December 1 through Christmas Eve.

I've talked about Perl quite a lot in recent columns, largely because it's still an incredibly useful language for sys admins. On a seasonal Perl note, the Perl Advent Calendar has been going since 2000, and it provides a Useful Perl Module for every day between the 1st and the 24th of December. Less chocolatey than your average advent calendar, but possibly more useful.

Some of the useful ones so far in this year's calendar:

  • local::lib for managing local library installs. Best practice is not to install modules from CPAN as root; instead, you can use the system perl and keep your own CPAN directory under your home directory. This tool helps you manage that.
  • Devel::Trace for easy debugging fun. You can use it as a command-line option instead of adding print statements into your code.
  • pmtools for finding out information about installed perl modules. pminst will search for modules matching the given search string, pmpath will locate a module for you, and there are other options available as well.

Sadly there isn't an entry for every day this year, but you can always check out the archives for the days without a modern one. There's also a collection of advent bookmarks available to look through, including the interesting Sysadmin Advent Calendar articles.

Juliet Kemp has been messing around with Linux systems, for financial reward and otherwise, for about a decade. She is also the author of "Linux System Administration Recipes: A Problem-Solution Approach" (Apress, 2009).

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This article was originally published on Monday Dec 21st 2009
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