Debugging Perl in Eclipse with EPIC

Back in September 2005 I presented two sessions at EclipseWorld on EPIC. My first tutorial based on the topics and techniques covered in the first session was released in January, and now the followup, covering debugging Eclipse is available too. Here’s the outline blurb:

Debugging Perl applications can be a frustrating process. Many Perl programmers rely on print statements and so-called “postmortem debugging.” Others use the built-in Perl debugger. Neither provides a coherent execution environment for monitoring the execution of a script, and neither supports the debugging of a Common Gateway Interface (CGI) script during execution. In this tutorial, we will look at the debugging functionality offered by the Eclipse Perl Integration (EPIC) plug-in for Eclipse, which offers a rich debugging environment available and integrated with the EPIC Perl development environment.

You can also read the first tutorial, although it is not really required before reading the new How to debug Perl applications with Eclipse.

WordPress Review

My latest Free Software Magazine newsletter article is on WordPress – a package I use quite a lot for my own blogging.The article is part of the newsletter series on Hosting Service open source software. Read on for my thoughts on what makes WordPress so appealing to hosting services.

Develop SQL databases with Eclipse, SQLExplorer, and Clay

Robi Sen, friend and fellow IBM developerWorks author, has written a great piece on using SQL databases from within Eclipse. He’s done a great job on what was originally my idea and outline but which I just didn’t have the time to carry forward when the proposal was approved by IBM. The tutorial covers the use of SQLExplorer (my favourite interface) and Clay (which I admit I’ve probably never extracted the best from because I don’t have time to devote to it at the moment). From Robi’s own intro:

Learn how to use Eclipse and the SQLExplorer plug-in to connect to any database that supports a JDBC driver. These tools allow you to view database schemas, view table data, add and edit table data, and write, edit, and execute SQL. You will also learn how to use Azzurri Clay to create Entity Relationship Diagrams (ERDs), reverse-engineer databases, add tables, edit tables, delete tables, edit relationships, add indexes, and change your underlying data model into different SQL dialects.

If you do any sort of database development using Eclipse you should at least check out the article and better still, add the plug-ins to your environment.

Apache 2.2.0: Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Apache 2.2.0 is out and ServerWatch asked me to do a quick write up of the main features and some thoughts on whether you should upgrade to the latest version. I’ll leave my recommendations for the article, but if you use Apache 2.2.0 for serving websites, and even more importantly if you develop Apache modules and components, then you should check out the article to find out the realy differences between the previous stable release and the new one.

Understanding LAMP

I spend a lot of time working with LAMP technology and telling people how to make the best of the LAMP stack. But you’d be surprised about how many people don’t really understand what the LAMP stack actually is. The reality of course is that it is many things to many people – some consider the LAMP stack to be a development environment, others a deployment environment. Some also confuse the technologies in use. Some take LAMP to mean PHP, others Perl, others Python. The truth of course is that all of these are technically correct. I’ve gone into more detail through this article at ServerWatch. LAMP is just one of a number of similar acronyms for development deployment environments based on some of these technologies, and I cover some of those acronyms in the article as well.

Hosting Services and free software

I’ve started a new series, through the Free Software Magazine newsletter, on the use of open source technology by hosting services, including the ready-to-run applications such as WordPress, phpBB and Gallery. The aim is to look at these individual products and how they can provide a quick and easy solution to building your websites, communities and brand. The first in the series, an overview of FOSS technology in hosting services, can be read here. You can also subscribe and get the newsletters sent to you automatically. Subscription is free once you’ve filled in a form