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Perl 6 Hackathon in Oslo: Be Prepared!
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<p>The Oslo Perl Mongers <a
href="">invite to the Perl 6 Patterns
Hackathon in Oslo</a>. I have <a
suggested that we hack on database connectivity</a>, and so far only got
positive feedback. If you want to help, here is what you can do to be
<li>Get a github account</li>
<li>Build and install Rakudo</li>
<li>Build and install zavolaj/NativeCall</li>
<li>download MiniDBI</li>
<li>install and prepare databases to talk to</li>
<p>To hack efficiently on those projects, and to benefit from last-minute
fixes, you should obtain Rakudo, NativeCall and MiniDBI from their git source
repositories -- that last release is already outdated.</p>
<p>Here are the instructions in detail. If at any point you run into problems,
feel free to ask <a href="">on the #perl6 IRC
channel</a> or the mailing list.</p>
<h2>Get a Github account</h2>
<p>All the interesting Perl 6 code lives in git repositories on <a
href="">github</a>. If you don't have an account already, <a
href="">sign up -- it's free</a>.</p>
<h2>Build and install Rakudo</h2>
<p>This step <a href="">is described well
on the Rakudo homepage</a>. Please follow the instruction in section
"Building the compiler from source".</p>
<p>For the following steps it is important that you have a fresh
<code>perl6</code> executable file in your $PATH. If you have downloaded
rakudo to <code>/home/you/p6/rakudo/</code>, you can run the command
<p>(and put it in your ~/.bashrc file if you want it permanently available,
not just in this shell).</p>
<h2>Build and install zavolaj/NativeCall</h2>
<p> is the high-level interface for calling C functions from
Perl 6 code. Install it:</p>
$ git clone git://
$ cd zavolaj
$ cp lib/NativeCall.pm6 ~/.perl6/lib/
<p>If you download and install <a
href="">ufo</a>, you can use it create a
Makefile for zavolaj. Then you can also run <code>make test</code>. On Linux it might not find the
test libraries (which is mostly harmless, because you usually call libraries
that are installed into your operating system, like those from mysql or
postgres). In this case you should run <code>LD_LIBRARY_PATH=. make
test</code> instead.</p>
<h2>Download MiniDBI</h2>
<p>That's not hard at all:</p>
$ git clone git://
<h2>Install and Prepare Databases</h2>
<p>So far, MiniDBI has (somewhat limited) support for mysql and postgres.
Since it is always easiest to start from (at least somewhat) working code, I
strongly recommend that you install at least one of those database
<p>Most modern Linux systems allow an easy installation via the package
manager, and there are installers available for other operating systems. Be
sure to also install the headers or development files if they come as extra
<p>As mysql <code>root</code> user, run these statements:</p>
CREATE USER 'testuser'@'localhost' IDENTIFIED BY 'testpass';
GRANT SELECT ON mysql.* TO 'testuser'@'localhost';
GRANT CREATE ON zavolaj.* TO 'testuser'@'localhost';
GRANT DROP ON zavolaj.* TO 'testuser'@'localhost';
GRANT INSERT ON zavolaj.* TO 'testuser'@'localhost';
GRANT DELETE ON zavolaj.* TO 'testuser'@'localhost';
GRANT LOCK TABLES ON zavolaj.* TO 'testuser'@'localhost';
GRANT SELECT ON zavolaj.* TO 'testuser'@'localhost';
<p>Launch <code>psql</code> as the <code>postgres</code> user and run these
CREATE ROLE testuser LOGIN PASSWORD 'testpass';
<p>You should now be able to connect with:</p>
<pre>psql --host=localhost --dbname=zavolaj --username=testuser --password
<p>(psql will ask you for the password. Enter <code>testpass</code>).</p>
<h3>Other Databases</h3>
<p>If you want to work on a backend for another database, it helps to have
that database installed. <a href="">Sqlite</a> is
an obvious choice (easy to install, zero setup), but of course there are
other free database too, like <a href=">firebird</a>.</p>
<h2>Project ideas</h2>
<p>There is a lot of stuff to do. What follows is only a loose, incomplete
collection of ideas.</p>
<li>Fix the postgres backend to actually pass its tests</li>
<li>Both mysql and postgres backends don't implement placeholders
properly; change them (or one of them) to pass the placeholder values out
of band.</li>
<li>Write an sqlite backend</li>
<li>Currently the user builds a DSN ("data source name") string out of the
driver name, database name, db host name and so on, and then the driver
parses it again. One could change that to pass all the information as
named parameters instead.</li>
<li>Improve test coverage. For example test that numbers round-trip with
the correct types.</li>
<li>Write a small application that uses a database. That's the best way to
see if MiniDBI and the backends work.</li>
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