223 reputation
48
bio website perl.com
location Boulder, CO
age 51
visits member for 3 years, 8 months
seen Jul 6 at 16:58

profile for tchrist on Stack Exchange, a network of free, community-driven Q&A sites

I’m Tom Christiansen, author of Programming Perl and Perl Cookbook from O’Reilly. I’m a freelance instructor giving courses in Perl programming, including Unicode and regular expressions. I’ve been using BSD Unix for 30 years now; like your maid, I don’t do Windows.

I’ve undergraduate degrees in Spanish and in Computer Science, and a graduate degree in compsci focusing on operating systems design and in natural language processing. I’ve studied Spanish, French, Italian, Portuguese, Latin, and German, with a smattering of other languages thrown in. For the last few years I’ve been dabbling in computational linguistics.


May
8
comment How to deal with team members writing bad code
Me, I’m still working on the reverse situation: how to tell one’s juniors that their code isn’t good enough but doing so in a way that doesn’t harm the relationship and which has a chance of getting code out of them in the future. It doesn’t matter that management has specifically requested that I do this (they have, in fact); it’s still delicate, and the results never assured.
Mar
7
awarded  Yearling
Feb
8
awarded  Citizen Patrol
Sep
30
awarded  Necromancer
Feb
12
comment Scientific evidence that supports using long variable names instead of abbreviations?
Theonlyproblemwithlongvariablenamesiswhenpeopleforgettoincludespacesbetweeneachw‌​ord. And_of_course_we_put_spaces_in_variables_using_underscores. Your choice.
May
13
comment what limitation will we face if each user-perceived character is assigned to one codepoint?
@Pacerier Because they’re legit Unicode extended grapheme clusters, that’s why. You are far too tied to non-specialist English for this to make sense to you. You should read the explanation of and justification for combining characters in the Unicode Standard, because you clearly fail to understand, or fail to recognize, or perhaps fail to accept, the motivations that the Unicode Consortium had for these. Even for the simple Latin and Greek cases, you need countably infinite variations due to matters such as combining marks in IPA and mathematical notation.
May
13
comment what limitation will we face if each user-perceived character is assigned to one codepoint?
@Pacerier Disagree. Consider combining single and double overlines and underlines.
May
13
comment what limitation will we face if each user-perceived character is assigned to one codepoint?
@Pacerier You really are missing the point. You cannot possibly have one code point per extended grapheme cluster, because the number of the latter easily exceeds 32 bits, let alone 21 of them. It just isn’t possible. You need to learn to iterating by grapheme clusters just as you need to learn how to iterate by words. Both are higher-level concepts of any open-ended problem space that is subject to infinite variation.
Apr
16
awarded  Pundit
Mar
5
awarded  Excavator
Mar
5
revised Why are regular expressions so morbidly attractive?
spelling and formatting fixes
Mar
4
suggested suggested edit on Why are regular expressions so morbidly attractive?
Mar
4
comment Why are regular expressions so morbidly attractive?
That’s just bull. Learn out to write proper modern regexes.
Mar
4
comment Why are regular expressions so morbidly attractive?
Why is it that everyone confuses pulling out little bits of HTML with completely parsing a full-blown web page into a full parse tree? It’s really stupid. Believe me, when I edit HTML pages in vi, you bet your life I use :%s/foo/bar/gc on it. If it’s good enough for an editor, it’s good enough for a script.
Mar
4
comment Why are regular expressions so morbidly attractive?
Anybody who isn’t writing all his regexes in /x mode to allow for whitespace for the elbowroom of cognitive chunking, and for comments to explain why things are being done, should of course have his ears boxed. But for real regexes of reasonable complexity, you need to consider applying top-down design via grammatical regexes. Once you have seen the light, you’ll never go back to /@#$^^@#$^&&*)@#/.
Mar
4
comment Why are regular expressions so morbidly attractive?
@peterchen Read ’em and weap!
Mar
4
comment When you should NOT use Regular Expressions?
Modern regexes are so far beyond what your grandma was taught that regexes could do that it her advice is immaterial. And even primitive regexes can handle most little snippets of HTML. This blanket prohibition is ridiculous and unrealistic. Regexes were made for this sort of thing. And yes, I do know what I’m talking about.
Mar
4
comment When you should NOT use Regular Expressions?
There is no reason in the world to avoid throwing a regex at a string like "<a href='foo'>stuff</a>". Modern regexes have no trouble with this.
Mar
4
comment When you should NOT use Regular Expressions?
Actually, attacking bits of HTML with regexes is easy and worthwhile. It’s trying to parse an entire web page with a single regex that’s ridiculous. But there is no reason in the world why not to use a regex on a string like "<b>foo bar</b>". The parrots don’t know what they’re squawking about.
Mar
2
awarded  Autobiographer