Third article in as many weeks
2014-04-24 writing

So I just finished WWW::KeePassRest and wrote a little article about how I did that, and now, flush with victory, I'm casting around a little to see what else I can write about.

There's a lot.

First up will probably be the second installment on the TRADOS language saga; with Win32::RunAsAdmin I now have the crucial tool I was missing to wrap the prototype code up into a module suitable for framing. That gives me a decent little utility I can call from the command line - easier to remember than looking for a script, that's for sure!

But after that... I'm not sure. I've done some work getting IE::Mechanize ready for new generations of Internet Explorer, but until I'm actually done with that effort, I don't think I want to write about it. Although my tools for doing so are getting better.

Similarly, the work I've done with Exegete (my tool for writing about code) has only begun to scratch the surface. It'll turn into good writing as well as a good writing tool soon enough.

There are three big topics I want to address, but they're all pretty daunting. They're going to be article series instead of single articles. The first is Win32::OLE, specifically documentation of the XS code and the APIs it exposes without actually documenting them anywhere. That's been a problem for me for some time, and I'm not the only one.

Kind of tangent to this would be a module generator for COM interface modules; Win32::Shortcut would be a good starting point for that kind of very simple wrapper. Since this would be a decent supplement for better understanding of OLE in the first place, and since I halfway suspect it's going to end up being my only actual option for automating IE, this is actually a pretty decent early target.

Where exegesis is going to really get serious is GPG. Thomas Ptacek proposed some kind of code-level documentation a few months ago and I've really been working towards building the tools and the skills to write that kind of text. That will be useful for a wider audience, too, so from a point of view of mindshare it will be an excellent target.

Finally, there's always OpenLogos, the machine translation tool I adopted (and have neglected) a couple of years ago. It's massively huge and atrociously (that is: not) documented, so again, it's something for which the whole concept of a code exegesis will pay off.

So there's no shortage of grist for the mill. It's just a question of picking closer targets first. I suspect the order I've presented these systems in will be roughly the order I start writing about them.

Oh, I suppose an article about the refactoring approach I've been taking to these little CPAN modules might not be a bad idea.

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