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May 17, 2003  

I've put up two pieces of code that someone somewhere might find useful.

The first is a MSN bot written in Python - in much the same way as an infobot in Perl, but with fewer features for your, er, benefit. It's not threaded, it has no stack or queueing system. It was written mainly for my own benefit (to learn Python, and because my short term memory is useless). Eventually I'll just use it as an annoying to-do list, with timed reminders and so on, and maybe even a server monitor, so I can be messaged if something falls over.

The second is a documentation system for Perl and PHP scripts. Having worked on a number of different projects recently, been able to pull out all the comments in the files, and have them saved in a way that shows me what object, method or function they were in, has been invaluable. It's a Perl module that is (inevitable) a bundle of regex's to pull out any type of //, #, or /* */ comment in Perl of PHP file. Comments are then stored according to line number, object, method and so on. So, this isn't something that is going to change the way you work, it's more of a real-world utility. I've seen lots of code that was written to a deadline, and the comments have been poor. But, there is always some basic metadata attached to a comment, it's location being the primary clue. So, by finding comments, and attaching their location to them, I can at least make the best documentation possible from a nasty codebase. Of course, with nicely documented code, this is just the cherry on the icing on a very nice cake. Said Pooh.

And finally, if you're looking for restaurants in london, or if you want to read about pubs and bars in and around london, then you need to take a look at the Time Out London Eating and Drinking guide online - It's a searchable version of the printed guide, updated weekly with all the relevant reviews of the best, and worst, restaurants in and around London. Having used it for a while I've found quite a few places that I didn't know were so local to where I worked, and seem to offer exactly the kind of atmosphere I didn't think existed in London anymore. Plus, having to always think about the vegetarian option when I'm eating out, it's been a great help in finding more places to try.

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