Here is a collection of software that I have written for automatically adding bookmark descriptions, translating JCL into Perl, simple electronic voting via email, and other tasks. Most of these tools are sharp and pointy - be careful.
All of this software is free (as in "free beer" and "free speech") and distributed under the GPL. As is usual with free software (and most proprietary software, for that matter), none of this stuff is guaranteed to be useful or safe to run. Some of it might even cause cancer in rats, but I wouldn't know since I refuse to test it on animals.
Most of the code that I write nowadays is in Perl, but don't let that frighten you. With a few exceptions, my code is procedural rather than object-oriented. I try to stick to common idioms and to extensively comment the code - some would say that it is over-commented.
If you find any bugs, write any patches, have suggestions for improvements, or just find this material useful, I would like to hear from you. I make my living as a freelance computer consultant, so if you want to pay me to add some feature that you need, I am particularly interested in hearing from you.
It has been signed with my PGP key, so you can be more or less guaranteed that tampering will be obvious. If you are ultra-paranoid and can't trust even an nice guy like me, you will just have to read the included sources.
During November and December of 1999, I helped the Statistical Section of the International Labour Office of the United Nations to migrate their SAS software from an IBM mainframe to a Unix system. I have posted these pages and software in the hope that they are of aid to anyone contemplating a similar move.
wget(1), a Netscape bookmark file, some kind of Unix
mailx(1), some kind of Unix
After my brief trip to the 1960s (see the JCL converter above), I have decided to boldly stride into the 1970s and start using a language that was (almost) popular at the time that I first started to use computers - Forth. I won't bother putting any links to Forth-related web sites here - it is sufficient to do a bit of searching with your favorite search engine.
In brief, if you are one of those wierdos who likes HP RPN calculators or programming in PostScript, you will feel right at home with Forth.
A few of notes about style:
( -- ).
Sometimes I run across a piece of software that I like so much, I feel compelled to improve upon it or at least offer a critique or bug report. Here is a list of some of the software to which I have contributed my $0.02.
META DESCRIPTIONtags in pages
IMGtag and determines
WIDTHattributes to speed up page loading
rdjpgcom(1)to find image sizes rather than the heavy and slow
file(1)utility for rapidly identifying files
From email@example.com Tue Sep 4 21:46:19 2001 Date: Thu, 02 Aug 2001 09:16:32 -0400 From: Todd M. Lewis <firstname.lastname@example.org> Reply-To: Todd_Lewis@unc.edu To: email@example.com Subject: MVS to Unix migrations Erik, I just enjoyed reading your "MVS to Unix migration HOWTO" (http://www.multimania.com/rossen/software/migration/index.html). I was/am involved in our MVS to Unix migration here at the U. of North Carolina, and I periodically do a search for other such migrations to compare techniques. I have not found many such migrations documented on the web, so it's always a treat to see how others have approached the problem. Of particular interest is the suite of tools -- locally developed or readily available -- selected for such a task. Your JCL to Perl translator was neat, dealing with an issue we never even tried to address through a program. That problem was written off as a training issue for the users. Our neatest tool, "migflt", is a translator that can read and write blocked or unblocked, fixed or varying or stream (\n-delimited) records, trimming trailing blanks, EBCDIC<->ASCII convert selected parts of records, and strip line numbers. Fortunately we didn't have the problem of custom EBCDIC encodings that you had to deal with (but support for that could be added, now that I think about it). Interesting too is how various migrations tend to emphasize different aspects of a migration. We too were a mostly SAS shop, though there were some other popular packages we had to deal with as well. We were mostly concerned with actually copying and storing the data -- about 850Gb as it turned out (most of which, no doubt, will never be looked at again). We couldn't shut down during the move either; users kept right on using their data while we copied it. And, since it was not at all a given that the move to Unix was permanent, we wanted to transform the data sets as little as possible in the actual migration. In fact, we kept enough information so that, if necessary, we could move the data back or to another MVS system with appropriate RECFMs, DCBs, etc. All of this data went into an archive from which users could check out copies of their formerly MVS data sets. This allowed them to experiment with Unix techniques and tools, and if they screwed up some files, they could check out another copy from the archive. Furthermore, if they subsequently updated a data set on the MVS system, we would eventually migrate that data again, updating the archive with the most current copy. That way users could phase in their Unix use as time and projects permitted. We promised to keep the archive around for 5 years -- the end of which coincides with the end of 2001. Anyway, I wanted to thank your for documenting your migration and making it available over the web. If you are curious, our migration documentation (such as it is) can be found at http://www.unc.edu/~ibmarc/. -- +------------------------------------------------------------+ / Todd_Lewis@unc.edu http://www.unc.edu/~utoddl / /(919) 962-5273 Lord, give me patience... Now! / +------------------------------------------------------------+ From firstname.lastname@example.org Tue Sep 4 21:46:19 2001 Date: Thu, 02 Aug 2001 11:08:19 -0400 From: Todd M. Lewis <email@example.com> Reply-To: Todd_Lewis@unc.edu To: Erik Rossen <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Re: MVS to Unix migrations Erik Rossen wrote: > > -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE----- > Hash: SHA1 > > Thanks for the feedback. It was interesting to hear that I was not the > only person to have ever tried this migration. You are only the third or > fourth person to have ever contacted me about those pages that I wrote. I've had very few contacts as well. It's sad to think how many people must be reinventing this wheel. Surely we learned _something_ that would save others some headaches. > Question: can I include a copy of your email on my migration page? I would consider it an honor. (Hope I spelled everything correctly.) I just showed that message to Doug McIntyre, who did the programming on the MVS side of our migration. He had some clarifying comments that I'll pass along. Feel free to include whatever you think relevant: * First, we had to migrate all the data. We tried for a while to coordinate with users to determine what files were relevant, etc., but that proved too time consuming and error prone. * Furthermore, lots of the research data we housed was paid for with grants that required that the data be kept for up to five years. So, arguably, we were under contractual obligations to preserve the data even though in some cases where there was no identifiable user associated with it. * We found it hard enough to move our own data sets; training users to move their stuff while they were already working 40+ hours/week was simply not realistic. The move was our idea; we had to take responsibility for making it work. That meant we had to: - have both systems up and running long enough for users to "learn Unix" - let users switch projects over as their time permitted, and - move their data for them. * If we moved the data for users, then we faced the daunting problem of distributing the data once it was on the Unix side. The MVS and Unix userids didn't match up one to one, we could easily blow individual users' quotas if we dumped everything in their home directories, and we couldn't make assumptions about how they wanted to structure their data on the Unix side. The archive solved these problems for us; users could pull data from the archive to their current directory as they needed it, and we didn't need to push the data out the them. Nor did we need to re-migrate anything should they lose their copy. * Users still needed to authenticate to access the archive, and the MVS and Unix logins didn't match up one to one. So when they ran the "checkout" program, it asked them for their MVS userid and password. Checkout would authenticate them against MVS (by opening an ftp session with MVS), and if successful it would cache their encrypted passwords in the archive. That way, once the MVS system was gone, we could still authenticate their checkout requests with their MVS userid and password, regardless of which Unix ID they were using. * Checkout performs the final conversions of the data: IBCDIC->ASCII, unblocking, trailing blanks, line unnumbering, etc. Since most data sets will never be checked out of the archive, that's quite a bit of manipulation we'll never have to do. And if a conversion turns out to be the Wrong Thing, a user can check it out again with custom conversions, or with no conversions. We wanted to avoid doing the wrong conversion -- thus irrevocably screwing up the data -- before the data landed in the archive; we'd like to keep all of our screw-ups out in front of us:-) Well, that's about it. I see you've contributed to HTMLTidy. Me too -- I submitted the code that optionally uses ~/.tidyrc. Free software. Neat stuff. Happy Computing, -- +------------------------------------------------------------+ / Todd_Lewis@unc.edu http://www.unc.edu/~utoddl / /(919) 962-5273 Lord, give me patience... Now! / +------------------------------------------------------------+
--Erik Rossen <email@example.com>
Copyright © 2000 until the heat-death of the Universe (thanks, Mickey!), by Erik Rossen
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