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by pryrt (Monsignor)
on Mar 18, 2016 at 23:38 UTC ( #1158292=user: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Hobbyist Perl s‎crip‎ts since the mid '90's, when I picked it up to start doing some simple cgi and random .sig picker for my college-supplied email and personal homepage.

Since my searches for Perl questions usually had the best answer here, I decided I'd finally make an account, and see if I could occasionally answer something rather than just having all my questions answered. :-)

Took over Games::Literati a few years back, because it'd had a long-time scoring bug, and I wanted to add some features (like Words With Friends). That got me interested in publicly contributing to CPAN: while I don't think anyone but me has ever used one of my modules, they do exist. :-)

Developing Data::IEEE754::Tools because I'm interested in the underlying encoding of floating-point numbers, and because Integers sometimes turn into Reals after substraction started an Earworm, fed by Determining the minimum representable increment/decrement possible?, that then wouldn't go away.

Developing Math::PRBS because sometimes, a PRBS is useful to have, and I was surprised to find that I couldn't see it in Math::NumSeq (under any name that I could think of); even if it does include it, one of its prerequisite libraries doesn't compile on Win32 systems. So, I made one (that didn't rely on the prerequisite libraries, so not part of the Math::NumSeq family).

I listed some of my programming history (and potential future) in response to the January 2019 Poll. People reading this far through my bio might be interested to see that history, too.

Since Re^2: Canonization Without Representation showed I was interested: #709 in 556d (1y + 6mo + 7d). The next day, I learned that the SIOB list reorders as XP changes. Now I'm curious whether there's a public interface that will allow showing how someone moves through the SIOB list over time (as the more-active monks start overtaking others). :-)

Posts by pryrt
Announcing Perl-based automation of Notepad++ in Cool Uses for Perl
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by pryrt
on Feb 22, 2020 at 14:35

    Here is my Perl module for automating Notepad++ (the Windows-based text editor). edit: as new versions are released, I will update the VERSION HISTORY, and post a reply so something ends up in Newest Nodes / Recently Active Threads


    Win32::Mechanize::NotepadPlusPlus - Automate the Windows application Notepad++


    use Win32::Mechanize::NotepadPlusPlus ':main'; my $npp = notepad(); # main application


    Automate the Windows application Notepad++. This is inspired by the Notepad++ plugin PythonScript, but I decided to automate the application from the outside, rather than from inside a Notepad++ plugin. But this module uses similar naming conventions and interface to the PythonScript plugin.


    This is the first public release of the module. In general, it works. As with all first releases, there is room for improvement; I welcome feedback.

    The first known limitation is that none of the hooks for Scintilla or Notepad++ callbacks have been enabled. That may come sometime in the future.

    All the testing and development was done with a US-English installation of Notepad++, and all the file encodings have been ANSI or UTF-8. I know that I need to include better tests for encoding, and any help you can provide with that is appreciated.

    Notepad++ is a Windows application, so that's the intended platform for this module. However, I know Notepad++ can be made to run in Wine and similar environments in Linux, so it may be possible to make this module drive Notepad++ in such an environment. Feedback on this process is welcome.


    To install this module, use your favorite CPAN client.

    For a manual install, type the following:

    perl Makefile.PL make make test make install

    (You may need to use "dmake" or "gmake" instead of "make", depending on your setup.)


    Peter C. Jones

    Please report any bugs or feature requests thru the repository's interface at, or by emailing <bug-Win32-Mechanize-NotepadPlusPlus AT> or thru the web interface at


    Copyright (C) 2019,2020 Peter C. Jones


    This program is free software; you can redistribute it and/or modify it under the terms of either: the GNU General Public License as published by the Free Software Foundation; or the Artistic License. See for more information.


    2020 Mar 21: v0.002 released to CPAN

    • Reorganize the hash variables for easier and clearer use going forward (#13)
    • editor->getLine() on an empty line will now correctly return an empty string, not "\0" (fixed #14)
    • update API for getNumberOpenFiles to correctly use the constants (#17)
    • add notepad->getNppVar() for accessing the "user variables", like FULL_CURRENT_PATH and CURRENT_WORD (#19)
    • improve documentation internal links (#20)
    • make the editor->hwnd() a public method (instead of using editor()->{_hwnd})
    • make the notepad->hwnd() a public method (instead of using notepad()->{_hwnd})
    • add helper editor->getEOLString(): convert EOL Mode integer to a string
    • editor->getFileEndPosition(): gives the end position of the whole document
    • improve test coverage: add encoding names and getLanguageName coverage to npp-buffer.t
    • examples/ folder: adding more example usages
    • improve Editor documentation on ->findText and some other methods, and clean up set/get pairs, so they share the same information
    • improve Notepad documentation, especially fixing the link for menuCmdID source file

    2020 Apr 6: v0.003 released to CPAN

    The user-centric changes that were made:

    • some of the Scintilla v4.2.0 messages that were implemented in Notepad++ v7.8 were missing, so add them (#29: thanks VinsWorldcom for pointing this out!)
    • runPluginsCommand() = fixed command cache feature and improved test (#30)
    • added version notes, to say which messages and "enums" (hashes/keys) require NPP v7.8 (because these are the Scintilla v4.2.0 updates)
Outputting JSON with sorted names/keys in Seekers of Perl Wisdom
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by pryrt
on Jan 25, 2020 at 19:15

    I'm trying to create a simple JSON file. I wanted to try to get the names/keys output in a specific (non-alphanumeric) order (to make it easier on the human users of the JSON -- I know it's irrelevant to any automated parsers). Using the JSON module, I can get unsorted or alphanumerically sorted. Manually rolling it, I can get in whatever order I specify. Is there an option I'm not seeing in the JSON docs for altering the sort-order? or another module that has user-supplied sort order?

    (It's not overly important; this is mostly as a learning opportunity; my manual_ordered_json could have finished this one-off job for me already, but I was hoping to expand my toolbase knowledge.)


[SOLVED] Win32::GuiTest::SendMessage/AllocateVirtualMemory and TCHAR** in Seekers of Perl Wisdom
1 direct reply — Read more / Contribute
by pryrt
on Sep 23, 2019 at 11:56


    As I started talking about a couple months ago in the Notepad++ Community forum, and mentioned recently in another post there, I'm working on a library that will allow an external perl instance (ie, not via a plugin) to use Win32::GuiTest::SendMessage to control Notepad++.

    For communicating with Notepad++ itself, I've got most message-types (sending messages, getting back return-values and lParam [out] values, including sending or receiving a single string). I believe there's only one more type of wrapper I need: the interface to allow wParam to be a TCHAR** (in or out; since it's a **, if I can get one working, I should be able to get both), which is required for NPPM_GETOPENFILENAMES and related (1), and for NPPM_GETSESSIONFILES and NPPM_SAVESESSIONS (2)

    (1: okay, techincally, I have a workaround for GETOPENFILES: I manually loop through the open buffers, and do single-filename-reads instead.)

    (2: For NPPM_SAVESESSIONS, it actually requires wrapping it in a struct; but I think if I can make the TCHAR** work, then wrapping a struct around that should be doable. At least, once I have the technique, I'll have a technique, and I have this as a guide for how to do a struct.)

    If I were in a plugin directly, and thus had access to the parent process memory space, in a C-like language, I could just define the wParam as a TCHAR**, and it would just work -- there are plenty of instances on github of plugins doing that, and I could have just translated those into the Perl equivalent. Unfortunately, because I'm in an external process, I have to use VirtualAllocEx and friends (as mentioned). As I said above, I was able to figure out enough of VirtualAllocEx (and its the Win32::GuiTest wrapper of AllocateVirtualBuffer) to get it to pass a single TCHAR* string back and forth. But I haven't been able to implement the TCHAR** the way I understand -- all I can read back is a string full of NULL \0 bytes.

    My example code, which shows working Perl for a normal string, and my NULL-only result with TCHAR**:

    Unfortunately, I'm out of ideas, so I'm asking in both the Notepad++ Community and in perlmonks. If there's someone that can show an external C example using VirtualAllocEx or an external Perl script using Win32::GuiTest::AllocateVirtualBuffer, and successfully talk with Notepad++'s NPP_GETOPENFILENAMES message, I'd appreciate it.

    (I know @ekopalypse in the Notepad++ community has shown some facility in hopping back and forth between languages... and vr in perlmonks has the only recent post on perlmonks involving AllocateVirtualBuffer... but I'm definitely not limiting my request for help to just those two.)


    edit: fixed link once I had the post actually made in the Community. Sorry for the two minutes when I didn't have a URL yet. I tried a stealth edit, but you guys started reading too fast. :-)

stat on in-memory filehandle warns inconsistently across perl versions in Seekers of Perl Wisdom
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by pryrt
on Mar 07, 2019 at 11:14

    I was surprised by my test results on Travis-CI, where my module failed on 5.16, 5.18, and 5.20, but not on the versions above or below those.

    Doing some digging, it's because of the way that stat works on an in-memory filehandle: on most versions, it gives a warning in the unopened subcategory of the io warnings category, so I set up my module to trap on that warning, and die with a more meaningful message to the end-user, which should help them avoid the problem. But when it ran on multiple versions on Travis-CI, I found that 5.16-5.20 apparently do not give that (or any) warning, but still result in the empty list for the in-memory filehandle.

    The issue can be simply replicated with the one-liner SSCCE (shown in both windows/berrybrew and linux/perlbrew) in the spoiler below.

    I found a workaround (see second spoiler below), but I was curious, so I skimmed the perldelta for 5.16 and 5.22, but couldn't find a mention of the unopened-filehandle warning changing in either of those versions. So I guess the wisdom I am seeking: does anyone have insight as to why the warning disappeared in 5.16, but came back in 5.22? Was it intentional (and if so, why try removing it, and why re-instate it)? Or was it an accidental bug (if so, why wasn't it mentioned, or did I just not notice)?

    *workaround =

    And thank you: while working on the earlier issues -- figuring out that in-memory filehandle's don't stat right, but give the misleading "unopened filehandle" warning, even though Scalar::Util::openhandle() shows it as open; and trying to get the __WARN__ handler correct -- I thought I was going to need to SoPW, but developing a SSCCE showed me the problem. So thanks for the Rubber duck that you didn't even know you provided, too. :-)

Difficulties with WWW::Mechanize::Chrome installation on Windows/Strawberry in Seekers of Perl Wisdom
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by pryrt
on Jan 01, 2019 at 11:17


    I had difficulty trying to install WWW::Mechanize::Chrome on Windows Strawberry Perl. In the end, running the code from the synopsis seems to work, so I think it's been sufficiently installed. However, with the difficulties I encountered, I had some questions or discussion points to bring up:

    1. Do others have this much difficulty installing it on Windows?
    2. Is there a sequence that works to reliably install it on Windows (preferrably with cpanm) without resorting to multiple attempts, and --force? Does my detailed description below provide enough to give hints, if I'm just doing something wrong
    3. Does corion know that the cpantesters results "lie" about a successful windows install, due to not finding chrome.exe? Is there a way to make chrome.exe a prereq, so that cpantesters reports will be more useful
    4. is the failure i found in t/51-mech-links.t real, or an artifact of my problematic install? If it's real, is it a bug in the test suite, or a bug in the module itself?
    5. If my failures end up being invalid, is there a way to delete/override the failing reports to cpantesters? (added)


    My first attempt to install WWW::Mechanize::Chrome (using cpanm) failed bunches of pre-reqs. Multiple attempts on the prereqs got most working. In the end, the only two pre-req failures were AnyEvent and Log::Log4perl. The latter was a known issue (, so I forced that install, because it's not a module-functionality issue

    AnyEvent only fails t/81_hosts.t -- it seems to not be doing what was expected with the PERL_ANYEVENT_HOSTS temporary hosts file; I verified the temp file was created correctly, and populated as t/81_hosts.t implies it should... so I'm not sure whether there's a bug there, or what. I did a --force (for now), because I wasn't sure whether WWW::Mechanize::Chrome would depend on that feature or not. My cpantesters report is at

    After that, cpanm WWW::Mechanize::Chrome still failed, and I propagated that report to cpantesters: As the report shows, I'm on Windows with strawberry perl 5.28.1 (x64), with chrome.exe v71.0.3578.98. It's failing t/51-mech-links.t -- finding 3 links instead of expected 2

    I was surprised I had so much difficulty, because the showed all passes under Windows (until my report, which was the first 5.28.1 on windows)... but when I dug into them, it's because none of them had chrome.exe

    After I did a --force install, I was able to run the synopsis:

    #!/usr/bin/env perl use 5.012; use warnings; use Log::Log4perl qw(:easy); use WWW::Mechanize::Chrome; Log::Log4perl->easy_init($ERROR); # Set priority of root logger t +o ERROR my $mech = WWW::Mechanize::Chrome->new(); $mech->get(''); $mech->eval_in_page('alert("Hello Chrome")'); my $png= $mech->content_as_png();
    ... but I had to kill all pre-existing background chrome.exe tasks before it would respond (that may be normal, I've never used the module before).

    so for the t/51-mech-links.t, I don't know whether that's a bug in the test suite, or in the actual module itself (or whether my earlier difficulties during the install process made something unstable for that test)

    edit 1: fix typo in title

    edit 2: add the fifth question in the SUMMARY

Lesson Learned: not all 32b perls are created equal in Meditations
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by pryrt
on Sep 30, 2017 at 11:22

    Given the pretty CPAN Testers Christmas Tree, especially in the *BSD columns, I learned that not all 32-bit perls are created equal. After some more debug, I was able to show that it was those 32-bit perls with $Config{ivsize}==4 (32bit integers; aka perl -V:ivsize) that were failing, but those with $Config{ivsize}==8 (64bit integers in 32bit perl) would pass.

    I had assumed (without looking) that the default ivsize on the 32bit perl was 4 bytes (32 bits), so thought that I had already tested and verified my IV weren't overflowing (or, if they were, they were promoting to NV). After seeing the problem, I discovered that when using left-shift, it would go from IV to NV... but it didn't. However, *=2 did promote the way I expected:

    Conclusion: when doing a testing suite across versions, it's not always enough to just have a "32bit perl"; especially if you are dependent on integer sizes, also check that your test suite includes multiple ivsize values.

How to access MySQL stored procedures OUT parameter(s) in Seekers of Perl Wisdom
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by pryrt
on Aug 30, 2017 at 18:17

    I am playing around with DBD::mysql (MySQL v5.6) and perl, experimenting with stored procedures and functions, which I've never used before. I see that there is the ability to make an OUT parameter to the procedure. How do I access that from perl?

    Is this possible? Or will I have to use other methods (like a stored function return-value, or a procedure with multiple result sets)?

"executable suffixes" for -x on win32 (perlport) in Seekers of Perl Wisdom
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by pryrt
on Apr 25, 2017 at 17:27

    Regarding the executable-test -x, perlport says:

    -x (or -X) determine if a file ends in one of the executable suffixes. -S is meaningless. (Win32)

    Where are the "executable suffixes" defined for Win32 perl (strawberry, in my case)? If anything, I would have expected $ENV{PATHEXT}, because that's the closest related idea to "executable" on windows (or possibly the assoc and ftype and their underlying registry entries -- though that's more complicated). However, I've got ".pl" in my PATHEXT variable and properly associated in the registry, but -x "$0" results in a false value (undef). I also tried with a .js file, which is in the Windows-default PATHEXT, but it shows up as non-executable as well. I've experimentally found that .com, .exe, .bat, and .cmd all show up as executable... but none of the others in the default PATHEXT=.COM;.EXE;.BAT;.CMD;.VBS;.VBE;.JS;.JSE;.WSF;.WSH;.MSC


    context: after reading Re^2: how do i run a shell command without waiting for the output, I looked at Proc::Background, and saw that commands were "checked by appending `.exe' to the name in case the name was passed without the `.exe' suffix". Since ".exe" isn't the only extension dropped on Win32 (PATHEXT defines the extension-omission properties for Win32, and .bat is frequently untyped as well), I wanted to suggest a bugfix to allow any extension from PATHEXT: change the hardcoded push(@extensions, '.exe'); to push @extensions, split(/;/, $ENV{PATHEXT} || '.exe');. However, while testing my change against various extensions (explicit or omitted-but-implied), I found that Proc::Background wasn't getting as far as using the @extensions array, since -x was failing. I found the quoted perlport description that Win32 -x has a list of extensions, but I haven't found the official documentation for what that list is (and really, if there's any hardcoded list embedded in the perl ports to Win32, I disagree with them on the same grounds that I disagree with Proc::Background)

    edit: add <readmore> tags...

binmode i/o for perl -pi in-place editing in Seekers of Perl Wisdom
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by pryrt
on Dec 07, 2016 at 18:24

    how do you set binmode for the input and output of a perl -pi *.file in-place edit? I had hoped by doing binmode ${^LAST_FH}; binmode STDOUT;, that would cover it...

    I've gotten the input as close to binmode as I can, in that for the sample input above, the sum of the lengths of $_ totals 61, which matches that example input. But putting binmode STDOUT in either the BEGIN, the main, or both, does not seem to help the output file be the same length. I tried perl -C0 -pi... (from perlrun), hoping to make it all :raw equivalent, but with no change. I looked thru perlvar to try to find an output-equivalent of ${^LAST_FH}, but didn't see anything.

    In the end, I'll probably just stop trying the magic perl -pi and make a manual in-place loop, where I open the ARGV input and output handles myself, so I have full control. But after this much investigation, I'd really like to find out if it's possible to make the whole in-place pipeline binmode.

    ps: No, converting 'w' to 'v' is not my end goal :-). I just used that as a SCCE to show the basic problem binmode issue: I want to be able to do all my working (where my actual manipulations will preserve byte-length) without changing the EOL-like characters for this binary file.

detached threads still warn in Seekers of Perl Wisdom
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by pryrt
on Oct 07, 2016 at 11:36

    So, I started playing around with threads, using Re: buffering zipped pipes as an example. I got something working on my Windows machine, then tried it out on the ancient linux box (perl 5.8.5)... and got the dreaded "A thread exited while 2 threads were running."

    I double-checked to make sure that the linux box's perldoc threads claimed support for ->detach, and the WARNINGS section suggested joining to remove the error. I thought ->detach was supposed to make it automatically clean up such stuff.

    I tried no warnings 'threads'; or even no warnings;, just to see if I could make the warning go away, but it stuck around.

    Given the details (below), how can I get around this warning? Can I install a new local version of threads on the linux machine (I have cpan set up for local library installs), or is threads too core to be able to update with cpan? Or should I just switch to not using ->detach, and do manual cleanup using ->join?

    tl;dr details follow...

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