martinjevans's blog

Perl DBD::ODBC 1.46_1 released - You REALLY need to test this release

I've just uploaded DBD::ODBC 1.46_1 to the CPAN. In the process of writing Some Common Unicode Problems and Solutions using Perl DBD::ODBC and MS SQL Server and github repo I discovered a serious bug in the way DBD::ODBC can attempt to insert unicode characters into char/varchar/longvarchar columns. This experimental release fixes that issue but it does mean this release contains a significant change in behaviour.

Perl DBD::ODBC 1.45 released to the CPAN

I've just uploaded DBD::ODBC 1.45 to the CPAN. As always I'd draw your attention to a few small changes in behaviour. The changes since 1.43 are listed below but I need to warn you about an upcoming change first.

The next development cycle of DBD::ODBC will contain signficant changes to the way unicode strings in your Perl scripts are inserted into CHAR and VARCHAR columns. In an attempt to write up exactly how this all works (see and I have discovered that unicode strings are not being inserted into CHAR/VARCHAR columns correctly in the unicode build of DBD::ODBC. There may also be changes to how unicode strings are read back from the database but I have not evaluated that yet.

Please make sure you keep an eye out of DBD::ODBC development releases 1.46_N and ensure you test them before the next full release is made. In the mean time if you are using unicode with DBD::ODBC and have any comments, have hit any strange issues or are using any workarounds I strongly urge you to contact me now before I get too far into these changes.

Perl DBD::ODBC 1.44_4 released to the CPAN

Having skipped the announcement for 1.44_3, here is 1.44_4. I expect this to become 1.45 in the next week unless someone comes up with something I've badly broken. You should note there are a few changes in behaviour.

Unicode support via Perl DBD::ODBC and MS SQL Server - common problems

DBD::ODBC has had increasing support for unicode since version 1.16. However, unicode seems to be an issue that causes a lot of confusion and especially when it comes to DBI and DBDs. The mantra of just DWIM, is complicated because most DBDs were originally written with no unicode support.

My first experience of travis-ci with DBD::ODBC and repercussions

I've heard people mention travis-ci but not really paid much attention to it, that is, until yesterday when I issued a pull request from my github account for a few minor fixes to DBI. I wondered if my pull request was applied and took a quick look at DBI on github to see my pull request was still pending. Clicking on my pull request I see a "All is well — The Travis CI build passed" and just clicked on it.

Perl DBD::ODBC 1.44_2 released to the CPAN

After being forced to drop the subversion repository used by DBD::ODBC as has dropped subversion I moved it to github. Then, my friends working on DBI related modules setup up perl5-dbi and Merijn (Tux) helpfully moved DBD::ODBC under that umbrealla for me - thanks Tux.

Perl Programming: What I didn't know about 'each'

I spent a small amount of time debugging a problem in a script I was modifying this morning as a while loop with each seemed to loop forever:

use strict;
use warnings;
use Data::Dumper;

my %x = (one => 1, two => 2, three => 3, four => 4);

while (my ($key, $value) = each %x) {
    # obviously the real script was doing a lot more here
    print "$key $value\n";
    print Dumper(%x); # or simply my %y = %x

Selling a vehicle privately

It has been ages since I bought or sold a car or motorbike privately but recently I've been in the position of having to sell my deceased mother-in-law's car.

I never imagined it would so full of pitfalls and problems. A colleague sold their car recently via ebay classifieds so we thought we try that first - cheaper than autotrader (about £18).

Perl DBD::ODBC 1.44_1 released to the CPAN

I've just uploaded DBD::ODBC 1.44_1 to the CPAN. This is the first release since the enforced move away from subversion on (not that this is a complaint). Hopefully, with DBD::ODBC being on github now I might get a bit more in the way of contributions.

There are a couple of bugs fixed but unless you reported them I'd be surprised if you are affected by them but all testing is welcome.

118 118 what a complete and utter con

So this week I got an email from BT saying my monthly direct debit had gone to £71pm - more than double what it was previously.

I expected my phone bill to be larger these last few months. My mother in law has been seriously ill for a long time and we've been on the phone a lot more recently. Sadly, last month, she died in hospital and after the funeral was over we've been trying to sort out probate. I kept getting email alerts from BT saying you've just spent over £1 on your bill and I've largely ignored them as we've been at home more and using the phone more - what a mistake!

Those silly men in moustaches have conned us! Now I know how they can afford to spend all that money on television adverts (and I know what these cost).

What seems to have happend is this. My wife has been trying to sort out probate and this has necessitated ringing loads of people and she has used THAT NUMBER for directory enquires. Once you get the number (50p per minute so your thinking I'll pay at most 50p for a directory enquiry) is that the /nice/ people at 118 offer to connect you and my wife thought, that's ok, please do. Of course no one at that company attempts to explain when they dial the number for you that you'll be paying 50pm even if you are ringing your neighbour.

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