Curriculum Vitae (CV) - Mark Leighton Fisher
2003-present: President and Chief Consultant, Fisher's Creek Consulting
Perl Module Tools
- Release pmtools-1.20 (Perl Module Tools), which
includes fixes for pminst (display only unique package files and ignore
non-existent directories in @INC and the new tool pmcheck to
check that Perl is set up for Perl modules (currently checks that @INC
contains only existing, readable directories).
- Wrote and submitted a grant proposal to the
Perl Foundation for porting pmtools (Perl Module Tools) to Perl 6.
- Took over maintenance of pmtools,
Tom Christiansen's Perl module tools suite – 3 enhanced releases so far.
pmtools are a standard part of Fedora Linux.
Perl Module Tools for Perl 6
- Started pmtools-perl6, a port of pmtools to Perl 6.
A Config.pm generator for Pugs
has already been released
- DeepData, Inc. (2003-2004)
- Sr. Perl Designer/Implementer,
PostgreSQL Optimization Expert, and Automated Testing Expert for
DeepData, a Yellow Pages
strategic information solutions provider.
- Wrote Test::MockDBI, a Perl module for testing
database program by mocking-up the Perl database interface (DBI) API,
then allowing developers to write rules for the mockup DBI's behavior.
- Modified a Yellow Pages processing program to handle
processing all U.S. medical Yellow Pages headings (3.7M records).
- Enhanced DeepData's address standardization system by assigning
ZIP codes to all possible addresses, adding latitude/longitude to
all possible addresses, and standardizing all address components.
- Learned Java - Sun Certified Java Programmer
exam passed on 2005-05-12 with 70% (minimum passing score was 52%).
Writing a YAML parser and a
weblogging framework in Java as an aid
to learning Java thoroughly.
- Installed, configured, and fixed
(The Ultimate Team Organization Software) for project management.
Fixes were for proper Gantt chart display when a task starts
and ends on the same day, and for proper milestone task entry.
- Installed and configured Nagios Open Source network
monitoring software on DeepData and Thyatia.net servers.
- Web Scraper
- Created Boston Building Permits web scraper for
weblog essays picked
up by Slashdot, Scripting News, and other news sites.
4/2018-present: Purdue University CERIS, Programmer/Analyst
- Rewrote batch stamping of pesticide lable PDFs process for
(Accepted Labels State Tracking and Repository).
- Created single-label stamping for pesticide PDF labels running
under Linux so labels can be stamped when they come in (realtime
stamping). This included verifying that the PDF is not
password-protected, that the PDF contains searchable text
(is not an image-only PDF), that the PDF does not contain fillable forms,
and that the PDF is not an Acrobat Reader Extended PDF - all of which
prevent applying a stamp to that PDF.
- Created an (internal) full parser of PDFs using the Marpa::R2
parser module (Marpa can parse any language that can be described
in BNF notation). Note that PDF is context-free - except when it isn't,
so extra steps have to be taken to properly parse PDFs. Next step is
handling compressed streams (which are currently lexed but otherwise
- Created the (internal) Perl module PerlIO::eol::Preserve, which
reads lines containing a mix of CR, LF, and CRLF for end of line
(EOL) markers as found in PDFs while preserving those EOLs.
10/2017-12/2017: Panamplify, Senior Full-Stack Developer
- Social Media Automatic Marketing Report Generation
- Started diagnosis of Java + Scala + Akka + Play2 + Rails AI-based report
generation system caching problem with YouTube Analytics.
- Installed and
configured Nagios and CloudWatch for all company servers including local free +
cached memory usage along with writing a custom Nagios plugin validating server
- Create procedures for setting up new customers
- Created and extensively tested detailed procedure for setting up newcustomer server AWS EC2 instances using Route 53, SNS, and CloudWatch
among other AWS technologies using Capistrano for deployment with nginx +
Rails + Apache for web serving that include OAuth endpoints for YouTube,
LinkedIn, Instagram, Bing, Bit.ly, Google Analytics, and Google Search Console as
well as configuring Nagios for the new customer server. Ansible was the IaC tool
that simplified server setups.
9/2014-5/2017: Assurant Mortgage Solutions, Senior Perl Developer
- Enhanced and fixed the appraisal (LenderX), inspection (InspectorX), and broker
price opinion (VMS/PVAL) MVC SaaS / Web microservices systems using Perl,
Confluence, Graylog, OpenVPN, Tunnelblick, Junos Pulse, Slack, KRONOS, and HP
PPM collaboration technologies.
Wrapped LenderX PostgreSQL + RabbitMQ transactions so that if either
transaction failed, both transactions were rolled back.
Modified LenderX so Catalyst::Controller::REST could return HTML error
messages when necessary.
Wrote a program that created SQL to automatically fix 50+ loans which had
duplicate properties ¿ this included parsing a color-coded Excel
spreadsheet, generating SQL with literal values using SQL::Abstract (a
mostly-undocumented feature of SQL::Abstract), as well as applying fixed
addresses from the spreadsheet along with from a separate, manually-
Fixed InspectorX to properly handle date overlap detection as a test of
"dateA_start <= dateB_end AND dateB_start <= dateA_end (much simpler
than BETWEEN and works everywhere).
Added download logging to VMS.
6/2012-6/2014: Purdue University, Digital Library Software Developer
- PURR (Purdue University Research Repository)
- Added the creation of an
(Archival Information Package) as part of the document publication process.
- Added the creation of an
(Submission Information Package) as part of the document publication process.
- Created PHP O-O modules for
METS (Metadata Encoding and
Transmission Standard) metadata creation.
- Created PHP O-O modules for
PREMIS (PREservation Metadata:
Implementation Strategies) metadata creation.
- Created PHP O-O modules for
Dublin Core metadata creation.
4/2012-6/2015: Plain Black Corporation, Perl Developer
- Worked towards enabling UTF-8 characters in WebGUI 7.10
- Added a "--delete userId [userId ...]" option to the
WGDev 'user' command.
- Found and fixed a bug in WebGUI for the Department of
State Alumni customizations where the non-existent WebGUI::Storage->new() was
- Found and fixed a bug in WebGUI core (7.10 branch) so
unmatched character pairs (a '(' without a corresponding ')') do not break asset
- Added a '-d' option to the WGDev 'ls' command so that
'ls' lists either the children of the specified asset or (using '-d') the asset
- Fixed WebGUI Spectre so startup and shutdown are logged
at the INFO level
even when everything is logged at the WARN level (Log::Log4perl config trick).
- Forked WGDev on GitHub (https://github.com/pbmarklf/wgdev) to add
the Batchedit command, which lets you edit an asset or URL
right in the shell script / batch file,
like wgd Batchedit --pattern=http...yui.yahooapis.com. --string=http://ajax.googleapis.com/
ChcG6WcA6jLwSTbWFez2Qg where pattern is the pattern to match,
string is the replacement string, and ChcG6WcA6jLwSTbWFez2Qg is the
assetId or URL to edit.
- Found and fixed a MySQL deletion ordering issue with WebGUI.
- Debugged various hosted WebGUI content issues.
8/2005-3/2012: Regenstrief Institute Inc., Systems Engineer II
- RELMA (Regenstrief LOINC Mapping Assistant) programming team -- VB.NET, C#, VB6, SQL, Microsoft Access/Jet/VBA, Perl, Java
- Ported RELMA from VB6 to VB.NET 2.0. Later ported RELMA from VB.NET 2.0 to VB.NET 4.0
- Added foreign-language search to RELMA's SQL database-based search. This included writing
a Perl self-extracting Windows GUI program for loading the foreign language indexes.
- Wrote a program that generates databases of LOINC name Parts for the LOINC translators to load with their translations.
- Switched RELMA's LOINC search and indexing to Lucene.NET.
This required developing standalone programs to index LOINCs, LOINC Part names,
and LOINC answer lists. Several languages were indexed,
including English, French, Greek, and Chinese.
This also required some reading of the Lucene Java and Lucene.NET C# code
to answer detailed questions about Lucene's internal workings
(including whether Lucene generates parse trees -- which it does not).
- Developed IgnoreUnknownWordsQueryParser, a Lucene query parser
that ignores unknown words (inherits from Lucene.Net.QueryParsers.QueryParser).
- Under the direction of Dr. Clement J. McDonald,
developed software (with both batch and interactive modes) to automatically find mappings
from local terms to LOINCs (the RELMA AutoMapper)
using a longest-name-first matching algorithm
(which required developing an n-gram class for .NET).
This AutoMapper standardizes timings and part names,
finds specimens/systems, methods, and other parts
of LOINC names in the HL7 OBR and OBX descriptions,
guesses specimens/systems if none are present in
the HL7 OBR and OBX descriptions, then searches the Lucene index of LOINCs
for matching LOINCs. If units are available for the local term,
the search is restricted to LOINCs that match the property corresponding to the units.
Results are scored such that the best match in the fewest words wins.
If the AutoMapper is run against laboratory local terms, scoring ties
are settled by the LOINC that is more commonly used as a lab test.
- Some experimentation was done using a Lucene index that contained only
the unique words in the default Lucene field.
The results were that using a non-unique-words index
(i.e. allowing phrase searching) proved more effective
in the current LOINC Lucene indexing scheme.
- Added LOINC search restrictions for laboratory LOINCs,
the Top 2000+ Lab Observations, and the Top 300+ Laboratory Order Codes.
These changes were made in the Lucene LOINC index and the RELMA program.
- Added dynamic (on-demand) loading of tree data to the Regenstrief .NET tree/grid control.
This included separate loading/showing/hiding of LOINC leaf nodes.
- Added a search mode to the .NET tree data code such that
only the matching nodes and their ancestors are displayed.
- Added a configuration dialog to the Regenstrief .NET tree/grid control
that allowed for hidden columns and always-visible columns as well
controlling column placement and width.
- Added a custom export dialog to the Regenstrief .NET tree/grid control
that allowed for the export (with or without header rows) of all rows or only the selected rows.
Custom export actions include copying to the Clipboard, printing, exporting as a CSV file,
exporting to Excel, and sending as an email (tested with Outlook, Outlook Express, and Thunderbird).
- Added multi-column prioritized reversible sorting to the Regenstrief .NET tree/grid control.
- Created HTML output formats for LOINCs, LOINC name parts, and LOINC answer lists.
This required handling multi-megabyte HTML files that allow persistent configuring of whether
These HTML files could be loaded from the Internet, or built locally using an LRU file cache.
- Updated the HTML formats for faster apparent rendering of tables by
incrementally rendering the tables after applying the CSS style 'table-layout: fixed'.
- Added a simple, Google-like search screen to RELMA.
- Enhanced RELMA's HL7 importing mechanism to include importing code systems and
importing OBR and OBX NTE segments (message note segments).
- Added a command-line interface to the program for extracting the releasable LOINC database from the master LOINC database.
- Added deletion of unreleasable reference information (descriptions etc.) to the program for extracting the releasable LOINC database from the master LOINC database.
- Added verification of whether the specified releasable tables and fields actually exist
in the master LOINC database to the program for extracting the releasable LOINC database
from the master LOINC database.
- Wrote and enhanced various .NET/VB6/Perl/SQL routines for dealing with
hierarchical Access database tables in both linked parent-child and path enumeration
('Dewey Decimal') formats.
- Maintained external and internal RELMA Citrix applications.
- Wrote and upgraded Microsoft Access reports.
- Developed internal VB.NET-compatible unit testing framework in VB6.
- Started using the Microsoft Moles isolation/mocking framework for unit testing with MSTest.
- Communicable Diseases reporting for the
Indiana Network for Patient Care (INPC)
- Communicable diseases county and state reporting for the INPC (Indiana Network For Patient Care) - Access & SQL & VBA.
- Shared Pathology Information Network (SPIN)
- Created first port of the SPIN client from VB6 to .NET 1.0.
- XSLT transform reworked for SPIN client report -- tested using Java & JUnit.
Note that i2B2 now handles most of what the SPIN client initially handled for Regenstrief.
- Java Class
- Implemented part of an X12-270 reader in Java.
1991-2003: Thomson Consumer Electronics, Systems Engineer III
I was a member of the IT group Electronic Design Automation, which provided
computer software and hardware assistance to the engineering community. Unless
otherwise mentioned, all projects below were my sole responsibility.
- Corporate Technical
- The Thomson Corporate Technical Memory (CTM) was a
knowledge management application before the phrase "knowledge
management" was even coined (1994 — which made it hard to explain
initially). CTM enabled users to write information down into a document once
(rather than repeatedly explain the information to each questioner), which then
enabled other users to find the information from their browser by full-text
document searches, searches on document title or author, or by browsing the
main subject area of a document, browsing by author name, or browsing by
document title. CTM V2.0's code consisted of a main Perl module along with
associated CGI programs and an external search engine (V1.0 used a Perl4 daemon
program and simple Perl4 CGI programs with an external search engine). Document
metadata was stored in an Oracle database while the documents were stored on
the webserver's filesystem. I published a paper on CTM, "The
TCE Corporate Technical Memory: groupware on the cheap", in the
International Journal of Human-Computer Studies, Volume 46 , Issue 6 (June
1997) (Special issue: innovative applications of the World Wide Web).
Writing CTM saved Thomson $180,000, as the only alternative was
a Lotus Notes-based system.
- Status Reporter
- Status Reporter V6.0 enabled automatic assembling of
text-based status reports by allowing users to enter status for each task of
each project they had worked on recently. The status report assembler could
then be invoked over a specified time period for that group of people,
producing one unified status report for the whole group. Using Status Reporter
saved around half a day of work for each group, as manual assembly took around
4 person-hours per group at Thomson. V6.0 was web-based, storing the reports in
an Oracle database (previous versions were in 16-bit Microsoft Word's WordBasic
with reports in Word .DOC files). Status Reporter's code consisted of a main
Perl module along with associated CGI programs and a smattering of helper Perl
Status Reporter saved Thomson over 2000 person-hours
by automating status report assembly.
- Thomson Application Status (UpApp)
- Thomson Application Status (UpApp) provided a concise
view of the up/down/in-trouble status of major Thomson applications/systems for
end users in their browsers. UpApp was co-developed with
Mark Bender, where I
developed the main Perl module and mod_perl CGI-like programs while Mark Bender
developed the HTML user interface. UpApp status information was held in a MySQL
database to provide easy multi-admin updating. UpApp also provided both XML-RPC
and SOAP Web Service interfaces, including an all-application status —
red if any applications were "red" (crashed), yellow if no
applications were red but any applications were "yellow"
(in-trouble), or otherwise "green".
- Overview and Overdrive
- Overview was a search engine I set up that covered
the ten most-used webservers by Thomson Americas when there was no overall
Thomson Americas search engine. Overview used the
Verity SEARCH'97 search engine software.
Overdrive was started as the successor to Overview, which would use an Open
Source search engine on all 30+ Thomson Americas webservers. Overdrive was in
beta-test using ht://Dig's December 2001
beta of V3.2.0 with very nice results — often the first search result was
the term searched-for when the search result page had
Dublin Core metadata (this
was on a 200MHz RedHat V6.2 Linux box). I had started setting up
ASPSeek V1.2.10 to compare against
- Nagios is an
Open Source network monitoring tool using plugins for monitoring hosts and
services, where the plugins cover monitoring everything from basic PING
functionality to Oracle+MySQL databases and FlexLM license servers. I set up
Nagios to monitor the 27 services on 19 servers that our group was either
responsible for or were affected by. Nagios provided the back-end functionality
for tracking applications/servers/hosts whose status would be displayed to
end-users by UpApp.
Setting up Nagios like saved Thomson more than $20,000
compared to commercial alternatives.
- EDA/Weblog was an internal weblog for the engineering
and IT communities at Thomson, powered by Slashcode (Slashcode powers
Slashdot). Articles/stories were stored in a
MySQL database. EDA/Weblog featured announcements of internal interest (new
systems in production, policy changes, etc.) along with links to particularly
interesting technical news articles. EDA/Weblog was Thomson's first weblog
- EDA (Electronic Design Automation)
- I started and maintained Thomson's first web server
in 1993, which provided a home for EDA services to the engineering and IT
communities. Except as noted, all web pages and applications mentioned were on
that server. When I left, the server was a Sun SPARC Ultra 30 running Solaris
2.6. The webserver programs were Stronghold V2.4 (an early Apache V1.3.x with a
licensed SSL implementation) and Apache V1.3.23 with mod_perl V1.26. (CERN
httpd was used before we switched to Apache.) The server had ~3000 pages on it
when I left Thomson.
- ISO 9001 Web
- Thomson Americas TV/Audio/Video Product Development
received its ISO 9001 quality certification around 1995. I maintained the ISO
9001 Web as well as the Perl web gateway to the Thomson ISO 9001-compliant
document management system, DMS9000. The DMS9000 web gateway provided URL-based
document retrieval (with URLs almost identical to the native DMS9000 document
paths) along with simple and advanced DMS9000 document searches and a CGI
program that converted native DMS9000 document paths to their equivalent URLs.
- PACO: Password-Checking Objects
- PACO (Password-Checking Objects) was a Perl system
that helped ensure the use of good passwords by running the password through
V5.0 by Alec Muffett. PACO provided a web form interface, although the
intention was to provide other interfaces suitable for programs (like XML-RPC,
SOAP, etc.) so that all Thomson programs could use PACO rather than their own
password strength-checking code. PACO remembered a hash of the password so it
could tell you whether you were reusing an old password without compromising
the actual password.
- CADWeb was a separate webserver (Perl CGIs with
Apache on HP-UX V10.20) that drove the additional CAD utility programs written
by Thomson employees for use with the Visula and P870 PCB CAD packages. These CAD
utility programs originally ran on a text GUI under VAX/VMS, so this was a
non-trivial migration task. My major accomplishment for CADWeb was writing the
authentication code, which accepted a user's Oracle username and password,
producing an HTTP cookie used for later re-authentication using methods based
on HTTP Digest
Authentication. This authentication code is similar in functionality to the
Apache module mod_cookie, with the actual authentication deferred to a program
specified in a configuration file — this code was later used for domain
(SMB/NT/LanMAN/etc.) authentication by switching authentication programs.
CADWeb users would upload CAD files to the server, request a run of a program,
then download the resulting output files from the requested program.
- In-Circuit Test
- In-circuit testing is (basically) the process of
testing that components are correctly placed and soldered into a
printed-circuit board (PCB). Thomson's program for In-Circuit Test (ICT)
testpoint generation/selection was created in 1987, which by the time I
received it has grown to ~20 000 lines of C. I made numerous improvements to
it, including most notably the ability to test topside components from the
bottom side of the board and the addition of boundary-scan testing outputs.
During the boundary-scan improvement I added a hash table implementation based
on Perl's hash table implementation — before then all name searches were
done as sequential scans of linked lists as in the original 1987 ICT code. I
also used the Perl-Compatible Regular
Expressions library. ICT ran as part of the CADWeb suite of tools. ICT
migrated from HP-UX V9.05 to HP-UX V10.20 while I was maintaining it.
- Incircuit Testpoint Analysis and Placement
- Incircuit Testpoint Analysis and Placement (ITAP) was
slated to replace ICT. Initial design and some code was done by Rick Lyndon,
then I was brought on-board to speed development and create a detailed project
management plan (I ended up doing around 30% of the coding). ITAP ended up as
~20 000 lines of Microsoft Visual C++, running on the user's Windows PC with
vastly greater capabilities including avoiding testpoint placement under
component bodies and built-in HP TestJet processing as well as much more
table-driven operation so that ICT parameters could be tweaked without
recompiling ITAP. ITAP included object-oriented wrappers around the
Perl-Compatible Regular Expressions library
and the Perl-like hash table used in ICT.
- Full Circle Compare
- Full Circle Compare (FCC) was a several-thousand-line
C++ program that verified that identical components were present in the Bill of
Materials (BOM), schematic CAD file, and PCB CAD file. FCC was obsoleted by a
more-integrated design process that drove the BOM and the PCB CAD file from the
schematic CAD file. I took over FCC from the original outside developer (David
Sarnoff Research Center) in 1991, got it into production shape, and maintained
it until was obsolete around 1999-2000. FCC went into production on VAX/VMS,
then migrated to HP-UX V9.05, then finally to HP-UX V10.20.
- Software Engineering and Project Management
- I was the group resource on software
engineering and project management.
I was the project manager on three
which were all on-time and on-budget as far as they went (ITAP development was
placed on hiatus before it was completed — we delivered two production
versions before hiatus).
- ITAP (when I joined the project)
- ICT: Adding the testing of topside components from
the bottom side of the PCB
- ICT: Boundary-scan testing outputs
- Perl (See also: Links -> Perl)
- I started using Perl with V4.0.19 in 1992, which has
greatly increased my productivity due to both the built-in features of Perl (so
much of programming is parsing text which Perl excels at) and the advent of the
Comprehensive Perl Archive Network (CPAN)
which provides Open Source Perl modules for about any task you can think of.
The Links -> Perl section below details my
contributions to Perl.
- World Wide Web (See also:
Links -> World Wide Web)
- I started using Web technology in 1993, two years
before Thomson had an Internet connection (see Links
-> Humor for my comments on FTP-by-mail). (For a long time I kept around
my Sept. 21, 1993 email from Tim Berners-Lee about how commercial enterprises
could also use CERN's httpd webserver without paying licensing fees.) I was a
member of several Internet Engineering Task
Force working groups, leading to enough participation in the WebDAV group
to merit an acknowledge in the initial WebDAV RFC. Much of
my work at Thomson leveraged Web technology, including theCorporate Technical Memory,
Status Reporter, UpApp,
CADWeb, ISO 9001 Web,
Overview and Overdrive, PACO,
EDA Home Page, EDA/Weblog, and Nagios. The
Links -> World Wide Web section shows
some of my involvement with Web technology.
- Technical Library Applications
- I installed and maintained the library
automation software, EOLAS (initially named DataTrek).
I setup and maintained WISE install programs for the
Technical Library Applications, which were applications supplied by the
Technical Library. Among these applications were the EOLAS online catalog search,
Books in Print,
Microsoft Bookshelf, and the CAPSXpert component library.
- IBM Lotus Team Workplace (QuickPlace)
- As part of the Thomson Global Knowledge Management
initiative, I constructed QuickPlaces for ICT and ITAP. These QuickPlaces
contained discussion areas, design documents, project management plans, and
status reports for ICT and ITAP.
- SlashWiki - a Wiki for Slashcode
- As part of EDA/Weblog I set up
a WikiWiki for
Slashcode-driven servers that adds the possibility of requiring authentication
to edit certain pages. WikiWikis, Status Reporter, and Slashcode all use
simplified text markup schemes to enable users to create HTML content without
- To help track security issues I have lurked on (and
occasionally contributed to) the
mailing list. Cypherpunks explores the social implications of
security/privacy/cryptography technology, occasionally delving deep into
technical details when appropriate. It is unfortunately also the home to a lot
of spam and some amount of knee-jerk anti-authoritarianism. It is my opinion
that some amount of
anarchy is coming, so it is better to be prepared.
- PGP and GNU Privacy Guard
- Before Thomson switched to
Entrust, I was the expert on
PGP (Pretty Good Privacy), an
encryption/decryption tool. I am now using GNU
Privacy Guard, a mostly-compatible free software replacement for PGP.
(Entrust is a better solution for large corporations due to Entrust's
centralized automatic key handling.)
- HCL-eXceed X Window System server
- When Windows 3.0 came out, I spent months evaluating
Windows-based X Window System servers, settling on the
X Window System server. HCL-eXceed is what I like in commercial,
I don't have a problem working with closed-source software, but I don't like
seeing many defects in it either.
Using HCL-eXceed probably saved Thomson over $100,000 by allowing
access of Unix workstation
from Windows PCs.
- It just works; and
- If it doesn't work, the defect is either minor or fixed quickly.
1984-1991: Wintek, Inc., Software Engineer
I worked as part of a six-member software development team, mainly on
electronic CAD products for MS-DOS.
- smARTWORK Editor
- smARTWORK is a 50-mil rule
PCB CAD package for which I became the primary developer of the Editor program.
smARTWORK was the first PCB CAD package available for DOS.
- smARTWORK simulated annealing Automatic Component Placement
- smARTWORK included an Automatic Component Placement
program that used a
annealing algorithm, developed when the main information on simulated
annealing was one book and a handful of research papers. I took over as
developer late in the initial code-writing stage, bringing it to production
status. This was probably the first commercial use of the simulated-annealing
- smARTWORK Video Drivers
- I took over maintenance and enhancement of
smARTWORK's video drivers, which including the development of smARTWORK's first
800x600 video driver.
- smARTWORK Copy Protection
- I took over maintenance of smARTWORK's
copy-protection scheme, which involved manipulation of the DOS floppy
- Installation Program Generator
- I wrote what was probably one of the first
installation program generator programs, using it to generate the batch files
necessary for installing smARTWORK and HiWIRE from either 5.25" or
3.5" floppies. Rick Strehlow's extremely clearly-written installation
batch files for smARTWORK inspired me to write the installation program
- HiWIRE II Main Menu Program
- HiWIRE II uses a text GUI
for its main menu. I wrote both the text GUI menu program (my first sizable C++
program) and the program overlay manager (my last sizable assembly program).
- HiWIRE II Editor Memory Manager
- The HiWIRE II Editor uses a memory manager that
allows objects to be stored in conventional memory, in extended/expanded
memory, or on disk.
- smARTWORK and HiWIRE II Netlist Converter
- On my own initiative I wrote a netlist converter for
smARTWORK and HiWIRE II for inputting foreign netlist formats (including EDIF).
- Serial Port Interface for Remote Debugger
- I wrote the serial port interface for remote
debugging of microcontroller boards, along with the user documentation for the
1981-1984: MDBS (Micro Data Base Systems), Software Engineer
I worked as part of a team of 20+ developers, although my projects (except
as noted) were my sole responsibility.
MDBS IV is a network
CODASYL database management system (pre-relational database).
- MDBS IV Page-Level Memory Manager
- The MDBS IV page-level memory manager used a best-fit
algorithm from Knuth's The Art of
- MDBS IV Porting (CP/M, WICAT, Unix)
- For 18 months I was responsible for part of the MDBS
IV C code porting effort between CP/M, VAX Unix, and WICAT (a Unix look-similar
- Regular Expression Search
- On my own I wrote both globbing and regular
expression matching code in C. The regular expression code is was part of
their GURU expert-system-enhanced
database product for over 20 years.
- Hash Tables (Associative Arrays)
- I wrote hash table (associative array) code in C.
- Fixed Hash Table Generator
- I wrote a fixed hash table generator program, similar to GNU's mkperf.
- MDBS IV User Query External Sort
- The MDBS IV user query program allows users to
arbitrarily sort their output queries (like ORDER BY in SQL only for a CODASYL
database) using an external sorting function (sorting chunks into multiple
files, then merging the files), co-written by Tim Stockman and me.
- Unix Device Driver for Named Pipes
- To provide client-server IPC on early Unix boxes, I
wrote a device driver that provided a named pipe facility on Unix before
"named pipes" were a standard part of Unix.
- CP/M Filesystem Emulator for Unix Floppies
- Tim Stockman and I wrote a CP/M filesystem emulator
for Unix floppies to enable easy copying of files between CP/M and Unix
- C Compiler Selection
- (A "how times have changed" entry.) I was
part of the team that finally selected the BDS software C compiler (by
Leor Zolman) for CP/M software
development in C. This required a compiler that could have a new back-end
written for it that generated a pseudo-assembly that assembled down into either
8080, 8086, or Z-80 instructions.
- Unix Systems Administration
- Part of my duties included system administration of
their PDP-11, VAX 11/780, and WICAT computer systems.
1979-1981: Northrop Defense Systems Division, Software Engineer
My duties included radar countermeasures software (ECM). I held a
SECRET clearance. I can't say more than that except
that my project name was unclassified but that my participation in the project
1975-1979: Purdue (as B.S.E.E. student), Programmer
- IEEE Dictionary Computerization (1978-1979)
- Professor Benjamin Leon hired me as a research
assistant to work on the first try to computerize the
IEEE Dictionary of Electrical and Electronic
- Unix Systems Administration (1978-1979)
- I was one of two Unix System Administrators (V6 and V7 PDP-11 Unix) from
what was still called the ARPA Lab, although by that point the focus of the Lab
was (as I remember) on computer vision (this was in the pre-TCP/IP days).
- 8080 Cluster Schematic (1978)
- I did an independent study project that designed an
8080 computer board to be used as part of an 8080 cluster computer.
- APL Editor (1978)
- I did an independent study project to create a
standard APL editor.
- I graduated with a bachelors of science in electrical
engineering with concentration on computer engineering.
1971-1975: John Adams High School, South Bend, IN
- National Merit Scholarship
- I was one of the National Merit Scholarship winners
for 1975. This was due to
my 730 verbal and 700 math SAT (1430 total).
- Graduated Cum Laude
- I graduated Cum Laude (top 10% of my class).
- Purdue President's Freshman Engineering Scholarship
- I received a Purdue
President's Freshman Engineering Scholarship for my freshman year at Purdue.
|Unix/Linux System Administration
|Searching and indexing
|System Development Life Cycle (SDLC)
|Microsoft Windows (Win7/Vista/XP/NT/3.x)
|Serious unit testing
|Cascading Style Sheets
||12 years *
|Capability Maturity Model (CMM)
|Processing Large Datasets (1M+ recs)
|Author of Test::MockDBI and Test2::MockDBI
|Linux Software RAID
* I worked in assembly language from 1979-1990. 80x86 assembly language was
from 1981-1990. The only assembly language I've used since 1990 has been in a
- Purdue's computer architecture class used APL as the
design language, so I got quite familiar with APL. I even wrote an editor for
APL as an independent research project for the computer architecture professor.
APL opened my eyes to just how differently you can approach programming a
computer. I have not used APL to any degree since Purdue, however.
- I used FORTH on a Commodore 64 in the early 1980's
before C++ came out, partially in an effort to help develop a saleable
videotape library system for video rental stores with a group of friends. FORTH
showed me how powerful language extensions could be, thereby preparing me for
object-oriented programming with C++ and Perl. <namedrop>I even answered
Brian Kernighan's question about what is FORTH during his second visit to
Purdue ("a very-high-level extensible assembly for a stack-based virtual
- Although I've only written less than a hundred or so
lines of LISP in my life, because LISP is a favorite of academics due to its
flexible nature (apart from the parentheses) I have followed LISP developments
for many years now. Among other nuggets of knowledge, I can thank LISP for what
I know about garbage collection.
- Haskell is my first foray into functional
programming. I am just beginning to learn Haskell, but it has already turned my
attention to the occasions where a no-side-effects programming style is
- Expert Systems
- Around 1992-1993 I took a class in Expert Systems
while at Thomson. This inspired me get a copy of
Translate Rules To C, a
simple forward-chaining expert system that compiled the rules down to a C
program. I was only able to use my Expert Systems knowledge indirectly,
however, as part of my ICT and ITAP work at Thomson. IMHO, an Expert System is
just part of what is required for intelligence — there are lots of other
- Lucene and Lucy
- Lucene is Apache's
powerful (and popular) search engine technology. Products ranging
from Netflix to RELMA use Lucene's technology.
Apache Lucy is Lucene's lesser-known cousin,
a "loose C" port (their words) of Lucene. I learned a lot about designing search indexes and
search strategies by learning Lucene, Lucene.NET, and Lucy. Lucy is exciting
to me because since Lucy is in C, languages like Perl,
PHP, and Python will be eventually be able to make use of Lucene/Lucy's power
(Lucy already has a Perl binding).
- CYC and OpenCYC
- OpenCYC is the
Open Source version of CYC, an attempt to write down common sense in a form
that computers can use (my paraphrase), basically repeating the learning
process every child goes through. The end result should be a usable artificial
intelligence that could be plugged into other programs.
Honors and Publications
Education and Training
- Certified Scrum Master
- Taught by Aaron Kopel of Project Brilliant.
- Head First Statistics
- Reading and working the exercises in the O'Reilly book, Head First Statistics
(as of 2019-05-15 in normal distributions chapter, about 3/4 of the way through).
- Head First Java
- Read and worked the exercises in the O'Reilly book Head First Java.
- Advanced Perl Programming
- Taught by
Nathan Torkington of the
Tom Christiansen Perl Consultancy.
- Real-World Requirements
- Taught by Steve Tockey of
- Real-World Software Testing
- Taught by Steve Tockey of
- Information Systems Project Management
- Taught by
Mark A. Reed
for the American Management Association International.
- Information Engineering - Analysis
- Taught by the staff of
Thomson Consumer Electronics Information Systems.
- Expert Systems
- Taught by the staff of
Thomson Consumer Electronics Information Systems.
- Micro-based Automated Library Systems
- Taught by the staff of the
Indiana Cooperative Library Services
- Objected-Oriented Concepts & Design:
Advanced C++ Workshop
- Taught by the staff of
the Technology Exchange Company (the teacher was a colleague of Jim Coplien's
name I can't find in my paperwork).
World Wide Web
- Perl6 RFC349: Perl modules
should be built with a Perl make program
- My RFC that proposes that only Perl should be built with make(1) --
everything else should be built with a Perl make program. This appears to be
implicitly accepted by the Parrot
development team, at least.
- Version 2.90: Documentation patch
for the import_names() method transforming the parameter names into valid Perl
- Version 2.36:
Patch so that cookie and HTTP date formats now meet spec.
External Tools Rational Purify documentation patch (perl5-porters email
Documentation patch (perl5-porters email message)
Patch to use Bob Jenkins One-at-a-Time key hashing function (perl5-porters
- My CPAN Modules
(Apache authentication using an external program)
(Extract last-modified date from zero or more files, directories, and DBI
(Transparently use substrings and anchored wildcards in SQL)
enables testing of DBI programs by mocking up the entire DBI API,
then allowing developers to create rules for the mockup's behavior
- GitHub for WebGUI
of the WebGUI WGDev command line tool
that adds batchedit, a command for directly editing an asset or URL
from a shell script / batch file
rather than bringing up an editor program. Batchedit will eventually
will be integrated into the main WGDev repository.
- Patch to turn off warnings when used under
- Perl Power Tools
Implementation: Complete V7 Unix with some GNU options.
- Fancy grep(1) patch: I added the -E (extract data)
- My contributions to the Perl5 development list.
Last updated May 17, 2019.