Important Research Project  (Related to computer programming)

Posted by E.D.G. on August 30, 2007 edgrsprj / ix.netcom.com

    This report is being posted to a number of Internet Newsgroups to see if
there are any experienced computer programmers who would like to provide
some assistance with an effort to develop a Perl language computer program.

    Interested parties can try contacting me by e-mail or by posting a
response note to the comp.lang.perl.misc newsgroup.  They would need to
download a recent (free) MSI copy of Perl from the ActiveState Web site and
get it running on a Windows XP or Vista system.

http://www.activestate.com

    I am presently using Perl 5.8.8 but plan to upgrade to the latest
version as soon as possible.  People can use Windows 98 if that is the only
operating system available.  Perl also runs on other operating systems.  But
at this time I specifically need help with the Windows version.

    The goal is to have a single Perl program (or modules) perform functions
that have been done by a sizeable collection of other language programs in
the past.

    Help is presently needed with learning how to get Perl to generate
charts and also produce standalone .exe copies of itself.  The plan is to
then make those .exe copies available to other scientific researchers around
the world for free use along with free use updates when they become
available.  If other researchers wish to get Perl running on their own
computers then they will probably also be given the source code for the
original program for free use so that they can do their own development
work.

    Perl was originally chosen because it is quite versatile, is a free
download, and is supported both by ActiveState and quite a few independent
programmers.  So other researchers could get their own versions running
without having to worry about viruses or cost.

    So far the work is fairly advanced.  The effort has been underway for at
least a decade.  The core data generation program was formally copyrighted
several years ago.  My present version of Perl will send data to Windows as
if it were being manually typed into the keyboard (important for controlling
other programs).  And it can directed to respond to most keystrokes even
when another program is the active one.  Unfortunately, Windows also
presently responds to those keystrokes.  And that complicates things a bit.

    Not being a professional computer programmer I have been finding it
difficult to get new features such as a chart generating ability merged with
and running with Perl.  And the entire research project is now being slowed
as a result.  One of my colleagues has done an extensive amount of work with
Basic.  And I even offered to pay him to help with the Perl development
effort.  But after he downloaded a copy of Perl and examined it he decided
that this would involve too much effort.  I have to agree with him.

    Once it is possible to create charts and .exe versions the plan is for
researchers around the world to develop Perl modules for generating a
variety of data related to sun, moon, planet, ocean tide crest and trough,
and Solid Earth Tide locations.  Most of those data can already be generated
with other programs.  Some of the data are not yet available anywhere as far
as I am aware.  If the effort is unusually successful the Perl program (or
modules) might eventually be converted to CGI programs that will run at one
or more Internet Web sites.