My current mania for all things Perlish has lead me to Pashua--a framework for wrapping a simple GUI around Perl, PHP or shell scripts as a dialogue to input values into the scripts. There doesn't seem to be a way to capture output to a text box or dialogue window as yet, but the strength of Pashua is its simplicity. With the aid of the example provided in the package, I managed to knock up a neat little front end to a Perl script I was working on last week to convert an email header style date format to a Movabletype style format, which was prompted by an email exchange with dvd. He has long since solved the problem very neatly, but I've carried on tinkering regardless because it forms a nice real-world problem from which to learn lots of painful lessons about coding efficient and elegant solutions in Perl.

If you want to build more complex GUIs with a Perl foundation, CamelBones seems to be the way to go, but is correspondingly more difficult to get to grips with, especially if--like me--you aren't familiar with the process of building Cocoa applications. Basically, I don't know my nibs from elbow. Of course, some might argue that Perl is best used efficiently on the command line, or toiling away quietly behind a web interface (as in the system driving this very weblog), but I like pushing things to their limit. I suppose I also like to get my money's worth for the effort that I put in to learning something...

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