Hello world from Toby Ovod-Everett

I’m a software developer located in Anchorage, Alaska.  I have a strong interest in database front-end development.  While I find web front-ends to have some serious limitations from a UI perspective, I’ve been convinced that the dramatic simplification of deployment and updating outweigh those disadvantages.

Historically, I’ve worked for the last 16 years doing automated workstation management, including building my own framework for deploying software under SMS, developing my own tool sets for package and install/update routine validation, etc.  That was a 16 year detour from my primary interest, though, and I’m excited to be back on track.

Along the way I developed an OO framework for developing ASP web frontends for SQL Server databases using Perl.  The logic tier and most of the presentation tier were encapsulated in an object layer that implemented the database access, business logic, and a majority of the HTML generation and ASP interaction.  That was skinned by very thin ASP pages.  In order to facilitate rapid development and maintenance, a custom data dictionary was developed in a separate SQL Server database.  Perl scripts accessed the data dictionary to do code generation for the 400KB of T-SQL code that defined the database structure, as well as for the Win32::ASP::DB object layer and the ASP pages.  Almost all of the database-specific code was stored in the data dictionary and was injected during the code generation.  In addition, the code generators supported a variety of callbacks stored in the data dictionary that manipulated and extended the structure early in the code generation process, thus permitting repetitive entries to be automatically generated.

As part of that, Ned Konz and I co-developed Class::Prototyped for Perl.  Class::Prototyped is a module that supports fast prototype-based OO programming in Perl.  The semantics came straight out of the Self language, but we stuck to Perlish syntax as much as possible.  It has support for OO reflection and meta-programming, both on objects built using Class::Prototyped as well as arbitrary existing Perl classes.

My long-term interests include:

  • Database design
  • Front-end design
  • Meta-programming
  • DRY


However, I’ve come to the conclusion that I need to stop developing custom frameworks from scratch.  So I’ve thrown in my hat with the Ruby on Rails community, and if I find itches in RoR that need scratching, I’ll start writing and coding.


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