Randal L. Schwartz

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Randal L. Schwartz
Randal Schwartz headshot by Chris Marquardt.png
Born (1961-11-22) November 22, 1961 (age 60)
Other namesmerlyn (internet handle)
Occupation Programmer, Author, Instructor
EmployerStonehenge Consulting Services, Inc.
Known for Schwartzian transform
Website www.stonehenge.com/merlyn/

Randal L. Schwartz (born November 22, 1961), also known as merlyn, is an American author, system administrator and programming consultant.


He is known for his expertise in the Perl programming language, his promotional role within the Perl community, as a co-host of FLOSS Weekly, and for a controversial felony conviction resulting from State of Oregon vs. Randal Schwartz, later officially expunged.


Schwartz is the co-author of several widely used books about Perl, a programming language, and has written regular columns about Perl for several computer magazines, including UNIX Review, Web Techniques, and the Perl Journal. He popularized the Just another Perl hacker signature programs. He is a founding board member of the Perl Mongers, the worldwide Perl grassroots advocacy organization. He was a member of the Squeak Oversight Board, [1] which oversees the Squeak programming language.

He has owned and operated Stonehenge Consulting Services, Inc. since 1985. After joining as co-host of FLOSS Weekly, a free software/open source (FLOSS) themed podcast in 2007, he assumed the role of host in 2010 until May 2020. He has done voice work for StarShipSofa, a science-fiction podcast.

Schwartz's name is also associated with the Schwartzian transform , an algorithm to efficiently sort a list according to a computation, without repeating the computation many times for each element of the list. He also coined the name spaceship operator for use in his teaching, because it reminded him of the spaceship in an HP BASIC Star Trek game. [2]

Schwartz is a member of the F/OSS community, and has been named a "Perl Expert" and interviewed by numerous outlets – to discuss his views on Perl, Ruby, Smalltalk and other topics – including Dr. Dobb's, [3] Paul dot Com Security TV, [4] The Command Line, [5] PerlCast, [6] FLOSS Weekly, [7] ONLamp.com, [8] and InfoQ. [9] Schwartz was also a speaker at the 2011 OSCON conference [10] and a keynote speaker at the 2010 Texas LinuxFest conference. [11]

His various books have been met with positive reviews. [12] [13]

Schwartz giving a talk at FISL 16 Randal Schwartz - FISL 16.jpg
Schwartz giving a talk at FISL 16

Intel case

In July 1995, Schwartz was prosecuted in the case of State of Oregon vs. Randal Schwartz, which dealt with compromised computer security during his time as a system administrator for Intel. In the process of performing penetration testing, he cracked a number of passwords on Intel's systems. [14] [15] Schwartz was originally convicted on three felony counts, with one reduced to a misdemeanor, but on February 1, 2007, his arrest and conviction records were sealed through an official expungement, and he is legally no longer a felon. [16] [17]


Related Research Articles

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<i>Programming Perl</i>

Programming Perl, best known as the Camel Book among programmers, is a book about writing programs using the Perl programming language, revised as several editions (1991-2012) to reflect major language changes since Perl version 4. Editions have been co-written by the creator of Perl, Larry Wall, along with Randal L. Schwartz, then Tom Christiansen and then Jon Orwant. Published by O'Reilly Media, the book is considered the canonical reference work for Perl programmers. With over 1,000 pages, the various editions contain complete descriptions of each Perl language version and its interpreter. Examples range from trivial code snippets to the highly complex expressions for which Perl is widely known. The camel book editions are also noted for being written in an approachable and humorous style.

<i>Learning Perl</i>

Learning Perl, also known as the llama book, is a tutorial book for the Perl programming language, and is published by O'Reilly Media. The first edition (1993) was authored solely by Randal L. Schwartz, and covered Perl 4. All subsequent editions have covered Perl 5. The second (1997) edition was coauthored with Tom Christiansen and the third (2001) edition was coauthored with Tom Phoenix. The fourth (2005), fifth (2008), sixth (2011), and seventh (2016) editions were written by Schwartz, Phoenix, and brian d foy. According to the 5th edition of the book, previous editions have sold more than 500,000 copies.

<i>Intermediate Perl</i>

Intermediate Perl is a book about the Perl programming language by Randal L. Schwartz, brian d foy and Tom Phoenix, published in 2006 by O'Reilly Media. It was released as a retitled second edition of Learning Perl Objects, References & Modules (ISBN 0-596-00478-8) by Schwartz and Phoenix, published by O'Reilly Media in 2003 to favorable reviews. A second edition of Intermediate Perl was released in 2012.

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Steven Feuerstein

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brian d foy American computer programmer

brian d foy [sic] is the former publisher and editor of The Perl Review, a magazine devoted to Perl and co-author of several books on Perl including Learning Perl, Intermediate Perl and Mastering Perl. He is also the founder of Perl Mongers, the founder of the White Camel Awards, a frequent speaker at conferences including The Perl Conference and YAPC. He is the author of multiple Perl modules on CPAN and maintains the perlfaq portions of the core Perl documentation. He was a partner at Stonehenge Consulting Services from 1998 to 2009.

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<i>FLOSS Weekly</i>

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<i>Perl Cookbook</i>

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Allison Randal

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Fat comma refers to a syntactic construction that appears in a position in a function call where a comma would usually appear. The original usage refers to the "(letters:(" construction in ALGOL 60. Newer usage refers to the "=>" operator present in some programming languages. It is primarily associated with PHP, Ruby and Perl programming languages, which use it to declare hashes. Using a fat comma to bind key-value pairs in a hash, instead of using a comma, is considered an example of good idiomatic Perl. In CoffeeScript and TypeScript, the fat comma is used to declare a function that is bound to this.

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Tom Christiansen

Thomas S. "Tom" Christiansen, nicknamed tchrist or occasionally thoth, is a Unix developer and user known for his work with the Perl programming language.


  1. "Squeak Oversight Board Election 2011". Wiki.squeak.org. April 10, 2011. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  2. "Spaceship history (was Re: [dart-misc] DEP meeting notes)".
  3. Riley, Mike (June 7, 2007). "Randal Schwartz on Perl 6 and Ruby | Dr Dobb's Journal". Drdobbs.com. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  4. "Randal Schwartz Interview | PaulDotCom Security Weekly TV on". Blip.tv. Archived from the original on November 7, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
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  7. "The TWiT Netcast Network with Leo Laporte". Twit.tv. Archived from the original on July 18, 2006. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
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  9. "Ruby's Roots: Smalltalk Comeback and Randal Schwartz on Smalltalk". InfoQ. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  10. "Randal L. Schwartz: OSCON 2011 – O'Reilly Conferences, July 25 – 29, 2011, Portland, OR". Oscon.com. July 25, 2011. Archived from the original on September 5, 2012. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  11. "Texas Linuxfest 2010". April 12, 2010. Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  12. Brown, Martin (November 3, 2005). "Book review: Randal Schwartz's Perls of Wisdom by Randal L Schwartz". Free Software Magazine (8).
  13. Turner, Brian (June 22, 2006). "Book review: Learning Perl by Randal L Schwartz, Tom Phoenix, and brian d foy". Free Software Magazine.
  14. Lewis, Peter H. (November 27, 1995). "Technology: On the net; An Intel computer security expert runs afoul of the law. So much for the 'hacker ethic'?". New York Times .
  15. Pacenka, Steve (April 15, 1996)."Report of Detective P. Lazenby" (archive). (Case main)
  16. Leyden, John (March 5, 2007). "Intel 'hacker' clears his name: 12-year fight ends in victory for 'white hat' password cracker". The Register . UK.
  17. Pacenka, Steve (April 15, 1996). State of Oregon vs. Randal Schwartz case summary (archive). LightLink.com. (Case main).
  18. Learning Perl, Sixth Edition – O'Reilly Media. Oreilly.com. June 23, 2011. ISBN   9781449303587 . Retrieved August 22, 2011.
  19. "Learning Perl, Seventh Edition - O'Reilly Media". Oreilly.com. Retrieved October 27, 2016.
  20. Learning Perl Objects, References, and Modules – O'Reilly Media. Oreilly.com. June 9, 2003. ISBN   9780596004781 . Retrieved August 22, 2011.