Tag Archives: yapc

YAPC::Europe Report

It’s nearly three weeks since I got back from Riga. I should probably tell you a bit about what I did.

I flew over on Saturday and on Sunday I gave my “Introduction to Modern Perl” talk. There were nine people on the course and they all seemed to find it useful.

The conference itself started on Monday with a welcome from Andrew Shitov followed by the announcement that next year’s YAPC will be in Frankfurt. Then Larry gave his keynote where he compared Perl to musical styles (and architecture). He was followed by Matt Trout talking about the various philosophical styles required in good documentation. I then stayed in the main hall to see Mallory van Achterberg describing HTML5 and Zefram talking about his latest experiments in bending Perl syntax using some of the new features in Perl 5.14.

I think I spent the first session after lunch talking to various people in hallways and then I went back to the main hall to see Chisel Wright talking about mostly lazy DBIx::Class testing followed by Zefram describing (in great detail) why time is so hard. After a coffee break Book introduced his modules for controlling git from Perl.

Then we had the lightning talks (including my talk which suggested that the Perl community should become a secret society) and the auction – unusually on the first day rather than the last one.

The second day started with Damian Conway explaining how he has converted some of his CPAN modules to Perl 6 and how much simpler a lot of the code got in the process. I then watched Aaron Crane explain why monkey-patching is a problem and how subclassing is often no better. I then saw Max Maischein introducing Flottr and Andrew Solomon running a beginners tutorial about Dancer.

After lunch I went to see Peter Rabbitson talking about DBIx::Class internals followed by Karen Pauley talking about The Perl Foundation. I was happy to she that she took my lightning talk’s “going underground” theme and used it as an excuse to include a picture of the wombles.

One of the highlights of the conference for me was Tara Andrews talking about how she uses Perl in her work on Medieval manuscripts. That was followed by Mark Keating talking about marketing (Mark Keating/marketing – geddit?). Then there was the second lot of lightning talks followed by the attendees dinner where we all ate too much from the buffet and drank too much beer.

Wednesday began with Jesse Vincent’s vision of what Perl might be like moving forward from 5.16. He’s got some great ideas. And somehow he and Leon Brocard persuaded me to volunteer to put out a Perl release next April. That’ll be interesting. Following that I went briefly into Ingy’s talk on post-modern packaging but I wasn’t wasn’t really concentrating as I was getting ready for my talk on Perl Training which was next. I talked about my experiences of ten years running Perl training courses. After that I relaxed by listening to Matt Trout talking about Data::Query.

After lunch I saw Mark Keating talking about the Perl community (and why he loves it so much). I followed that by sitting in Patrick Michaud and Leon Timmermann’s talks, but I confess I was really catching up on email and not really concentrating. Then there was Matt Trout’s State of the Velociraptor, the final set of lightning talks and the Frankfurt.pm team talking about their plans for next year.

And then it was over. Another great YAPC::Europe conference which seemed far too short. Many thanks to all of the organisers for doing such a great .job.

YAPC::Europe Preview

Earlier this year I met Josette Garcia at OpenTech and she told me about her new blog Josetteorama. She asked me if I’d like to contribute a few articles about Perl to the site. I agreed and then promptly forgot about it for a couple of months.

But I remembered my promise a week or so ago and realised that this would be a great opportunity to promote YAPC::Europe outside of the Perl community.

So I wrote an article called YAPC::Europe Preview. And she published it today. Hope you find it interesting.

YAPC::Europe Talks Accepted

The YAPC::Europe organisers said that they would tell speakers which talks had been accepted on July 1st. Well, it seems that the excitement was too much for them and they decided to do it a week earlier. Yesterday I got email telling me that some of my talks had been accepted and the list of accepted talks is now on the web site. As always, it looks like a really interesting conference.

I’ve had two twenty-minute talks accepted:


The Perl Community

The Perl community is a complex and interesting city. I’ve been exploring it for almost fifteen years and I’m not sure that I’ve been to every corner of it.

In this talk I’ll attempt to guide you round some of the more interesting and useful parts of the Perl community. I’ll point out some ancient monuments, some nice new areas and warn you about some places where you really shouldn’t walk alone after dark.

Things I Learned From Having Users‎
When I first started releasing modules to CPAN it was great. I released modules that no-one used. I could release new versions as and when I wanted to.

Then people started using a couple of my modules. I started to get email about them. Suddenly my modules were no longer just for me. I had to deal with users.

In this talk I’ll discuss how having users effects the way that you develop and release software. I’ll also look at a few ways to keep on top of things.

I’m also doing my first lightning talk for several years:

‎Perl Vogue‎

You might not believe it to look at us, but the Perl community is a deeply fashionable place. If you’re not using the currently fashionable modules in your code then people will be sneering at you behind your back.

Join Dave Cross for a quick review of the history of Perl fashion.

See you in Pisa.

YAPC::Europe Talks

The Call for Papers for YAPC::Europe closes in four days. If you’re thinking of giving a talk in Pisa then this weekend would be a very good time to give it some serious thought.

I proposed four talks last night. I’m hoping that the organisers won’t choose more than two of them, but I like to give them a bit of choice. The titles are as follows:

  • The Perl Community
  • Web Services for Fun and Profit
  • Things I Learned From Having Users
  • Perlanet Update

I’ve also submitted a proposal for a lightning talk called “Perl Fashion”. It’s been several years since I’ve given a lightning talk, so that’ll be an interesting experience.

Don’t forget that there are also training courses (including my course on Modern Perl).

Looking forward to the conference very much. Hope to see some of you there.

Training Update

The training courses for this summer’s YAPC in Pisa have been announced. And my course on Modern Perl has been chosen. It’s a one-day course on August 2th (just before the conference). It costs € 180. You’ll be able to book once the payments system on the conference web site goes live.

Here’s the description of the course from the YAPC site:

This course introduces the major building blocks of modern Perl. We’ll be looking at a number of CPAN modules that can make your Perl programming life far more productive.

The major tools that we will cover will be:

  • Template Toolkit
  • DBIx::Class
  • Moose
  • Catalyst
  • Plack

We’ll also look at some other modules including autodie, DateTime and TryCatch.

There are several other good courses running both before and after the conference. I’m sure there’ll be something that you’ll find interesting.

N.B: This is not an April Fool’s joke!

YAPC::Europe 2009

Today I travelled home from YAPC::Europe 2009 which was held in Lisbon. Readers of my other blog will know that I almost didn’t get there at all. The return journey was far less stressful.

On the weekend before the conference I gave a two-day “Introduction to Perl” course. We had six people on the course. I’m pretty happy with that as I think it’s a brave decision to have a beginners’ course at a Perl conference. I’m also happy to report that a third of the attendees were women.

There were four tracks of conference talks. This, of course, is guaranteed to lead to situations where you want to watch more than one talk at the same time. I think that at one point I really wanted to watch three of the four talks. Of course, there’s also the “hallway track” which is the best part of any good conference. This week there were two or three occasions when I found that I’d missed talks that I wanted to see because I had been so engrossed in an interesting conversation. All in all, I’m really glad that some of the talks were being recorded.

One highlight for me was meeting Paul Fenwick and Jacinta Richardson. I’ve been talking online to Paul and Jacinta for something like seven or eight years but we had never met face to face before because we spend most of out lives on opposite sides of the Earth. It was great to finally meet them. They’re as lovely in real life as they are online and they’re also both great speakers with interesting things to say.

Another highlight was the Marketing BOF that we held on Tuesday evening. There’s a growing concern in the Perl community that people outside of the community have an out of date and rather uncomplimentary view of Perl. The conference was full of people who had many ideas for fixing this. Ovid has a good description of this BOF over on use.perl so I won’t repeat the details here. I’ll just point out that some of us tried to have a similar meeting at EuroOSCON in 2005. At that time we had four people turn up. This week there were more than fifty.

The quiz show on Tuesday night was fun too. Greg and I were a last minute substitution as one of the teams failed to appear. We won our qualifying round, but came third (out of four) in the final. I was particularly embarrassed to have been beaten to the answer to the Buffy question.

And it seems that I owe the Perl community an apology. In his closing keynote, José Castro gave some examples of bad Perl advocacy. Number one on his list was my Why Corporates Hate Perl article. José pointed out that many people only read the title of an article and that my title was, perhaps, badly chosen. I’m sorry if I’ve caused any damage.

All in all, a great conference. Many thanks to the organisers for all of their hard work.

Hope to see you all in Pisa next year.

Send-a-Newbie

The Send-a-Newbie project is the Perl community at its best. People with a bit of spare money have donated to a fund to send people to YAPC::Europe. Edmund von der Burg and a team of trusted helpers have counted the money and closely examined the applications that they received. Edmund writes:

First, a quick recap: the Send-a-Newbie program is meant to help people go to YAPC who have never been to a YAPC before, are unable to do so by their own means and already involved in some way in the Perl community.

Applications were submitted, questions were asked, answers were given, difficult choices made and we now have our lucky YAPC Newbies.

We’re delighted to announce that we will be sending the following three to YAPC in Lisbon:

Alan: Based in India, started using Perl about a year and a half ago. Since then, he’s contributed to several CPAN modules, released WWW::Rapidshare::Free and is currently working on the TPF grant “Fixing Bugs in the Archive::Zip Perl Module”. He’s never been to any meetings of the Perl community.

Alistair: Based in Scotland, has just finished university, started using Perl for creating his websites and performing several small tasks. When choosing a placement (for his degree) he chose a Perl shop in London, and became part of London.pm

Rosellyne: Based in England, self-funded university student. Also a grant manager for TPF (past four years), member of London.pm and active on PerlMonks. Keen to meet people she’s worked with for years.

There were other great applications that we will not be able to send. Hopefully they’ll be able to attend a future YAPC.

All of this is possible due to the lovely people who have donated and helped. It’s been a great demonstration of the community that has formed around Perl. Thanks also to the YAPC::EU organizers who have been supportive of this project right from the start.

Thank you to all involved and see you all at YAPC::EU::2009!

The three lucky participants will have their travel, hotel and conference fees paid. They’ll have to pay for their own beer.

What I’m Doing At YAPC::Europe

Yet Another Perl Conference :: Europe :: 2009 I think I’ve now worked out all of the things that I’m doing at YAPC::Europe this year. It’s turned into quite a list.

The big news is that I’m giving a “Introductory Perl” training course over the weekend before the conference. One of the themes of the conference is to get more people involved in the Perl community (see, for example, Edmund’s Send-A-Newbie initiative) so the organisers thought it would be a good idea to run a beginners course just before the conference. The idea is to take people who know little or no Perl and get them to the stage where they’ll be able to get something useful out of the rest of the conference.

Details of the training are on the YAPC web site, where you can also book your place (it’s €220 for a two day course).

So the training is on Saturday and Sunday (the 1st and 2nd of August). The conference starts on Monday. I’m giving two talks at the conference:

It looks like it’s going to be a great conference (as always). I’m really looking forward to it.

YAPC Travel Plans

On the offchance that anyone wants to travel at the same time, here are my travel plans for YAPC::Europe.

  • Flying from Heathrow to Lisbon on BA502 on Friday 31st July. Leaving at 15:05 and arriving at 17:45.
  • Staying in the Hotel Alif (possibly the least useful hotel web site that I’ve ever seen).
  • Flying from Lisbon to Heathrow on BA501 on Thursday 6th August. Leaving at 11:05 and arriving at 13:40.

I’m travelling a little earlier than many people because I hope to be running a training course on the weekend before the conference. I’ll post more details of that here when it’s confirmed (hopefully in the next couple of days).