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JonathanWorthington (6049)

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Tuesday June 15, 2010
10:11 AM

Perl Mova + YAPC::Russia

[ #40399 ]

On Friday I flew from rainy Sweden to scorching hot Kiev to attend a combined Perl Mova + YAPC::Russia. The passport queue wasn't overly long, and I'd happily managed to be hand luggage only, so I wasn't too long in the airport. I planned to take the "official" bus, but before it appeared I heard a lady shouting about a mashrutka going to the center, so I took that instead. Understanding basic Russian - well, it coulda been Ukrainian too - sure comes in helpful. I was dropped by a metro station, leaving the 15 euro-cent (yes, really) metro ride a few stops to where I was staying - a hotel right on the main Independence Square. I was a little bemused as I checked in to be spoken to in a mixture of Russian and Ukrainian, by the same person in the same conversation.

My plane had been slightly late, so I was also slightly late joining the pre-workshop dinner. After I'd filled up on a tasty dish of borsch, we wandered on to a pub that offered no less than 22 different beers. I was...happy. :-) Some beer later, it was time for a little stroll, which terminated in a Japanese restaurant, where I had my first encounter with wasabi vodka. All in all, a very fun start to my visit here.

I was worried I'd sleep badly in my room since it was a little hot, but I actually slept really quite well and was nicely refreshed for the hack meet. There were a lot of people there hacking on all kinds of different projects. Some folks were interested in contributing to Rakudo, and so we gathered around on a table and I helped each of them find and get started on a task. It went extremely well - everyone in attendance contributed Rakudo patches or code that allowed us to close an RT ticket right there on the day, or that will after I apply patches. Of note, people who were new to Rakudo hacking:

  • Located and unfudged tests for \e that was recently fixed, allowing the ticket about that to be closed.
  • Implemented .all, .any, .one and .none method versions of junction constructors and added tests for them, allowing that ticket to be closed.
  • Debugged and then wrote a patch that fixed a bug in range iteration, plus added tests, allowing an RT ticket to be closed.
  • Implemented .cando and did some related refactors in the area that I suggested and also located some tests to unfudge. Due to network issues that one didn't get applied on the day, though I have it and have just applied it locally, so it'll be in soon.
  • Tracked down what was wrong with forming colon pairs from variables involving twigils, patched it and made sure we had some test coverage of that; again, we closed a ticket.
  • Wrote a patch to fix a bug in the series operator that had been reported in RT, along with some test cases for it.

I think it goes without saying that this is really quite impressive, especially given they had to share one Rakudo core hacker between them for guidance. In fact, I even had time to cook up a few patches myself amongst guiding others! It was great fun to hack alongside such pepole. I handed three spectest repo commit bits out that day, and I think they were all used. It's experiences like the one at this hack meet that make me really glad that we're writing most of Rakudo in Perl 6 or a restricted dialect of it - all of the above tasks required (apart from a one line change in one of them) no PIR or C knowledge at all. Some of those at the hackmeet said they may find time for a bit more Rakudo hacking in the future, which would be really great. :-) After the hack meet, there was more nice food - including a Chicken Kiev - and some lovely beer at prices I've become rather unacustomed to in Sweden.

Day two was talks day. I had one 40 minute talk on Perl 6 signatures which went well. I received some great questions, and I hope I answered them all to people's satisfaction. Later on, I gave a lightning talk about Rakudo * and what it would contain, and showed off a simple little example site that used Rakudo Perl 6, including the modules JSON::Tiny by moritz++ and FakeDBI by mberends++ along with Blizkost (sorear++ for that) to get at the Perl 5 CGI module (though I'll refactor it to use in the near future - I just wanted an excuse to show off Blizkost). The evening was, of course, more food and beer, and a lot of fun.

The final day of the workshop was a bit different - a river cruise! It was very relaxing, and gave me yet another way to enjoy this beautiful city. Certainly good for unwinding after a workshop. Most people left either after that or were flying home today; I on the other hand used "no direct flight on a Tuesday" as an excuse to get another day to potter around Kiev, and today I've enjoyed doing exactly that, gently strolling between my favorite sights and stopping in the odd open air cafe in a park to keep myself refreshed in the somewhat stuffy weather. Soon it'll be time to take my last dinner here, an evening stroll and maybe find some outdoor place to sit and nurse a final beer before it's time to get some sleep before my flight home tomorrow.

Beautiful Kiev. It gets harder to leave each time I come. :-)

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