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acme (189)

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Leon Brocard (aka acme) is an orange-loving Perl eurohacker with many varied contributions to the Perl community, including the GraphViz module on the CPAN. YAPC::Europe was all his fault. He is still looking for a Perl Monger group he can start which begins with the letter 'D'.

Journal of acme (189)

Friday September 17, 2004
04:17 AM

Perl Development Lightning Talk

[ #20916 ]

Perl Development Lightning Talk
YAPC::Europe 2004
Leon Brocard

Good morning everyone! My name is Leon Brocard. I like orange. My lightning talk is called "Perl Development". Now, the thing about that title, is that I can talk about anything I want to.

So I will.

Actually, I won't. I was going to talk about Perl and say how Perl is dead. But then I thought people wouldn't like me so much if I whined a lot, so instead I asked people what they thought I should talk about.

Francoise asked if I was going to use slides. I'm not. No slides. It's a lightning talk. I really don't understand why people think they need slides for a five minute talk which will only have one point. I'd suggest spending your time trying to make your point instead of trying to set up your laptop or switching slides. Slackers!

OK, that was a bit of whining. Anyway, Richard suggested I should talk about a drinking game.

We had a technical meeting last week. I like those meetings. It was in a fancy location and they gave us little warm finger party food and beer. That was good. So the meeting was great, people were testing talks for this conference. Oh, and Alex was talking about programming Perl to make music live in clubs. That was cool.

Anyway, after the technical meet we went to the pub. Yes, I can tell you're all surprised. In this pub, somehow Simon came up with a CPAN drinking game. Have you guys heard about it? So what I'm going to do is get some people on stage and give them free vodka and make them play the game...

Oh, apparently I won't. We'll have to play that later on, sorry.

Leo thought I should talk about chocolate printers. Do you like chocolate? I did. Then we made a 3D chocolate printer in three weeks made out of Lego. I ate chocolate every workday. I don't like chocolate any more.

Thomas asked if I could talk about NINJAs. I'm not going to talk about NINJAs, sorry.

Tom thought I should talk about Python. I don't really think that much about Python. It's quite a nice language, but of course the whitespace thing is just so funny. There aren't many Python user groups, and of course they don't have CPAN. Um, use the right tool for the job?

Oh, and Simon asked me about the London Perl Workshop. Now, the important thing is that this isn't a conference, it's a workshop (YAPC is wonderful!). That means it's quite small and specific: there will be a Perl beginners track, for example. Oh, and in London. It's more of an all-day technical meeting. So I'd better announce it: it'll be on Saturday 11th Decemember 2004. I think we'll all go for Christmas dinner at the end of it. More details on the, errr, Internet.

Right, back to the original subject. Tanja wanted me to talk about something serious. Perl development is dead. Now there have been a few Perl releases this year, but they were all bugfix or compatibility releases. The Perl development track, Perl 5.9.x is pretty much dead. We don't really have any plans for it, and the people in charge of it don't have much free time.

But, you see, it's not too bad. We just don't have any crazy plans, because pretty much everything you might want to do, you can do in Perl-space. I mean, see CPAN, it's grown hugely over the past year. Perl can do things that I didn't even think about a year ago.
So Perl development isn't dead, it's just moved to CPAN.

Mark asked me if I could talk about Perl books. There aren't that many new Perl books. It's not really a big problem, because there are an many software development books. The best book I've read recently is Code Complete ("A practical handbook for software construction"), Steve McConnell, Microsoft Press. The second edition just came out, and it's wonderful. Go read it.

Oh, and Allison asked me if I knew any funny carrot jokes. Sadly, the answer is no.
[The gong went off just here ;-)]

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  • It's not dead. It's merely resting.
    • *cough* I believe biologists have a special word to describe 'stable'. :) Leon was far too kind and perhaps it's time Jarkko went public with some of the similar concerns he has had of late.
      • Yes? I have problems not taking this a little bit personally you know. Probably because I'm not really proud of it myself. Anyhow you're right, as far as I'm concerned I have been buried in my new job, my new city, and a shitload of more or less related personal difficulties. This being combined with the fact that almost no-one cares about Perl 5 development anymore, at least not enough to organize things and make them happen. I will probably agree with anything that anybody could say, in public or not, abo
        • You shouldn't take it personally and if you did, I apologise. This situation has been coming since before P6 was announced. So many people talk about it but just not openly which only exacerbates the condition. If people were to talk about it more openly and start talking about the current state of affairs then it might alleviate the tension which I believe is responsible for a number of people finding other things to do with their time. People don't find tuits for things that they don't want to make time

  • Every day I learn more perl and it can do more, every week I meet more perl programmers and find more perl resources.

    I have yet to have a 'shit, if perl6 was here I could get this done so much quicker/easier/better' moment. If we really needed perl 6 sooner, more people would be jumping in to ensure the bits they needed were included and done.

    The only things I want from perl can be implemented in the CPAN space - things like PPI and PAR are what I hope to see in the 'next generation' of perl along with


    @JAPH = qw(Hacker Perl Another Just);
    print reverse @JAPH;
    • The ASF pays attention to Java because people are willing to volunteer their time to do that work.

      If you want to work on the corresponding C/C++/perl versions of an ASF project there's nothing stopping you from volunteering, and that's what it takes to get things done in Apache land. It's not like the ASF goes out and pays people to work on Java projects, the only money involved, as far as I can tell, is for maintaining infrastructure (the machines involved in hosting web sites, CVS/Subversion repositorie
      • I stand corrected - I thought they had at least some funding to sponser development even if it was to a much lesser degree that TPF/YAS.

        In that case, yes, we will have to fill the gap ourselves.


        @JAPH = qw(Hacker Perl Another Just);
        print reverse @JAPH;
  • acme++ # extremely entertaining!


  • ... has now been announced [].
  • Allison asked me if I knew any funny carrot jokes.

    After helping her do research for both keynotes, I've concluded that there really aren't very many funny carrot jokes.