Leader of Birmingham.pm [pm.org] and a CPAN author [cpan.org]. Co-organised YAPC::Europe in 2006 and the 2009 QA Hackathon, responsible for the YAPC Conference Surveys [yapc-surveys.org] and the QA Hackathon [qa-hackathon.org] websites. Also the current caretaker for the CPAN Testers websites and data stores.
If you really want to find out more, buy me a Guinness
The morning was spent discussing Programing with Iterators and Generators. There was quite a bit I already knew, and it was useful as a refresher. However, it did reaffirm something I should be thinking about more, closures. There are many cases were a simple iterator using a closure can simplify code. The magic is in one place and it's called using a simple interface (usually). The DNA example was good, as was the web spider. Also useful to discover HTML::LinkExtor and WWW::RobotRules.
Since returning home, the link Mark posted to the slides doesn't seem to work. Looking at his YAPC-EU and YAPC::EU directories reveals a file of the name of the talk, but not the slides he was using. At least they weren't what I remembered. Maybe he'll post them soon. Then again it is his livelihood so perhaps not.
After lunch was Mark's Tricks of The Wizards talk. In the introduction Mark explained why there was no disclaimer about him not being a wizard any more, as in 2001 Larry Wall proclaimed that Mark WAS a wizard. Due to time constraints we didn't get to see the full talk, but there was plenty to digest. I would have liked to have seen the part about Tie, especially as I was missing Dave Cross' talk about it in the other room. We did get to hear about AUTOLOAD and Filtering though. It also meant we didn't get to the bonus slides
In Monterey at TPC4, July 2000, Dave Cross was sitting next to me when Mark gave this talk. Now Mark dedicates a slide to Dave for the trick about AUTOLOAD doing a fuzzy match on function names, which seeded the idea for Symbol::Approx::Sub. Still a mad idea. Both the AUTOLOAD and Filtering sections did help me understand the concepts better, as the first time I saw this talk my understanding was a bit hazy. Now I've had a chance to use them, getting more out of them has become much more clearer.
Mark's last talk was a series of 12 lightning talks. Some were informative, some entertaining and others
In some ways it was a shame that I stayed listening to Mark's talks all day, as it meant that I missed the London.pm talk afternoon and their ad-hoc series of talks due to Ronan Oger being held up at the airport in foreign lands. However, at least I learnt a few things and refreshed my knowledge of others. I got to speak to Mark afterwards, we shook hands and put history in the past. If that sounds confusing, don't worry about it.
The evening began with a wonderful meal with various London.pm'ers, though our table was a bit of a splinter group featuring Spurkis, muttley, Tom Hukins, Sam Villain, Scott from Belfast.pm and me. The food was fantastic, the conversation was grand, and best of all the company was wonderful. Revelations of schooldays, news of Dave The Goth and general mutterings and meanderings. The way it should be.
Spurkis and I slinked off later to find the other two Birmingham reprobates, JJ and Steve. We joined them for a Cuban drink that I can only be described an alcoholic mint tea, with extra mint. For a change it wasn't the alcohol that tried to blow my head off. After resorting to soft drinks we head back for an early night.
Update: MJD has emailed me too regarding the slides I couldn't find. They are now there, but not the name he originally gave. If you wrote down the link, you should be able to figure it out. I'll not give any more help than that, as it's Mark's livelihood.