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
Gabor's second talk was concerned with writing your own debugging tool. He took a few simple examples and made it sound really easy. It probably really is that easy, but while the talk was interesting, I doubt I'll be putting it to practical use.
I then went to Karen Pauley's talk, 'TMTOWTDI - A Managers Nightmare'. An entertaining talk, as well as informative. I liked the idea of all the acronyms. It actually helped to emphasis the point of each slide.
Then onto the ActiveState room for Uri Guttman's talk, Better Perl Code in 65 Minutes. An interesting talk partly about about code, partly about understanding your code, but mostly about others understanding your code. Several tips and ideas were included, and much though provoking stuff. The most notes I wrote for any talk. His first question was 'Who is the most important person to think about when writing code?'. An excellent question, but alas I was thinking from the wrong perspective of usability. Uri was thinking in terms of code maintainability, something that does get forgotten along the way. I have programmed with cowboys and seen the resulting spaghetti, its not fun to debug or maintain. A small debate arose surrounding the HERE document. I like them, but then I'm originally a bourne shell scripter from the 80s. The debate centred around indenting HERE documents, which JJ took to heart and has now written a module provisionally entitled Indent::HereDoc. It's not on CPAN yet, but once he's fleshed out any bugs I'm sure it'll look lovely.
Back to the O'Reilly room for nearly the most entertaining talk of the conference. I say nearly as the best was yet to come. Stray Toaster (aka Marc Kerr) asked if we were sitting comfortably, then he would begin
Took a break from talks. I was going to have a look at either Mark Fowler's testing talk or Jo Walsh's talk on mapping the web. But having seen both before, or at least older versions of the talks, I decided to seek sanity in the quiet of the hallway. Chatted a while and generally collected my thoughts in preparation of the next bunch of talks.
The only downer about the conference has been lack of power points. While this is no fault of the organisers, I was disappointed at the lack of 4-way power leads that people could have brought with them. Unfortunately there were only 3 plug points in the O'Reilly room and in the afternoon all three had been taken by people with Euro plugs. No slot left for a UK adaptor
The next talk was Tom Hukins' Choosing A Templating System For Your Web Project. Tom's talk discussed how choosing a templating system was important for each person in the life cycle of a project. Many people roll their own, as many widely available and supported templating systems either don't quite match their requirements or offer too much than is necessarily required. For some in the chain of command the templating system is not something they are concerned about, as long as it works they don't have a problem. For others it can be a heated debate.
After Tom's talk, I headed off to meet a friend. I had seen Paul Mison's talk on managing digital media last week at the London.pm tech talk, which was really good, and prompted me to think about the scripts I use to keep track of my mp3s. Unfortunately me heading off meant I missed both Jos Boumans' 20 things talk and Tim Bunce's DBI talk. I would have liked to have seen both, but as it was JJ went to Jos' talk, so I'll have to pinch his notes.
The evening saw the Birmingham crew head off in search of a quiet restaurant. We found a quietish one by Les Halles, just down from the Centre national d'art et de culture Georges Pompidou (aka The Pompidou Centre). Food was lovely, although the saxophonist to accompany our meal we could have done without. After we headed back to find the remnants of the attendees. I suddenly remember that most of the people I know would be at the Speakers dinner, and we failed to spot anyone else around the bar, La Taverne, that we'd been to the previous night. So we headed back to the bar that had the Cuban mint drink. A few pints later we were ready for bed again.