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
Next up was Marty Pauley telling us the Perl6 ideas stolen from Japanese. Marty's amusing talk, looked at the evidence of Larry designing Perl6 by stealing from the Japanese language. Many proofs were unearthed and many insights into both Perl6 and Japanese were uncovered. A Great talk.
Following on from Perl6, Dan Sugalski talked about The State Of Parrot. Basically a catch up from a year ago in Munich. Lots of stuff has now been finished, but there are still internals left to complete. It now has support for BASIC, among other things, and the push to get Perl5 running on Parrot is likely to give the project a severe boost.
Elaine Ashton then spoke about CPAN. Elaine, along with a host of others, maintain CPAN, which is ultimate PAUSE and a whole host of mirror servers. Elaine talked about the history of CPAN, what it currently is, and some of the hidden gems that most never look at or reference when they use CPAN. It was questioned whether there was any scope for getting further metrics for CPANTS, such as number of downloads, but due to the distributed mechanism of CPAN this is currently not feasible. Elaine also aired a few gripes about the current state of CPAN, such as people clobbering namespaces, not researching module APIs or functionality properly, and also the lack of some modules to include a version. I have noted since my return that all the modules that have no version number (several LWP and URI modules) are all written by one person, Gisle Aas. Seeing as this is quite a respected Perl writer I am surprised. I really enjoyed the talk and noted a few gems to look at later.
Sky then gave us an introduction and explanation of PONIE. At the London.pm technical talk last week he gave much the same talk, although the questions from the audience were obviously different. Should be interesting to see the result. He has a target of 2 years, but I suspect it'll be done long before then.
My finally talk (sort of) of the conference was Greg McCarroll speaking about Why I am not giving a talk this year. For Greg (and perhaps others) it seems as though the following scenario always happens when submitting a talk:
Idea -> Proposal
........................... -> Eek! -> Panic -> Slides -> Talk -> Party
The Idea and Proposal come fairly quickly, but then there is a long gap. During which time the idea you thought of has now been dropped, due to boredom, in favour of another better idea. Then 2 weeks (or less) you suddenly realise you need to do slides for the idea you became bored of and have since forgotten. Panic ensues as you start thinking what to say, and then usually finish the slides an hour or two (if you're lucky) before giving the talk. Then you can relax (unless your Mark Fowler, who decided to give 5 talks this year!). So Greg's (not a) talk discussed the projects he'd been working on for the past year. JFractal, Siesta, Radio Greg and VCS. Some had faltered, some had yet to be finished. But all were not quite enough to write slides about.
Then it was back to the O'Reilly room for The Lighting Talks, hosted by MJD. In order the talks were:
17 talks in 100 minutes. Not bad going. A complete mixture of talks, from the humorous, the insightful to the gawd my head hurts (and its not the beer). Highlights for me were BooK and Beatnik's stints. BooK received a (partly) standing ovation for a talk that must surely be credited as being the best talk of the conference. I REALLY hope I can get hold of the script, as it would be great fun to show it at the next Birmingham.pm technical meeting, even if I can't do the spoken bit (especially the French). I wonder if anyone videoed it? Piers' talk wasn't in the schedule, but it did start and end with him singing some folk songs, remarkably well it has to be said. The ending song did sound familiar and very reminiscent of Mike Harding. I'll have to ask next time I see him.
And the grand finale. The Auction. So what got sold? Well....
There was meant to be more, but time was running out. And so the auction came to a quick close.
As always the auction is pure entertainment. Greg now into his 4th year as auction master, ensured the conference broke even and plenty more went to The Perl Foundation to fund next years conference. At one point Greg donned a black balloon auctioneer's hat (made by Piers). The usual items, books and T-shirts, were augmented by many unusual items, not least of which was language for the front page of both London.pm and Paris.pm web sites. English and Japanese started the furore, but a high bid from Paul Makepeace with Esperanto, side tracked the bidders, until the Japanese bidders sided with Esperanto (at 500 Euros) to compete with the English faction. Finally Geoffrey Avery got a quick bidder script going, at 1210 Euros apiece for English and Esperanto, a silent running Swedish_Chef came up from behind to try and usurp the two. However, it didn't quite make it. Mark Fowler, head of the English consortium, bowed out gracefully and accepted defeat. The final tally:
Then just before we all departed, the final announcement....
Next years conference will be hosted by
As we left, no-one knew quite what was happening, several London.pm'ers were disappearing rapidly, then Belfast.pm quickly (well Marty mostly) saw an opportunity and persuaded me to go for Sushi. I've never tried Sushi before and was surprised to discover it was very tasty. The company and conversation was a pleasure as always, it's going to be a delight to see them all in Belfast next year (if not before). Though the time for chatter might have to wait until after the show as I can imagine them all being stressed during, though with Karen using her management skills perhaps they'll be finished and ready before the deadline, and all waiting on the door for us to turn up
Karen and the guys headed for a quiet table at La Taverne, but the rest of us headed downstairs where we met up with a number of other London.pm'ers. We joined in (briefly) with a karoke night, until they got to the French songs. muttley knows french, but even he was lost. We eventually head upstairs and join the main bunch of the other conference attendees, but as the rain came down, a few of us headed for bed. Greg, as per usual was host to a party in his room. Thankfully for Greg and the others I was in the room underneath, and was up and about till the early hours so wasn't disturbed by the noise. I think the party ended about 5.30am, I fell asleep a little after that.
Update: Bugfix - flipped party end to AM