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barbie (2653)

  reversethis-{ku. ... m} {ta} {eibrab}

Leader of [] and a CPAN author []. Co-organised YAPC::Europe in 2006 and the 2009 QA Hackathon, responsible for the YAPC Conference Surveys [] and the QA Hackathon [] 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 ;)

Memoirs of a Roadie []
CPAN Testers Reports []
YAPC Conference Surveys []
QA Hackathon []

Journal of barbie (2653)

Thursday September 30, 2004
05:11 AM

YAPC::Europe::2004 - Day Three

[ #21119 ]

Friday started with the second session of Lightning Talks. Up for another 5 minutes of fame were:

Simon was first up, as he had to make a dash to the airport this morning. This will probably his last Perl presentation for quite sometime, as he is off to study to become a missionary for two years. Simon introduced us to another of his pet projects called Wherewas, the ability to index your life with Perl. Basically a complex storage/search mechanism to help you remember all the things you last referenced just when you need them. This includes documents and websites scattered about online, but was very geared to Simon's setup. So although not immediately useful to anybody else, it could potentially be made more generic. Thomas then talked about the unsuccessful nature of Perl Success Stories, and why what we really need is a Power By Perl site instead. This makes sense as although there are some very nice success stories for Perl, many of them are big projects and old. Perl is featured in many, many companies, some never even knowing it. That's a success, but because it isn't a big project, it never gets added in as a success story. Enter Powered By Perl.

Leon then got up to talk about Perl Development. Or rather what other people thought a Perl Development Lightning Talk should be about. It was mostly none of those things. In the middle of the talk he did get to subtly announce the London Perl Workshop, which will be happening in December. Leon also managed to name check a good book on coding, Code Complete by Steve McConnell, which I shall now be looking up. Claes was up next and dispite his original abstract his talk was about CPANXR, the CPAN Cross Referencer. A neat little tool and web app for cross reference CPAN and Perl code. My top X things that bugs me about the language, the virtual machine and the community from a Perl programmers viewpoint.". Ivor's talk was a very quick introduction to PAR and why it's a good tool in the Perl arsenal. Fellow MessageLabs attendee, Jon Mitchell, was up next with his Perl Spectrum Emulator. Jon has been working on this for sometime and here was an ideal opportunity to show it off. I have been asking Jon to give a talk on this for Birmingham Perl Mongers, so now he has got over the 5 minutes of fame, I'll have to to prompt him for a longer talk now :)

Tim Bunce then talked about his plans for the DBI, including its intergration into Parrot as a universal database interface for all languages running on Parrot. A nice idea, but I foresee ALOT of work. H.Merijn used to use the FILES.last28days file alot, but it no longer gets updated, so he does it for himself. H.Merijn (under the guise of Tux) then featured a really cool little perl script that raised or lowered the volume of his internet radio app, depending upon whether or not he liked the music the station was playing.'s Brian McCauley then explained why a certain little FAQ bugs the hell out of him. Why he feels the current FAQ is incomplete and why newcomers should be told the full answer. It sort of leads on to his Usenet Gems talk after the Lightning Talks. Lastly David Landgren brought up an interesting subject of how START/FINISH and BEGIN/END have kind of gotten intermingled in the world of Perl programming. All in all a great set of talks. Lots to digest and hopefully some snippets of usefulness along the way.

Another coffee (and tea) break, before heading up to the Moveable Type room for Brian's 'Usenet Gems' (pdf) talk. While I have seen both of Brian's presentations, this talk picked the best from both talks and added a couple of new gems. Brian has been on USENET for sometime now, and while helping to guide newcomers, has also picked up some very handy hints and tips along the way from all number of Perl gurus. These gems are just a few of those hints and tips. Abigail seemed to get quite a few name checks :)

Next up we headed for José's talk on 'Perl Black Magic'. I missed the 'Perl White Magic' that Alberto presented on Wednesday, so I was determined to see this. While a really good talk about obsfucation, I couldn't help but reminisce about seeing Thomas's talk on the same subject several years ago. José managed to inject a nice degree of humour into the talk, although occasionally I think it was unintentional. It did remind me to learn some more Perl internal variables though, so that was good :)

While trying to decide where to go for lunch, I got chatting to Endrew Wilson (conference organiser,'er and occasional'er) and a few others. By the time we got outside we ended up losing the others, so Endrew, Andrew Gallagher, Carolyn, Kitty, William Getz and I headed for The Crown Dining Rooms. We were so engrossed in conversation that we completely forgot about the time. We hurriedly paid the bill and headed for the venue.

Most of the afternoon in the main hall was taken up with Life Hacks. An idea that Casey West was hosting, to allow people to show off their cool scripts, which help their day to day life. I was planning to get up and do a turn, but unfortunately my laptop had run out of batteries. Although I was powering up, being an old thing (the laptop, not me ... even if both are true) it takes an age to get enough juice to stay alive for 5 minutes. I had a couple of nice scripts and stories I was willing to tell, but perhaps I can save them for next year. Of the 4 other talks there was nothing I felt was gripping enough to move from the main hall, so stayed to watch several hackers get up and show me their cool stuff :)

As the afternoon coffee break ended, and people began to head back into the main hall, the final announcements began. IMHO, the conference has been a success and was a credit to the Belfast crew who organised it. Lots of thank yous and notices later, Norbert and the representatives of the YAPC::Europe Foundation came up to give the announcement that was eagerly awaited. Where was next year's conference to be held? The winners were ..., Portugal. (aka José & Alberto, aka cog & ambs). Great stuff, I've never been to Portugal. José and Alberto came up and did a short presentation about the city of Braga, and discussed some of the highlights, including the fact that beer is REALLY cheap :)

As with every YAPC::Europe conference, the final bit of fun is always the auction. Unfortunately Greg decided he wasn't going to come to the conference this year, due to his family being so close by. However, it later transpired that he was in fact in Belfast for a stag do. So shame on you Greg, you could have least come and had a drink with us. So in his stead Marty took the mantle of Auctioneer. There is obviously something about Belfast auctioneers as Marty was a great auction master. There was a lot of stuff up for auction, which thankfully Russell recorded and added to the Wiki. I was too busy trying to take photos. Nick managed to beat Mock for the Perl 6 book ... for over £300. Okay it was signed, but £300!!! I would have liked one of the T-Shirts, but they quickly went above £20, which was all I could afford :(

There is always a silly auction item from, and this year it seemed a little hard to come up with something. Finally Mark announce the Exeperience. A chance for some poor^WPerl soul to enjoy the delights of, at their expense. José finally won with £75, and I'm really not sure he knows what to expect. But it'll be a good night out nevertheless.

Unfortunately, for a change, were topped by the final auction item. However, it should be noted that were quite noteable in getting the figures so high. The colour of the organisers shirts for 2005. BooK started the bidding with Pink shirts, Leon claimed Orange. Then things got rather silly. It's all BooK's fault. So next year José, Alberto and the other organisers are to wear fishnet tshirts. I hope there is a lot of warm weather in Braga next year. There was also the question as to whether any female organisers of the conference. If there are, once they hear what they will be wearing, I sincerely doubt it now :)

The conference finally drew to a close and decisions about where to meet (drink) for the evening were quickly drawn up. Several were heading off home immediately after the conference, but there were still a considerable number who planned to stay the night. The Crown was called as the meeting point for the night, although with the bar in the hotel alledgedly staying open until 3.30am, the final party of the week would be there. I distinctly remember being at The Crown for a while, then heading off to find a restuarant with Brian, David, mirod and a few others. I also remember the food being rather good too. As it turned out everyone sort of made plans to do things, but intended meeting up at the hotel later.

The hotel bar was an event in itself, but I think I better save that bit for another time ;)

All in all I had a great time. Now I know how easy (and cheap) it is to get to Belfast, I hope to be able to get over for one of their biggish technical meetings in the future. I might even be able to get the copmpany to pay for it :)

Thanks to all the conference organisers, you did a grand job. Thanks to all the speakers for some great talks. I'm also pleased to have met some great people during the week, far too many to name, and I hope you weren't too disappointed when meeting me to discover I'm not female ;) Also thanks to those who attended my talk, I just hope I didn't bore you too much.

Update: Corrected the text for Claes' lightning talk.

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  • Perl White Magic was also presented by José. Although I helped him with both presentations, he is more fun than me presenting anything. Cheers.
  • I was planning on doing the "Java Annoyances" thingy, but instead I changed it to a quickie about CPANXR.
    • Ooops, sorry. I knew I should have made notes. I was trying to remember the content of your talk and was having difficulty. Even that abstract didn't help to remind me. I kind of figured I was so blown away by it, that it had just fried my brain. Will fix it in a mo. Apologies.
  • The hotel bar was an event in itself, but I think I better save that bit for another time ;)

    Oh, go on! There was a decent crowd of Perl people in the bar, but I'm afraid I got distracted by a sociologist from Hull [] who kept talking to me, so I've no idea what you all got up to that was so eventful ...


    • While your escapades were definitely entertaining, there were other things keeping us amused during the evening too :)

      I was going to save your blushes and not name names though. So when's your next trip up to Hull then? It's not too far from Leeds ;)