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cbrooks (3267)

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Journal of cbrooks (3267)

Wednesday July 10, 2002
01:51 PM

Yet Another YAPC entry

[ #6259 ]
I've been thinking back over the presentations that I saw at YAPC this year. Here are two techincal insights that will stay with me:
1. Inline::C isn't really a replacement for XS. It's a replacement for h2xs.
2. Two actual uses for closures: memoize (uses closures internally) and strong object encapsulation.

And my personal YAPC Awards:
1. Best argument for why we need Perl 6: Adam Turoff -- Perl 6 has re-energized the Perl community.
2. Rudest YAPC attendee: perhaps I shall refrain from naming names, but STOP INTERUPTING PEOPLE just because they're criticizing the usability of CPAN.
3. Coolest hair: easy one. Michael Schwern.
4. Best presenter: hmmm. Tie between Dominus (Secrets of the Wizards) and Kevin Lenzo's (the auction).
5. Most entertaining session: Lightning talks
6. Most eloquent explanation of the power of Perl 6: Allison Randal, if Dr. Seuss were a Perl 6 hacker
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  • And if you are going to say something have the courage to put a name to your spite.

    I heckled him because he was wrong, so wrong that it wasn't possible for me not to. For all I know, this person is you. I wrote much of and keep the CPAN and search.cpan FAQs, I run the box, I keep it running, and we answer and address feedback as time and patience allow. When some guy starts bitching about how 'this page has no links' or 'this has no FAQ', etc. when that person hasn't sent email to said effect, he's lucky I wasn't on the other side of the auditorium where lunging for him would have been convenient and quick. I felt badly but nearly all the people I expressed my lament to said he had it coming to him.

    Not to mention the new version of the search engine that graham has worked very hard on, with little or no thanks or recognition, adresses much of his whining and should be out by TPC. Of course, this guy ran off before I could tell him about this.

    And, lastly, I'll make this bold for you. SEARCH.CPAN IS NOT CPAN. CPAN is CPAN and search.cpan is a wholly separate entity.

    If you want to get up and start trashing on someone's work and are utterly wrong...I'll heckle you too.

    • I liked the part where the guy showed a page and said "why isn't there a FAQ link here?" and you pointed out the FAQ link right there on the slide.

      He was a tool. You were just culling the herd!

      • Just a slight disagreement with you here. I believe that this is the slide you were referring to:

        I thought that David Crawford was perfectly clear in his remarks that what he wanted was an FAQ about XML-RSS (the module that he used as an example). The FAQ link that Ms. Ashton referred to is a search.cpan FAQ, not specific to XML-RSS. His point was that it was difficult to figure out if XML-RSS would solve his problem -- not that it was difficult to figure out wh
        • And how, praythee, is either or CPAN supposed to be offering a module-specific FAQ if there isn't any...? (If there are other doc files available, like for example HTML files at the top level of the module, does list them, try for example distribution ''.)

          Mr Crawford's talk was titled "CPAN is unusable". If his point really was to complain that XML::RSS should have an FAQ, that title is, ummm, oddly chosen. In any case, all this talk was to bumble around in the per

          • Thanks for the note. Perhaps at this point I should distinguish two things that I may not have stated well:
            1. I don't think people should heckle others during presentations. Giving a presentation in front of 300 of your peers is stressful -- getting heckled increases the stress by an order of magnitude. Be polite to your fellow Perl-ites. Period. (Clearly Jarkko, this is not directed at you.)
            2. I think as a community we should be open to public critiques that say that CPAN (or other open source softw
    • Hmmm. Nice to know people actually read other people's journals.

      >if you are going to say something have the courage to put a name to your spite.

      Apologies. I was about 80% sure that it was you, but not 100%. It seemed that I would do a disservice by reprimanding the wrong person. Plus, it wasn't the name that mattered, it was the lack of respect shown by the behavior that seemed out of place.

      >I heckled him because he was wrong

      Well, I would have to disagree with you here. I thought his
      • Well, I would have to disagree with you here. I thought his comments on the usability of CPAN were quite well thought-out. Everyone (with whom I have ever spoken) agrees that CPAN is a fantastic resource. (And kudos to those like yourself who maintain it.) But, I share Mr. Crawford's concern that things could be laid out in a more intuitive manner. (David Crawford, by the way, is the guy whose talk you interrupted.)

        I'm sorry, you appear to have missed the part where search.cpan is not CPAN. There are 3

        • >search.cpan is not CPAN

          My apologies for not acknowledging that in my earlier post. You are absolutely right, and that never crossed my mind until you mentioned it. So what?

          >However, just because some guy gets a microphone
          >is not a right to waste 300 peoples' time

          Here's the problem with that line of thinking -- just because you thought that the presentation was a waste of time, doesn't mean that I thought that the presentation was a waste of time. If you thought that you
        • > considering how few people actually thank those of us who have kept this resource online for the last 3 years ...

          Thank you, thank you, thank you.

          > search.cpan is not CPAN.

          From an outsider's perspective, the difference is not immediately obvious. For one example, if you hang around at perlmonks, most mentions of "look on CPAN" are accompanied by a link to

    • So, Elaine Ashton turned out to be "the guy in the second row", eh? ;-P
  • Maybe you could have added an additional prize "Most Rude Talk" to Mr Crawford for standing in front of an audience that included some of the people that give their free time so he can download Perl modules and telling them that what they had built sucked.
    His talk was built for the easy laugh: "look here is a link on that page that leads to the doc for the module, now lets go back, click on the next link, cautiously avoid the link to that mysterious .tar.gz thingie, click on an other link... and we get the

    • >Maybe you could have added an additional prize
      >"Most Rude Talk" to Mr Crawford

      chuckle. Touche.

      >In short it mixed criticisms or CPAN,
      > and individual modules, without
      >ever distinguishing between them, offering an
      >analysis or giving a positive suggestion.

      I would agree with what you (and Elaine and Jarkko) have pointed out, that the thrust of his critique was on search.cpan, rather than CPAN.

      But, I think that this was a serious attempt to point out some shortcom