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gnat (29)

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Journal of gnat (29)

Monday April 09, 2001
02:14 AM

TPC5 and OScon3

[ #11 ]
Woo! The content is settled but the last-minute changes, and I think registration is about to open for the Open Source Convention (which includes The Perl Conference, The PHP Conference, the Tcl/Tk Conference, and a bunch of others).

With over 200 talks, 60 tutorials, and 17 rooms, this represents a considerable scaling up from previous conferences. Oh, did I mention we're now five days long, not four? And in San Diego? On the beach?

This all might go some way to explaining why I'm balder and more ulcerous than I was three months ago :-) This is the first year I've tried to plan the entire Open Source Convention, and it was a major undertaking.

You're probably chomping at the bit for TPC information. Well, we have two days of Mark-Jason Dominus tutorials, two days of Damian Conway, and a bunch of interesting stuff from people we haven't had before: a tutorial on the Perl5 internals by Simon Cozens, by Brian Ingerson, LWP by Sean Burke, and POE by Rocco Caputo. Full details of the sessions and tutorials will be available here once registration opens (RSN, they tell me).

In order to tease you into ever-higher ecstasies of Perlacious pleasure, I'll be talking about some of the talks and tutorials, why I wanted to have them as part of the Perl Conference, and thus why you'll want to bludgeon your boss with a copy of "Java in a Nutshell" until they let you go :-)

First is definitely Simon's internals tutorial. I've known for a while that Simon was someone I really wanted to have present at TPC. It took some doing, though, what with Japan and studies and all those other pesky Real World things. Finally, though, he's here.

You might know Simon from his p5p and perl6 mailing list summaries. But most of you probably don't know of his safaris deep into the core of Perl.

It was because of his part in the major effort to finish Perl's Unicode implementation that he's giving a tutorial on Unicode in Perl. But to do that hacking, he had to know a lot about the internals of Perl.

Parallel to his hacking, I'd been dreaming of an internals class. One of the major ways that Perl will continue to live and grow is by having a surfeit of people who know how to do stuff to it. In the past we've had people learn, master, and then move on from the internals. The number of people learning seems to have dropped off lately, though, and an internals class seemed to me to be a good way to fix this.

Of course, the Internals class has considerable "slow-motion road accident" attraction, too. The Perl internals are some of the most wacky and interesting uses of C you'll ever see, and "I've always wanted to know what goes on under the hood" is just as good a reason for the tutorial as "I want to hack Perl to add a ||| operator".

This tutorial, like most, is three hours. Expect a wild ride at breakneck pace through the caverns and crevasses of Perl. PEER over the edge to see the tangled bits below! REEL back in horror as the tentacles of the RE engine threaten to engulf you! BEG for mercy as magic is explained!

If your roadmap to the Perl source tree features the words "here be dragons", Simon's the guy riding up on the white horse and carrying a big sharp piece of pointy metal.

So now you know ... I only wrote this journal entry so I could leave you with that image :-)