Day 1 YAPC was great and am looking forward to more today. In a nutshell here's what I got to hear about yesterday:
Damian Conway talking about the Perl6 language. I've been subscribed to the perl6-lang list for a bit, but hearing Damian talk about the new stuff that is coming along is really helpful. He has so much enthusiasm and energy for the new language constructs, and it is contagious. No word yet on *when* Perl6 is going to be in alpha or beta, but perhaps this will come at his closing talk at the end.
Dave Rolsky talking about dates/times in Perl. This talk was fascinating, mainly because of the breadth of Dave's knowledge of dates, and the date/time Perl project which he organized (and which is coming along really well). I particularly liked the overview of the various time standards and history of calendars that Dave presented. And of course the comparison (strengths and weaknesses) and summary of existing date/time modules on CPAN (over 35 of them!) was invaluable. The main thing I took from the talk is that you never want to store offsets in the database ( -5:00 GMT, store "America/New York" instead), and that you want to use the date/time project (and help them extend it). I also had never heard of Olson's timezone database before, and never really thought how the 2038 32bit time bug will start to take effect rather soon in mortgage calculations:)
After lunch it was more Damian talking about how he has customized his personal work environment to achieve the goal of more laziness. First he talked about some cool macros that he wrote for optimizing his key strokes in Vi. Damian's point was not to use Vi or his macros, but to get in the mindset where you become aware of where you are spending your time, and then taking the time to write a tool, or an optimization. Also, he stressed that mantra that the computer should adapt to people, and that people shouldn't have to adapt to the computer. I need to check out Text::Autoformat (which he said people should look at), and he recommended OSX users take a look at a simple/free app called XShelf.
After that I headed over to hear Chris Winters talk about generating Java w/ Perl. He is working at a utility company that must use Java (for the usual reasons), and they have a huge database (500 tables), and needed a bunch of rudimentary classes. He was primarily a Perl programmer, and learning Java on the job, so he wrote Perl programs that wrote all the repetitive Java classes from metadata. I learned about the difference between passive code generators (for example Visual C++) whose output you can edit, and active code generators which have output you should not edit.
After that it was more Rolsky talking about advanced Masonry. I started fading near the end of the day, and was thinking about my Open Archives project a bit; so I only woke up enough near the end to ask how he saw Mason relating the TemplateToolkit
After that I went back to the dorms, did a little coding, and then went off to the Boston party to have a few drinks. Met some cool people, and fell asleep pretty late:)