This year at YAPC::NA we are experimenting with a new form of talk that is part presentation and part hackathon. We are having four extended workshops during the conference where attendees are invited to bring their computers along and experience an in-depth and very likely hands-on session where they will leave the conference not just thinking about new technologies, but actually having worked with them.
To kick things off on Tuesday, JT Smith is hosting a WebGUI Workshop. During the workshop, each attendee will install WebGUI, browse through the interface, and learn how to write custom plug-ins. This is a hands-on workshop that will show you just how easy and fun it can be to write powerful web applications in WebGUI. This is a great workshop that typically costs hundreds of dollars at the WebGUI conference, but is being offered free to any YAPC::NA attendee who wants to take advantage of it.
After that, Matt Trout is going to follow up with another web development tutorial, Catalyst: 21st Century Perl Web Development. This tutorial will get you up to speed on what you need to get started building powerful web applications with the Catalyst web framework. Catalyst is a powerful and flexible web framework that rivals systems like Ruby on Rails and Django, only in our favorite language, Perl!
The next day, Stevan Little will be giving a Moose Tutorial. This two hour session will get you up and running with Perl's post-modern object system. Moose adds a powerful and fun object system to Perl 5 that is inspired by Common LISP, Smalltalk, and Perl 6. You don't want to miss this session.
And finally, the Parrot and Perl6 developers are getting together for a Parrot and Perl 6 Workshop. Come to this session laptop in hand and leave with a working version of Parrot and Rakudo (Perl 6 on Parrot). This workshop was the catalyst for having the workshop session this year and from the chatter that I've seen on the planning list, will be a "can't miss" event for those interested in the next iteration of the Perl programming language.
So there you have it, four sessions of in-depth technology that are guaranteed to make it more difficult for you to decide on what talk to go to this YAPC::NA.
You welcome, The YAPC::NA 2008 Organizers