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osfameron (3135)

osfameron
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Journal of osfameron (3135)

Tuesday June 28, 2005
04:53 PM

Italian Perl Workshop 2005

[ #25414 ]
The first day of the workshop had many interesting talks, but which were rather heavy on the technical detail in the slides: bepi introduced Mason, and Guido Brugnara later gave an example of a live site developed in the framework. Though it was great to learn about this technology, there was a lot of detail, and the discussion got bogged down a bit in the finer points of Apache configuration.

Reinhard E Voglmaier gave an interesting (and again rather in depth) talk on embedding Perl in OpenLDAP and calling OpenLDAP from Perl (and complimenti to Reinhard as the only non-native speaker to present in excellent Italian), and Davide Bergamini spoke on techniques for mailing - unfortunately I think he attempted too much and due to time constraints was ordered to "SKIPPA SENZA PIETA`" (skip without mercy) just as he was getting into statistics on mail delivery and bounces (which I'm interested in for $work).

And, just to show how I'm an awkward bugger, I thought that the Emotiv presentation of their rather funky multimedia/mapping application 'il motorino', and Roberto Baglioni's TT talk (with excellent slides) didn't go into enough depth on the technicalities. Hey ho.

larsen also exhorted the assembled perlisti to contribute to perl.it - the organization and, above all, the website.

The second day was even better on the talks front: larsen's talk on automated web testing had excellent, well designed slides, with great quotes from software development literature and other sources. Though the preamble via chaos theory and quality methodology was great fun (and could have sustained the talk by itself), it went on just that bit long enough to squeeze the exposition and demonstration of WWW::Mechanize and HTTP::Recorder (as promised by the title) to the end.

dakkar followed with a 2 hour demonstration of the trendy MVC web framework Catalyst, demonstrated with no slides, but via progressive diffs building up a basic shop with cart, wishlist, and admin function. This worked (it really did) perhaps because for every new function we saw no more than a page of code, which was clearly doing one thing, which dakkar explained well, and which he rigourously resisted going off on tangents about. For example, though I never really understood the difference between auto and default subs... it doesn't matter! After 2 hours, I have a compelling overview of what Catalyst can do for me, and an incentive to learn more about it.

mirod spoke on the Perl community, and then onto XML::Twig hacks. This module comes with some command line tools which can do devilishly useful things with XML files: xml_pp, a pretty printer; xml_grep, which can search using a subset of Xpath; xml_split and xml_merge which can be used to easily edit targeted sections of large files). Well worth looking into.

bepi's talk on mod_perl (20 things you might not know) was way over my head (I know maybe 1 thing about mod_perl), but was well received by the less ignorant. Emiliano Bruni's HTML::Template talk was a worthy closer to the proceedings, with a good flow from the mess of template-less web-design, via templating in general, to HTML::Template in particular. Also, as a satisfied (but hopefully not dogmatic) TT user, I liked the module emi has provided (HTML::Template::Extension) which removes some of the objections that come to mind.

In other news, I bought an ActiveState Perl Pro license (including Safari bookshelf subscription) at the auction. I'd vote against the University mensa as the workshop lunch-venue of choice because though it's cheap, good, and they have free beer, the administration took half an hour to locate the pre-arranged luncheon vouchers, and it was hard to talk over the canteen echo. The biscuit and coffee breaks were the best though that I've seen at any conference or training event. Very few of the talks were in English, but I guess that's largely dependent on who turns up: only 4 of us (mirod, Reinhard, and B from Boston.pm - all currently working or telecommuting in Italy, and I) were not, but all of us spoke some Italian.

As always, the best part of a conference is the people you meet. I got to chat with, among others, mirod and B at lunch, larsen, emi, dakkar, Mattia (wxPerl) Barbon on the Friday night, and dada and [LucaS] (who couldn't make the workshop) in Rome the week before.

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