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Elian (119)

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Perl 6/Parrot internals ex-design team lead.

Journal of Elian (119)

Friday July 12, 2002
08:14 PM

10 days and counting

Until it's time to leave for TPC. This is probably a sign that I ought to start writing at least one of the three talks I'm going to be giving. (Though they're not until Friday, so I suppose I have a little while more...)

Wednesday July 10, 2002
01:45 PM

Another CD for the stack to be bought

A companion, of sorts, to Nat's bluegrass version Pink Floyd's The Wall.
Every OS Sucks. Warms this crusty old sysadmin's heart...

Monday July 08, 2002
04:22 PM

Slashdot strikes!

Well, slashdot's picked up the story of Larry, Damian, and my grants running out. The thread starts here and goes on for a while. Lucky me, they linked to the story I'd posted here a few days back.

Whenever anything either perl 6 or parrot related on Slashdot, I feel obligated to read everything with a score of 0 or higher. (Usually I read at 2, though most of the time I don't make it past the front page) I really hate doing that. I always come away feeling nauseous--the sheer amount of hatred, bile, and viciousness that flows is just amazing.

I know I shouldn't, but it's hard not to take this sort of stuff personally. Yeah, 99% of the people frothing have never met me, and odds are they've mostly never even seen (or run) code I've written. Still...

Wednesday July 03, 2002
05:01 PM

Perl foundation grant updates

Well, I threw together an update on the current state of the foundation grants. It's been submitted here to use.perl, as well as on Perl Monks at the moment, for anyone who's interested. I won't repeat it here, as it's reasonably big, and two places is enough.

Monday July 01, 2002
01:32 PM

YAPC Week: The whole thing

So, I didn't do this on a day by day basis, so a wrapup of some sort's in order, I expect.

I got in to St. Louis on Saturday, and had a couple of days to get set and work on my talks. (Which I didn't actually end up doing, but, well...) It was nice to have a few days to get settled in, and I managed to get a fair amount of work dne on the book I'm working on.

Oh, and important safety tip--don't eat the deserts at the Outback Steak House. (That and always exercise caution when taking Damian to an faux Australian themed restaurant :)

Monday and Tuesday

Monday and Tudesday were spent in a pre-conference huddle with Larry, Damian, Jarkko, Nat, Allison, Simon, and Jeff (at various times) working over the object model and, to some extent, the Apocalypses that have already been done. We hashed out most of the semantics of the object model and, while there are bits that are going to be potentially expensive (multimethod dispatch, especially on core datatypes and overloaded operations) it seems pretty straightforward. But, then, object models aren't research projects, so it's just a matter of picking the bits that you want and getting things nice and coherent.

Monday's dinner was at a great vietnamese place that Elaine knew of, and Tuesday was at the Lebanese place on Delmar. I had a lamb dish that used cinnamon as a spice, which was new to me--I'd never considered cinnamon as a spice for savory dishes. Damned good. Nat spent most of the meal snickering as he wrote the script for his magnum opus (Note that it's R-rated, but damned funny)


Wednesday was All-conference, all the time. Larry gave the keynote, and we got a chance to be introduced to the wonders of bad UI design. (He managed to turn the big projector off when trying to dim the house lights. That was fun, since most of the large video projectors have a forced 5-minute cooldown time, so we got to watch people fiddle fruitlessly with the controls)

After were my two talks. I mis-timed the first, and ran about 10 minutes short. (Rather a lot, given that it was a 22.5 minute slot...) Still, it left me plenty of time for questions. Which is good, since my second talk was fitting a 2.5 hour talk into 45 minutes. Needless to dsay, I didn't make it, but everyone was warned. Got rather a ways into it, though.

Lunch was the YAS annual meeting. As a grantee I sat in. The current financial situation was discussed, though other folks (like, day, Kevin) have talked about it.

Then it was Damian's Perl 6 talk. Even being deeply involved it's always fun to see Damian in action, and given that I pay more attention to semantics than syntax, there's stuff to learn. Still, it's pretty clear that a not-inconsiderable number of people just don't care about perl 6. Ah, well, we'll do it anyway.

Then, dinner. Found a nice Thai place on the Delmar Loop. Good food, good service, pretty cheap.

Finally was the Perl 6 BOF. We weren't sure if it was supposed to be wednesday or thursday, so Damian, Larry and I showed up for it and we took questions for a while.


Spent most of the day in Brown 100. First was Sean Quinlan on bioinformatics, then Simon gave his essential modules talk, followed by Mark-Jason's hilarious (and dead-on) Mailing List Judo talk. Allison Randal gave her talk on topics, and I sort of faded out as I was darned hungry. Lunch followed, as did more talks.

The lightning talks were the highlight of the day, though. Folks said stuff, some of it somewhat misguided or silly, then Nat unveiled his movie. The thing was hilarious though, like The Ref only for a select audience. Luckily that was us, so we all laughed a lot.

After dinner we did a second round of the Perl 6 BOF--it was on the schedule so Larry and I went. (Damian was busy working on his Friday talk) Kind of low-key and only semi-satisfying.


Friday I spent, more or less, digging through things that'd piled up throughout the week I'd been gone. (Downside of being on the other side of a conference--I knew most of the stuff that was getting presented) That and getting caught by The Goon Show, which turned out to be even funnier than I thought.

The YAPC auction raised a total of $4000, which was nice. The audience thought it a large number, though alas it's not compared to what's left to go on the Perl Foundation grant. But it's going for general expenses anyway, so it's not a bad glob 'o cash. (Buys things for future YAPCs, like wireless mikes, extension cords, and suchlike things, along with covering expenses involved)

Damian gave his Time::Space::Continuum talk, which floored most of the audience, save a few folks that actually were familiar with the topic. (Damian simplified rather a lot) Once again I got that uncomfortable "There's something just damned wrong with this picture" feeling, the one I always get when folks talk about time compression and accelleration and such. It feels wrong, but intuition's apparently not safe when relativity's involved.

Capping off the conference was Lenzo's Town Meeting. Useful at the start, though Kevin was a bit waffly with the grant status. For the record--Damian's grant is up now, and not coming back. Mine ends the end of July, and barring a miracle (which means we gather more than $60K before the end of July), is also not being extended. A chunk of what's left is going to hire a professional grant writer, with everything after, up to $40K, going to fund Larry.

Anyway, all and all, it was an interesting conference, and my first YAPC. Glad I went, and I'm looking forward to next year's.

Sunday June 30, 2002
02:22 PM

Hotels are damned expensive

I'm looking to book my hotel for OSCon this year. I'm going, of course, but... $185/night at the cheapest, if I'm lucky, at the convention hotel. More likely somewhere around $200-210, not including taxes, fees, and whatnot. (Which likely brings it to around $250 a night) Yeek! While the Perl Foundation grant covers travel to some extent, there's a limit to what I want to burn the cash on. (Not to mention the issue of taxes on the travel portion of the grant, but that's a separate issue)

The Courtyard by Marriot in the Gaslamp district's $127/night base rate, which seems much more reasonable. Still a bit of a haul (about 4 miles) from the convention, but $80/night in savings covers a lot of cab fare.

Monday June 03, 2002
02:17 PM


The Parrot Q&A I did for Ruby Garden is threatening break into the top 10 most viewed topics on the site. Go figure.

Thursday May 23, 2002
11:59 AM


Sean O'Rourke wrote a version of LZW compression in Parrot assembly. Cool!
Saturday May 18, 2002
09:25 AM

Chugging right along

Through some heroic work by Steve Fink, Jeff Goff, and Melvin Smith, amongst others, Parrot now has working arrays, hashes, and in a little while, a global symbol table. This is very keen.

Friday May 17, 2002
10:28 PM


is nifty. With a bit of work, I threw together a Cocoa client for the PerlMonks ChatterBox, pretty much equivalent to the Java client. (Without the timed refreshes, I haven't quite figured timers yet) Grand total of about 25 lines of code, not counting the extant CB interface libraries.