Inspired by Wellington.pm, Sydney.pm ran a Perl quiz night for their April meeting. It was a great success, especially in getting mongers to mix around and get to know each other better. We'll be running another one in July. I thoroughly recommend it to other Perl monger groups.
Oh, and cheers to Chris Williams, aka bingos, winner of The Sydney.pm Less-Than-A-Metre-Of-Beer Challenge.
Perl and Haskell maestro Audrey Tang delivered a magical cure for Mondayitis to a diverse bunch of lucky Sydneysiders with a series of energetic and inspiring talks.
After the afternoon talk, Audrey enjoyed a constructive couple of hours in the leafy John Lions garden discussing Pugs and Haskell with perhaps the leading bunch of Haskell boffins in the world, namely the computer science group at UNSW.
Sydney.pm usually gets six or so people attending their monthly meetings, but the room was overflowing last night with more than 20 in attendance: a diverse group, including members of SLUG (doubtless the most active geek group in Sydney) and SyXPAC.
As you might expect, a couple of new Pugs committers were unearthed.
Some feedback from the SLUG crowd:
This was one of the most interesting and inspiring talks I've seen in a long, long time.
Likewise! Even though it was long, we got three great talks in one night, and every bit kept our interest. Thanks!
One of our customers had two "identical" aix boxes. On one of these, perl 5.8.6 worked fine; on the other (with identical binary perl build) running
perl -v hung.
Apparently, google did not help, and they
then spent hours trying to trouble-shoot
this problem, without success.
In desperation, they asked me for advice.
I did a quick google and also came up dry.
I then suggested they run
via the aix
which showed perl was hanging on an
After fixing the offending
/dev/urandom device, all was well.
A happy ending.
The main reason I'm writing
this journal entry is in the hope it will be
indexed by a google robot and so be of use
to someone who suffers this problem in the
future. If perl 5.8 is hanging, run it with
truss (or equivalent tool) to
see where. And be suspicious of
/dev/random. I guess
this open of
was added in support of the new hash randomisation
feature of perl 5.8 (designed to thwart denial
of service attacks).
After a long break, Sydney Perl Mongers Fraze, Stennie, gav,
I really enjoyed Tuesday night. Many topics were discussed over the beers, including Mike's Birmingham.pm connection. Mike spoke very highly of Birmingham.pm head honcho (and new father), barbie, but was hazy when quizzed about the origin of this intriguing nickname. I'd always assumed it was somehow related to throw another shrimp on the barbie or perhaps Mattel's Barbie doll or even a shortened form of "barber" or "barbarian". But, if I heard Mike correctly over the pub boisterousness, it's apparently somehow related to either barbel (a carp-like fish) or barbell (a metal rod used in weightlifting).
I have been feeling very sad about Spoon for some days now.
I've been a quiet admirer of his work and was looking forward
to seeing much more because he was definitely a rising star.
He contributed in a number of areas that I am also keenly interested
in: perl-qa, Phalanx, CPANTS, WWW::Mechanize, Perl books,
The first ever YAPC::Australia is yet to be announced and may not happen this year, but it has certainly been discussed on the Melbourne.PM mailing list. If it does go ahead, Spoon will be sorely missed, as I'm sure he would have given several excellent talks there. I think it would be wonderful to see someone give a YAPC talk describing Spoon's contributions to the Perl community during his (too short) lifetime.
Due to an unfortunate mixup, Sydney.pm missed holidaying New York Perl Monger Ross Lonstein by 24 hours, the fleet-footed New Yorker already on the road to Melbourne. Only two mongers gorged at the Chinese Noodle restaurant, Shop 7/8 Quay St, Haymarket. After asking the only non-Chinese eater, "Erm, are you Ross Lonstein of New York City?", Stephen and I hatched our evil plan for reviving Sydney.pm over a huge plate of spicy noodles, washed down with a Starbucks Caramel Macchiato (espresso coffee mixed with caramel syrup topped with foamed milk and yet more caramel syrup). Well, we discussed several possibilities, but don't really know what to do.
Any tips on reviving a Perl Mongers group? I heard Gabor gave a talk about the leading Perl Mongers groups at YAPC::Europe; does anyone have a reference to that talk? Who are the leading Perl Monger groups and why are they successful?
Why does Portland Oregon attract so much Perl talent?
(Being from the other side of the world, I have no idea).
Many Perl celebrities seem to reside there:
schwern, Ingy, chromatic, Ovid, Randal x 2 (Allison, Schwartz),
Tom Phoenix, Ward Cunningham, Tonya Harding, Monica Lewinsky,
I gave my first Perl talk to Sydney.pm this week. Noone threw peanuts. I started with an overview and history of the lighter side of Perl culture in general before settling down to step through Acme's beautiful orange slides. Curiously, the slide that provoked the maddest cackling was the Buffy.pm source code.
The lovely David Adler esq.'s contribution to CPAN, the pioneering and seminal Semi::Semicolons, also drew wild applause.
I certainly learnt a lot from giving this talk and the pre-game advice mercifully dished out by email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org proved invaluable.
I did attempt one innovation of my own, however. Instead of just tossing the Mongers a packet of luxurious Arnott's Cavetto biscuits (as Ken Williams did) I threw assorted tidbits (mini Cadbury timeout biscuits, Mars bars, etc.) but only to those who correctly answered my probing questions.
In case you are wondering what has happened to davorg, our beloved Perl Monger leader for life, Perl's answer to George Clooney, has gone walkabout in Orange, New South Wales, leading a herd of wild camels in a joyful naked romp through the dusty streets of the Australian outback town of Orange. Well, he attended a wedding there. When we asked to see the photos he took of the town sign of Orange for Leon, he said: "Erm, I won't tell Leon I went there".
After dusting himself off, our fearless leader spruced himself up for a meeting with an eager Sydney.pm at the VC Bar at 60 Miller St, North Sydney. It was indeed a great honour to shout Dave an Aussie beer, er, orange juice. Talk ranged over many topics, even *gasp* a possible YAPC::Oceania.
When I last saw him, Dave was being hauled off into the night by the Sydney.pm equivalent of Gellyfish. And he jets off to Singapore tomorrow at the crack of dawn.
Dave, it was great to meet you and your charming wife in person and thankyou for taking the time to chat to us.
Contrary to recent rumours, Sydney.pm is alive and well. We had our first meeting for nearly a year last night in the Engineering Link building at Sydney University where "Aussie" Ken Williams presented his masters thesis AI::Categorizer module, treating the agog seven-strong monger throng to a virtuoso technical presentation -- and a packet of Arnott's Cavetto biscuits, which were promptly dispatched. The luxurious Cavetto range, launched in 1992, consists of a thick layer of silky smooth milk chocolate on top of a light crisp vanilla biscuit.