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james (1129)

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Journal of james (1129)

Thursday July 10, 2003
05:23 PM

What a small world it is!

I was just standing outside having a sneaky smoke and I started talking to this random guy that had been hanging out in the lobby of the hotel 'cause he couldn't afford a ticket for the conference.

Anyway, it turns out that he worked for a company that did the American Airlines website, and they were based right here in Portland. Some of those that know me may also know that I worked at ebookers.

At one point at ebookers we started evaluating a product that talked to the Airline GDS systems in an abstract way, so that (in theory) you could plug any of the big five in and it would just work. The problem with the particular product was that it didn't actually do what it said on the tin, and we felt quite a great deal of vitriol for the other company after the process.

Anyway, it turned out that this guys company got bought by the above mentioned one, and they basically got so fed up with them that they bought themselves back. It was cool to remember all the crazy shit that this particular company did - we knew lots of the same guys, and had worked with lots of the same people, and faced many of the same problems. Like I said, its a very small world...

Sunday July 06, 2003
01:40 PM

Cafe by the Park

Acme, sky, coraline and I are sat in a nice cafe in Portland where we've sat for the last hour and we're sitting and drinking beverages and typing away on 3 out of 5 models of laptop that Apple produce.

Free wireless is a good thing m'kay.

Wednesday July 02, 2003
12:05 PM

At Last

Finally sky, acme, and I have gotten around to booking everything we can think that we need to book for the remainder of conference season:

Flights to/from OSCON

Hotel for OSCON

Train to/from YAPC::EU

Hotel for YAPC::EU

I hope that is everything that can be done in advance...

Thursday June 19, 2003
04:03 PM


YAPC::NA is over. I am having a quiet day and relaxing around the hotel before I have to fly back tomorrow. Yesterday I gave my my 93KLOC talk, and it all seemed to go very well, with lots of people getting involved, commenting, and seeming to be interested in what I had to say. It's always nice to get some sort of feedback -- any feedback -- and this particular talk seemed to generate a lot, which was really good.

2shortplanks paid me a big compliment in his journal, and while I'm not sure I think that I'm a particularly good speaker, its nice that _someone_ thinks so -- thanks!

This whole conference has been really great, for which I have to extend a huge thankyou to Kevin, Biz, and everyone who had a hand in organizing and looking out for the ~200 people that came. The location was fantastic, the tracks interesting, and cars big!

Its nice to get back to a conference after a year. Bumping into old friends and making new ones, and generally feeling revitalized with the fact that although the Perl community is very big, it can also be very small. Regardless of size however, it is inspiring, and I feel priviledged to be a part of it, especially after such a great week.

Saturday June 14, 2003
05:55 PM

Arrived @ the Doubletree

So, Acme, Pierre, and Myself (3/4 fotango guys. Had a swim, we're sat in the bar having a quick drink. merlyn wandered by, and we're on the lookout for anybody else who drops by.

Drop By #1: Hi Damian!

Friday June 13, 2003
08:41 AM

iBook Crash

* sigh *

My old iBook (not my shiny new PowerBook) has collapsed nastily on me. At boot I get a nasty black rectangular square with ribbon colours above the apple logo.

Anyone seen or heard anything like this before? A cursory scan of doesn't reveal anything.

So, save my pennies to get it fixed (it is out of warranty) or for a new laptop for Katrien?

Decisions, decisions.

Tuesday June 10, 2003
05:38 AM

Magic References

I've been playing around with Perl over the last couple of days to see what I can do with references. I really get annoyed with having to test everything to see if it is blessed before testing to see if it matches the interface that I'm expecting:

    if (blessed( $arg ) && $arg->isa('Some::Class')) {
        # ...

So what I've been trying to do is get it so that references are automagically blessed into a class that shares the name of their reference type:

    % perl -Mmagicrefs -MData::Dumper -e 'print Dumper( {} )'
    $VAR1 = bless( {}, 'HASH' );

And it all works, so now I can do:

    use lib './lib';
    use strict;
    use magicrefs; ## turn on magic references

    my $c = {
              Auto => 'blessed',
              refs => 'are',
              fun => '.'

    print $c->keys->join(','),"\n";

    ## or ##

    if ($c->keys->grep( sub { /^[A-Z]/ } )->size == 1) {
        print "right\n";
    } else {
        print "wrong\n";

    ## or ##

    my %hash = $c->deref;

    ## or with the magic of deparse

    print sub { 1; }->code(), "\n";

I'm guessing the chances of this going into the core are pretty slim however :-)

Thursday June 05, 2003
11:19 AM

Most bizarre module ever

Tuesday May 06, 2003
10:24 AM

Bad people ruin good days

So just under a year ago my father dumped my mother on my doorstep. Now it turns out my father has moved the joint account into his name only (thats fine so far) but creatively keep both their names attached to both the line of credit and the credit cards that came with the account and that have, in the meantime, been maxed out (by him).

This wouldn't be so bad if he had a) a job and b) not disappeared.

There could be a perfectly innocent explanation for all this. Of course, chances are he's just an arsehole.

Tuesday March 25, 2003
05:43 AM


Acme and I are looking at our costs for getting to both OSCON and YAPC::NA. The problem is that at the moment it seems to be cheaper for us to fly to Miami, stay for a couple of weeks beyond the conference, and then fly on to portland before returning to London. Or at least for the airfares (significantly so, airfare for LHR/MIA is about 450 GBP, LHR/PDX is about 700 GBP, to do LHR/MIA/PDX/LHR is about 616 GBP)

The real problem there is that it is a month when we have to pay mortgages, accomodation, as well as taking a large amount of time of work. We need to find a low cost way of staying in Boca Raton in between conferences and its proving to be quite difficult.

There are a couple of avenues we have still to explore, but its all getting very complicated and confusing.