Tuesday July 25, 2006
OSCON 2006, Day 1: Rogue Ales Public House
I had a better connection to the wireless network during the Higher-Order
Perl tutorial. So I took the opportunity to join the #oscon channel on
both Freenode and irc.perl.org. I always find it slightly weird to chat
with a group of people in the same room, but completely unidentifiable to
In those very channels, a group of us decided to head over to the Rogue Ales Public
for some beer and some grub. Somehow I was elected the
unofficial guide of the group (perhaps because I was the only one who
couldn't point a finger fast enough) and we were off. After a brief MAX
ride and a brisk 14 block walk, we sat down to some fine ales.
I savored a glass of the Imperial IPA
out early to attend the special Portland Perl Mongers meeting back at the
OSCON 2006, Day 1: Higher-Order Perl
I have been interested in higher-order Perl ever since the book of that
title was released. While I've not read it, and I only intermittently
follow the mailing list, what higher-order Perl represents fascinates me.
That said, I'm a little disappointed that I opted for Mark Jason Dominus's
tutorial on higher-order Perl rather than, say, Damian Conway's tutorial
on Vim. Not to say that I found Mark uninteresting or uninformative.
Quite the opposite, in fact. Unfortunately, most of the tutorial was
below my skill level.
Having earned a degree in computer science, topics such as caching,
memoization, iterators, and lexers are familiar to me. What I did find
interesting, however, was Mark's application of Perl to these concepts.
Here is a language I have been using for over ten years. I consider
myself an expert at using it. Even so, there is always some new trick or
some new way of looking at things that I can learn and then apply to my
Coding in higher-order Perl, as it
were, is coding with an entirely new set of ideas about how to program.
The underlying theme of this tutorialaside from closures, closures,
closures, baked beans, and closureswas the use of open systems as
building blocks. By starting small and simple, the subroutines are easy
to design. By staying open and flexible, the subroutines can be used like
Lego blocks to construct even the most massively complex system.
OSCON 2006, Day 1: The 7 Priciples of Better API Design
I might have come to OSCON if it had been called DamianConwayCon (DCCON?
ConCon?). He is, quite frankly, an amazing speaker. It is possible that
I hold a bias for his usual subject matter, but I have met
non-Perl-mongers who tout him as one of the best technical speakers.
Having received the contents of Damian's slides, I didn't expect I'd take
any notes, but I fired up a Vim instance anyway. By the end of the
tutorial, I had taken nearly 200 lines of notes. This is the second time
I have attended one of Damian's presentations. It seems I always leave
brimming with ideas for my own projects.
I found that I already apply many of the seven principles Damian
put forth as being the root of better API design. There were many
moments, however, when I would stop and think, "Gee, why haven't I been
doing that all this time?"
These best practices always seem obvious in retrospect, but it certainly
helps (and saves time) having someone point it out with big, neon,
Monday July 24, 2006
The FOSS Barge
Exploring the waterfront this evening, I found an interesting barge
moored near the convention center. Coincidence? I'm not sure.
My fellow Perl Mongers
convinced me to attend OSCON 2006
. So, after convincing Qualcomm to send me, here I am in Portland, Oregon. Tomorrow morning OSCON gets started with the tutorials and, as one might guess, I will be following the Perl track.
Should be an exciting week. I'll be updating my journal as time permits.