YAPC Talks I Think Are Worth Note

So I just got back from my second YAPC. Again I had to leave early, but not as early as last time, so that’s good. Instead of summarizing every single talk I went to, I’d like to highlight some of my (most and least) favorites.

Day 1

Not Quite Perl (NQP) A lightweight Perl 6

I can’t help but follow this since I see Patrick fairly regularly in our Dallas.p6m meetings; which is really half Perl 5 and half Perl 6. NQP is an amazing bootstrapping language for Perl 6 that is actually already self-hosting (written in itself!!!) and can do a lot of neat things. And of course Patrick is an excellent and humble speaker, which always helps.

Take a look at the slides (linked to above, page up and page down for next and prev slides) for more information.

For a language as minimal as they could get away with it’s extremely pretty. Note: For all the talks mentioned here, slides != talk.

Plack - Perl web framework & server superglue

Plack is very cool tech, even though Perl is late to the concepts it brings us. The cool thing about the talk was that it starts off really slow and then ramps up to some really amazing middleware that just blows my mind. Miyagawa was an excellent speaker and had lots of fun little jokes in his talks too.

Fey and Fey::ORM

I was told to go to this talk by ribasushi with the sole idea of stealing ideas for DBIx::Class. I was generally unimpressed with the ORM part, but Fey is far better than SQL::Abstract it seems like. Rolsky is very adamant about having no magic in his core, which is fine, but it typically means baseline code will be ugly. It’s certainly a trade off. He has a really cool autojoin feature, which I envy but also know that ribasushi already wants to implement that to an extent. Our $rs->as_query is cool, but he has something like that for EVERYTHING, which yields some interesting results. Of course this is due to his thoughts that pretty stuff belongs in a sugar layer. He has much more powerful relationships, which I envy for now but I also know that we have a branch in progress to give us arbitrarily complex (???) relationships. It seems like he has a global schema, which is too bad, but that’s just how things work sometimes. He wants to keep per db stuff out of the core, which I can certainly see being a good thing, but I also think it’s good that we try to keep all of our per db code up to snuff, so theres a tradeoff there.

Overall I thought rolsky was very honest about the fact that Fey (and Fey::ORM) is about doing things differently due to taste and that’s completely fine. I definitely envy his SQL generation code, but I’d rather SQLA2.

Lightning Talks 1

A/B testing with Perl‎

Look around at some docs on AB testing. The stuff they did with this was amazing. Forget hallway testing. This is where it’s at for usability.

[perlopquick - a quick reference for Perl 5

operators‎](http://yapc2010.com/yn2010/talk/2864)

Ever want to look up how //= works? Not easy. Check out perlopquick. Awesome stuff for the future of core docs.

Day 2

Perl for CS Grad Students

For this talk I have to give a little bit of background. This year it was attempted to film every single one of the talks unless the speaker explicitly said not to. Cameras et al were paid for by the conference’s budget. Of course, cameras are not all you need. You also need someone to run the cameras. It turns out that ONE MAN (his name is Krishna) did ALL of that for all five tracks. Of course the videos won’t be perfect, but if this becomes a trend it would be a great thing for all of perl.

The speaker of this talk, like probably 33% of all the speakers in general, had technical difficulties getting his mac to work exactly how how wanted with the projector. He (reasonably) got frustrated at this and the wasted time it caused. What bothers me is that krishna was setting up the camera (and mic) as he did in every room every morning and walt said, “Why are you even here?” to krishna, presumably thinking that he was staff of the college (which is of course a great reason to treat a person poorly) and continued to lash out complaining about his technical difficulties. I guess to put a positive spin on this I got to know krishna better for it and I think we all owe him a beer or curry or whatever for all of his hard work (and apparently taking abuse) for doing WAY too much A/V for one person.

The talk was ok.

Iron Mad: The Iron Man Forfeit Talk‎

This was mst’s Iron Man forfeit talk. Watch the video, it’s hilarious. I’m not sure much more can be said :-)

perl5i: Perl 5 Improved‎

I heard about perl5i last year and I thought it was neat. Now I think it’s excellent enough that I might use it in code at work. One thing I think is very good about it is the fact that you must use a version number when using the module, because it is expressly backwards incompatible. Take a look at the module. Very fun.

Lightning Talks 2

Reframing the Death of Perl‎

This basically looked at the psychological term called “framing.” The gist of the talk: when you say “Perl is not dead” people see “perl is dead.” So instead you have to completely reframe and say “Perl is alive” etc. We ended up all yelling perl is alive and scaring prospective students that were visiting Ohio State. Awesome.

Musical Intervals and Chords

This was a talk by ology about (duh) music. Very cool stuff. I wish I could have talked with him more than I did for the few minutes that I did, and especially I wish I had discussed the music stuff with him. Unfortunately he ran out of time in his talk, but what he did say was getting very cool :-)

How I mastered English with Perl

This was a hilarious talk by a man who moved to the US from Japan and learned some english with perl. It focused on Lingua::EN::Inflect, using CPAN as a dictionary, and adorable daughters.

Auction

Not really a talk per se, but still a fun time. Apparently the auction usually takes hours, but this only took 1.5 hours, so not really that bad, and still a lot of fun. I got some O’Reilly coasters (beer mats for you brits) and wes got the new Effective Perl book + autographs. Very cool.

Day 3

Path::Dispatcher

This talk was interesting in structure. It started off fairly slowly but got super cool as it built on itself. It made me want to start writing CLI apps. The fact that it yields such a nice API makes it hard for me to justify why I like the way that catalyst does it’s dispatching (all spread out) but I do think that different ways of doing things are valid. I would love to write some kind of text adventure game with this. Maybe I’ll use it to create a Perl tutorial game?

Cool Perl 6 you can do today

Again, this was Patrick. This talk makes me want to start writing my one off scripts in Perl 6. Unfortunately some of my more interesting “one off scripts” involve creating a DBIC schema and shoving data into an sqlite database so that I can get a feel for my data. Either way, check out the slides, very cool stuff. Also note: I downloaded and installed rakudo in the talk and actually played with it. It’s been a while since I’ve done that and I assure you it’s only gotten easier.

All in all it was a great conference. I liked it better than last year despite the stress of three (supposed to be) forty minute talks. I’ll discuss that in my next post :-)

Posted Wed, Jun 23, 2010