The Perl Conference 5: Day 4
by Simon Cozens
The morning started with the eagerly-anticipated Craig Mundie versus Michael Tiemann keynote talks and debate. When I first heard that Craig Mundie had been invited to speak here, I was a little sceptical of Tim O'Reilly's intentions. (And a little concerned for his sanity) But the gamble most definitely paid off. While the audience was, for the most part, civil - yet still not afraid to recognise soft soap and disingenuity for what it was - Craig Mundie put across Microsoft's case with discretion and care. One could almost be justified in accusing his opponent of playing to the crowd, but on the other hand, the temptation of getting a couple of cheap laughs from the home crowd was a little too great to resist. The panel debate afterwards was particularly engaging, with Craig Shirkey managing to tie down David Schultz to a simple "yes" to the question of whether the Hailstorm architecture would allow him to have two non-Microsoft operating systems take part in both ends of a Hailstorm transaction. Of course, there was a catch - Hailstorm instances would "want" to use Microsoft's services. I wonder what that means.
After the panel debate, the Perl talks began in ernest. I heard Elaine Ashton tell us how to grok the CPAN, which neatly segued into my talk about "10 Perl Modules I Wouldn't Go Anywhere Without". After that, I took some time to hang out, get chatting with people, and prepare for my talks after lunch - a demonstration of how to port other languages to the Perl Virtual Machine, and a two-hander with Kirrily Robert, one of my collaborators on the Reefknot project. Dan then continued the Perl 6 theme which has dominated this conference with a description of the Perl 6 internals. As if to demonstrate that Perl 5 had not been forgotten, Jarkko outlined his plans for 5.8.0 and its maintainance.
Julian Cash from SuperSnail was on hand to take some pretty dynamic pictures of us all, including a great group series from the #perl IRC channel.
Right now, it's time for me to get myself over to the perl5-porters party - even us hard-working hackers need to let their hair down at times!