YAPC::NA 2003 Day 2

by chromatic

Related link: http://yapc.kwiki.org/index.cgi?DayTwo

Day two started with recent grant recipient Artur Bergman's talk on Perl's new ithreads. Artur's clearly the expert, since he's written the bulk of threads in Perl 5.8.

Unfortunately, there are a lot of limitations in threads as they exist in Perl 5.8.0. Fortunately, Perl 5.8.1 will be released soon with many, many fixes. Artur also pointed out the impressive amount of threading modules that Elizabeth Mattijsen has written.

Lunch came next, and I sat with some of the smart kids and discussed good programming technique. Adam Turoff played the semi-famous I Am Canadian commercial and a William Shatner parody.

After lunch, I caught the first half of Ingy's Extreme Programming talk. Ingy and I hang out in Portland sometimes and see Ward Cunningham occasionally.

If you've ever seen Brian speak before, you know that he's always trying new things. This time, he stored his talk on a public Kwiki and gave the audience its address. (Schwern and I are planning to do something similar at OSCON, though it'll likely be set to annotation mode, not public change-my-slides mode.) He handled the slides changing beneath him with a fair amount of grace. "Why I like WindowsXP — it reminds me of another XP...."

Brian's goal is to make life easier for module writers, especially people who'd like to write modules but haven't yet written them. I ducked out a little early to hear Leon Brocard discuss Little Languages in Parrot. Last year, he gave several talks at various conferences about targeting Parrot. This year, he's talking about the little languages that actually run on Parrot: BF, Befunge, and, notably new, BASIC.

Meanwhile, Ingy was just finishing explaining how CGI::Kwiki works. When I returned, he started explaining "Power Tools for Module Authors", including Ken William's Module::Build.

(As a Perl module author myself, I really recommend writing plenty of tests beforehand, shipping them with your module, and asking people to run them all the time. You'll save your sanity.)

The day's schedule ended with lightning talks which I shall not attempt to describe, suffice saying that there was a singalong.

Supper was a little odd — the catering company thought they were providing food on Wednesday, not Tuesday. They rectified this misunderstanding by shipping in dozens of pizzas.

Before and after the food, YAS held an auction that raised much money. Several sponsors donated quite a bit of swag, including books, shirts, and aprons. As well, several hackers donated their services: Leon to do anything within reason, Artur to make any module thread-safe within reason, and myself to write tests for any given module on the CPAN, save Meta.

YAS will probably announce how much they raised. All I know is that Kurt DeMaagd needed to find a bank very quickly to make a deposit to the YAS account.

The night's entertainment was a special showing of the Matrix Reloaded. YAPC had rented a theater and gave out around a hundred tickets. As you'd expect, the best part of the movie was the heckling. I sat near Randal Schwartz and the Fotango folks. There was a lot of heckling. Personally, I think Neo should be called MagNeo at some points, but that's a story for another time.

Tomorrow, there are a lot of smaller talks. They're harder to summarize, but I'll do my best.