Sunday, December 12, 2004

The London Perl Workshop

I'm back in Exeter from my adventures in London, where I attended, and in fact spoke at, the London Perl Workshop which was organised by London.pm.

The main hall where the Plenary session and the Learning Perl track was held. I spent most of my time upstairs in the much smaller, and less photogenic, room where the Advanced Track as being held.

I think my talk on the Advanced Track went over fairly well in the end. I got some nice comments and a nobody tried to rugby tackle me over my politically incorrect statement that legacy software was, despite initial appearances, a good thing. For the most part, when not be evangelical, I talked about Inline::* and SOAP::Lite which I was surprised to find weren't already in widespread use amongst this crowd.

The most interesting talk of the day for me had to be Simon Wistow's talk about his Whatif module. Originally in the Acme::* namespace, and for good reason, he moved it out of there when he discovered that people were actually crazy enough to use it.

Eric Saunders was also at the workshop with me, and I think it's a safe bet to say that he found José Alves de Castro's talk on "Obfuscation and Golfing" the most interesting of the day. For those of you not in the know, obfuscation is all about making your code as totally unreadable as possible in cool and interesting ways, while golfing seems to be a uniquely Perl phenomenon where you try to write code in as few characters as possible.

The most interesting talk for everyone else at the conference seemed to be Casey West's talk on "Managing and sending email". The smaller Advanced Track room was (over)filled to capacity and there was still a queue of people outside trying to get in to see this talk. Is email really that interesting to the Perl crowd? The popularity of this one really confused Eric and myself...

The Royal Albert Hall which is just next to Imperial College Union where the London Perl Workshop was being held. London gets all the best architecture...

On the down side I'm officially back in transit. Lunch time tomorrow I'm catching a flybe flight from Exeter to Edinburgh so I can attend the AstroGrid rollout which is on Tuesday and Wednesday at the NeSC. Some time soon I really have to stop moving, sit down, and write some software. But with Christmas coming up, you have to figure it's going to be the new year before I get a decent stretch of "real work" done.