Oslo Perl Mongers Rock

So I tweeted this message during the journey home from Frankfurt (and the wonder that was this year’s YAPC::Europe::2012) yesterday, and I couldn’t have been more sincere.


So what prompted this outburst?

Send-A-Newbie Funds

One of the messages I gave during my Lightning Talk on Announcements at YAPC Europe this year was on how successful the Send A Newbie initiative has been over the last three years. I also had to report that the initiative was out of funds and this year there would have to be a fundraising drive to get more funds.

Leading the Way

Once again Salve gave a Lightning Talk about the Oslo Perl Mongers. This one was all about getting trainers to present at your meetings. Not just local trainers, but run entire day events, get local companies involved, seek out their needs and run targeted courses that could be paid for. Then you can share the profits of the event and raise funds for local needs and the group itself.

Oslo Perl Mongers have done this to great effect with Damian Conway.

Oslo Perl Mongers have raised funds for their group to use on what matters to them.

Last year they gave a donation to the Perl Foundation‘s Core Maintenance Fund, and this year they graciously donated €1,000 to the SAN.




Salve and the organising team ROCK

On behalf of the EPO and the SAN initiative I would like to express our thanks and gratitude to all the Oslo Perl Mongers, to Salve and to Damian Conway who have all contributed to making this possible.



nota bene

Due to spam attacks I have made the decision to block all comments on my site except for those that come from members of the group of per.ly people. If you want to make comments on my site then email me at m {dot} keating (at) shadowcat {dot} co {dot} uk.

PRS2012 – Perl5-Perl6 Reunification Summit

Of Crockery and Hard Surfaces

Sign at the entrance to Perl

Between Friday 17th August and Sunday 19th August 2012 we held the first ever Perl Reunification Summit in the town of Perl just inside the border of Germany near to the borders of France and Luxembourg.

The summit was an invite-only event and was the brainchild of Liz and Wendy of Dijkmat who were hosting, organising and sponsoring the event. It would be held at the Hotel Perler Hof

The event came into existence when Liz decided to take a sabbatical earlier this year. She was in a position where she could take some time from her regular work to think about the language of Perl and the community.

Very quickly she came to a conclusion, she wanted to “Throw a cup against a wall”. This was an outpouring of emotion, she is a strong advocate of the Perl community and a keen supporter of Perl for use in business. Liz is also active in many Perl projects and organisations and is ably supported by her wife Wendy who is a prominent member of the  community and organiser at many events.

So why was she so spurred to this emotion?

Although Liz is a member of the community and has seen, as many of us have, a motion in the community to unite the groups that are Perl 5 and Perl 6 she didn’t see the two groups merging. She believed the animosity had left the community along with the silly arguments that spurred it, but the two groups were branching into distinct communities that didn’t identify with each other.

This had to stop.

We shared far more than features than we could be separated by, but to many people and to a broader world we were different species.

Liz was also concerned that for the language this split did not, and would not, answer any of the challenges we face.

This was frustrating, this meant crockery must hit hard surfaces (but only, at the time, in a metaphorical sense). There was no real crockery, there was just the emotion that could be expressed in this manner.

Liz’s answer to her feeling was simple. Gather together as many of the strong community members, those people who are active and visible, people with ties and links to a wider number of project and get them together to discuss this.

Thus the reunification summit was born, and it would be held in Perl as it was about Perl.[1]

Reunification, A Side Trek…

The word reunification, for me, has some lingering overtones. There is a level to which I can abstract the word from its historical context but when it was declared we would be having this summit just inside the border of Germany it didn’t make that task any easier.

The word itself is a wonderful choice. The communities that are Perl 5 and Perl 6 do work as strongly cohesive, and therefore unified, entities. But they needed to be seen as part of one larger Perl community body. So they had to be reunified.

Attendees, A Side Trek…

When I was first invited to attend the summit I wasn’t sure that I could make it.[2] When I discovered that I could attend I naturally looked at who else was coming and had been invited. It was a broad group but it was also some of the very big names of the Perl world.


My reactions to this were two-fold. I could naturally appreciate that Liz and Wendy had chosen people who do a lot in the language and community, these people represented nicely the two language groups.

The sociologist in me[3] was appalled. This wasn’t the best way to represent the community. Labov would have had a fit, you need a randomly selected group of individuals who didn’t know they were on the list as this would give you a broad cross-section in which to conduct a  better experiment and achieve a more natural response.

Which of course would not be suited to the purposes of the summit so I quickly had my inner sociologists taken away and shot.

The eclectic mix of people we had was actually enough of a variance. The randomness of who could actually make it provided us with our indeterminacy.  Then there is the importance of influence and immersion. Things needed to be done by those who had been empowered by history, selection or ability to do that. A true random selection (if such a thing is possible) may give us a more natural indicator of the overall system, but they might suffer from lack of exposure to the issues and have insufficient ability to propose or engage with solutions.[5]

Day One

My arrival at the conference on day one was delayed as I had to travel in the very early hours of the morning from Manchester to Luxembourg via Amsterdam. I was met by a very excited Wendy and we were able to have a chat in the car on the way to the event.

The first order of business at the summit was for each of us to talk about where we were in the Perl world and how we had gotten to that point. We also had the chance to discuss a little of what we were hoping to achieve at the event.

Gloria Wall Talks about herself

I missed many of these so had to infer from later conversations what people wanted. For myself I gave my usual line of being fascinated with Perl People as I was in fact a stalker who fascinated on Perl celebrities, and the fact that I was kidnapped into Perl then mugged into various groups. My fondness for flippancy and whimsy to distract from what is a boring, drawn out and complicated irrelevancy.

My ambitions were fairly easy. I think that the efforts to get other programmers to use Perl, and to see the current advances in Perl are noble, and necessary. However, I don’t think they will have a great affect on the number of people using Perl in the future or into starting new projects and developments in Perl.

We instead a need to focus on bringing new people into the programming world, the next generation of programmers who are in our schools and colleges, we must also focus on having an environment that is conductive to learning and focussed on Perl.

I also hoped to be able to engage with the Perl 6 community more. I am fairly prominent in the Perl 5 world, and I know many of the people in that world, but I have less relationship with Perl 6 and I wanted to change that.


At lunch I was able to catch up with and talk to Schwern and Ribasushi. In particular we discussed the need not to regulate the submission to, or modules on CPAN. The broader community needed to be given faster access, more control and they themselves would build the consensus that we really need.

We also, Schwern and I, called for a slight shift of thinking, let’s not worry too much about finding the best Perl or best modules on CPAN. Let’s not police our system, and in reference to finding a Python module on there wrapped in Perl, let’s not expunge it. If it is a good module and people use it, what is the issue. The whole of CPAN will not suddenly tun into a Python environment. It is a tool and if we get thousands of Python developers giving us Perl based tools to use, what did we lose? Even if we didn’t get that, what would we lose?

We then discussed having a ‘light’ version of Perl. Not necessarily cut down but constrained where the  best practices already existed. This wouldn’t be  a standard or forced on people build of Perl but a teaching environment. This wasn’t to imply training wheels but guard rails. Let people play freely but don’t let them fall off the ledge.

I really benefitted from talking to Schwern, it is clear that he has been putting a lot of focus into thinking about these issues and covering that with a lot of discussion across a broader society and insight from a greater range of people.

SWOT Teams and Borg

The  afternoon of the first day we conducted SWOT analyses of the various factors facing the world of Perl. This was useful to let us hear other people’s thoughts and how they analysed the issues. It let us convey the various attitudes that are common in our own sub-groups about those issues.

We broke the days formal talks at about five-thirty and went to dinner. Liz and Wendy had booked us into a nearby Roman Villa in Perl Borg[7] where we had a guided tour before an evening meal inspired by Roman diet. Before reaching the villa we stopped at the old station in Perl and had a group photo taken with the signs.

The tour at Perl Borg was a good way to break the pattern of thought and let our minds regain some energy and in my case focus. I sat with old friends at a meal and drank some beer.

When we returned to the hotel I was able to sit down with Patrick Michaud and talk about the Perl 6 docs effort and how that might be used in Perl 5 and about the TPF website being written as a Perl 6 application and my personal preferences for that. It seems that both of those will go ahead and this is a start of a Perl 5 and Perl 6 collaboration on code and documentation.

Day Two

We took a less formal approach on Day Two of the conference. Tux, mst, Flavio and Gabor all gave talks about projects or issues and a general consensus was made to start to work on some of the things we had identified as issues on the previous day. It would also allow us to mix and discuss the things we had heard of.


My initial discussions were with Gabor. I had just heard him speak about DWIMPerl and I thought it was nicely related, though not the same as, my thoughts for a Perl Environment.

DWIMPerl was originally focussed on Windows but now has a Linux flavour, and is a collection of a Perl install with selected, best case, projects and modules. So you can install them from a single file. It is a great way to give people an initial snapshot of Perl and Perl development.

DWIMPerl is part way towards what I want in a Perl Environment and using mst’s principal of it is better to start small, test, learn and grow, along with use the tools already available and learn from them, I asked Gabor to allow me to join in with his project and maybe help promote, find contributor and get a good design for the effort.

So my first actions were to be added on Github, download, do a design review of the current site and plan a design in my head. I also spoke briefly with Gabor about the current look and promised to return to the discussion. We did speak briefly about my targets for the Perl environment and Gabor had some cogent, and really intuitive, input on the distribution.

At lunch I managed to speak to Tux who is attempting to do a similar project but aimed at a different operating environment. He was helpful in making me formulate some thoughts about how DWIMPerl would be useful to us and how it differed from his approach and needs. It also allowed me to formulate how my effort is more about the specific markets we need to target and how we achieve that.


Jess (Castaway), James (theorbtwo) and I also started the discussion of how we would put into practice the CPANoGraphic that I wanted to begin that was originally inspired by a conversation with Castaway.

Once again we started with the idea of the smallest possible item to achieve being our start point. We decided that the first metric to base our health graphic on would be the ‘I Use This’ preference in MetaCPAN. With that in mind Castaway started to download a snapshot of Metacpan.

We also discussed the nature of the top-level graphic and what it would be. After some thinking we wanted to use a symbol that would have a number on it, to help with this we would also have a colour shift from orange to blue in percentage. This would be worked on by Me and theorbtwo.


I spoke to Flavio at lunch time about his Perlito project. This is one of the most interesting and potentially exciting things I have seen for some time. In particular we talked about how it handles the various compilations and how it might be used to say turn Perl into Objective-C or Java. There would be a lot of consensus needed to work out which parts, libraries or modules could be needed and used, but the notion that we could write an application in Perl and then port it to slim or mobile devices is fascinating.

Flavio is looking for people to help him move the Perlito project forward and I am deeply hoping he finds some and i know i am going to help encourage people to help out.


During the afternoon I was able to update the YAPC.org website, add some links to Damian Conway presentations on some community and business sites and wrote a short news article for the company website.

I also started to write and take notes on two articles about the Summit,[8] so that I would have a reference to work from later.

Reporting on the Day

“What we learn in Perl 6 is how much, and how quickly, we learn from mistakes”

At the end of the second day we all made a short report on what we had done so far and the topics we had covered. It was useful to see how many conversations were started. I made some rough notes at the time that I can share with you, I hope to see on other people’s blogs a better explanation in their own words.[9]

  • Matt and Patrick had a lot of conversations about making Perl 6 work in Perl5
  • Patrick spoke on making Perl 5 work in Rakudo
  • Larry started the long task of getting Perl 5 to work in Perl 6, and he was going through it line by line as our reports came in.
  • “Unifying perl 5 and Perl 6 is exciting”
  • Schwern spoke about the ‘Raptor Pack’ he and Matt had discussed and the guardrails he had discussed with Ribasushi, myself and others.
  • Documentation dominated the discussions for many as did improving the user experience of coming to projects.
  • A need to increase the value and the interface for users coming to Rakudo
  • Matt spoke of a pure Perl build of modules and the Rakudo build (in discussions with Patrick) for the OR connector.

Tux Talks

We then listened to a personal response from Tux about the event, he wanted to share with us his thoughts and feelings.

Tux felt that his expectations of the summit were vague, he wasn’t sure that there would be a great deal of value gained. But he had come to discover new things over the few days both about the community and about himself.

The mixing of people in the community is changing in how we perceive and understand the relationships and elements around us.

Tux felt that his personal position on Perl 6 before the summit was skeptical and negative, he didn’t see a future for the specification, but in the conversations, by seeing how the people who make up the Perl 6 community are willing, and able to, accept and see change, how we are moving forward to work with each other has made him positive in his outlook on the future of Perl 6 and the balancing of the community.

Of cups and walls

(And railway signs)

Martin Berends[10] had brought a number of mugs with him to the summit. His feeling was that we should take Liz up on her wish and if the summit was successful physically throw a cup at a wall.

We decided to make the metaphor and actuality, but to use that as a symbol of the death of another meme. The whole issue of the corporeal state of our community, our languages and about future was over. It was as broken as the bag of cups we threw at a wall. Perl is alive, it will be here for some time and we have a revitalised feeling of a potentially great future.

Liz throws her cup against a wall

We dined at a restaurant in Perl in the evening and I managed to speak to Liz about the summit. In particular I wanted her feelings as it was Liz that inspired the whole event and infused it with a power that made it successful.

Perl people are always careful to collect their garbage!

Liz said that she knew that she had to do something and that the summit seemed to have been the right thing. She now felt more encouraged about the whole community, about the interaction of the people and ideas and how this reflects well for the future. She indicated that the whole community, Perl 5, Perl 6 Rakudo and others now felt like a single organism who had goals that could be shared.

Birthday Blues…

The 2nd day of the summit was also my birthday. On such days I generally don’t celebrate it, I don’t commiserate it either, I just prefer quiet family affairs so the celebration is muted by that. This year was different and everyone was being kind and wishing me a good birthday.

But they had a little surprise.

In the evening I was treated to the Champagne of Beers by Liz and Wendy, and the whole of the gathering sang happy birthday to me and it was sung in four languages (English, Polish, Dutch and German). I had a cake and there were serpentines (streamers). This was especially awesome and it is no surprise that it was Wendy who organised it. I have two cards (one for age forty and one for age four) which contain signatures and messages for me. I must especially thank Martin and his wife and son who stayed behind late to be part of the event (they were driving off after the end of the second day).

I will never have such an experience again and I am never going to forget it.

Final Things

The town of Perl has an information board

This reads (approximate translation): If you have any trouble or issues with Perl call this number

The final morning we all met before checking out and moving on to home, holiday or YAPC::EU::2012. We were all presented with a bottle of sparkling wine (German champagne) of choice by Wendy.

A few people spoke of the things that we wanted to see happen next:

  • Liz said she had “a warm fuzzy feeling”.
  • We made an irc channel and will investigate a mailing list to keep the ideas moving onwards.
  • We would tag the photos on flickr, either p5p6 or p5p62012;
  • Patrick would like us to summarise after 6 months what we thought the results of the summit were, we set a date of February 15th 2013 for that.
  • A call was made to talk about and post what was done and that all the members should do it. Liz agreed to start a blog.
  • Gloria Wall came up with one of the best ideas of the summit. We should all collaborate on a book/teaching materials all about the vast project that is Perl in its many forms so that it can be distributed to educators and used in the future evolution of our community. This wouldn’t be a single persons work but a combined effort.

The last words were from Larry:

“Thanks for not making me do all of this.
You guys are great.
I love you.”


I had mixed feelings about this event myself. Like Tux I didn’t know the need or value of it but was happy to be a member. My feelings are no longer mixed and I feel greatly revitalised and confident about the future. There are going to be issues, side treks and pitfalls to live with, work through and avoid, but our real job now is to keep the momentum and to keep the communication going.

When you get so many positive people in a room together and let them mix and inspire one another the positive impact is overwhelming.

I am looking forward to speaking about what we have achieved in six months time.


[1] It was many years ago that Liz discovered the town of Perl. She was playing with a browser and wondered if the word Perl would bring up any location links, this is when she found the town of Perl. The town has an interesting neighbour. Just across the river is the city of Schengen, where the treaty was signed to create an area in Europe where people cold move freely, the importance of this cannot be understated.

[2] But that’s a whole different story.

[3] Yes, yes, I know I was an art student and did some Humanities.[4]

[4] “Oh the humanities…”

[5] Of course an argument could be made here that if we did empower the individuals by asking them to attend, no matter who they were, and acted upon their statements then we would empower them and achieve the same effect.

Prior immersion can have a negative component, it can be a hindrance as well as an advantage, it is a blinkered approach along with an ignorance of factors affecting neophyte community members.[6]

[6] But the gunshot sound you just heard put an end to seeing this as a social thesis.

[7] Resistance was futile.

[8] The first of these articles is the one you are currently reading

[9] Apologies to anyone if I made a misinterpretation in what I wrote, a lot of people were talking. I had to leave so many people out, everyone had great things to say but I was busy listening for a lot of the time not writing.

[10] Thanks to all who pointed out this was Martin and not Mark (original text: “Mark Overmeer(spelling!)”).

nota bene

Due to spam attacks I have made the decision to block all comments on my site except for those that come from members of the group of per.ly people. If you want to make comments on my site then email me at m {dot} keating (at) shadowcat {dot} co {dot} uk.



EPO Sponsors YAPC Brasil

Proud to be a Part

The Enlightened Perl Organisation today announced that they would be sponsoring YAPC::Brasil with an award of £1,000 (GBP). The YAPC::Brasil is a relative newcomer on the YAPC scene (this is their fourth year as BR) being formed out of a combined languages conference and referred to at that time as YAPC::SA.

The current organisers are working hard to further their conference and make it a true contender for attendance on a global stage and the EPO are proud to help them achieve this.

The EPO will also be helping to manage business contributions to the event.

What, Where, When?

The 7th Yet Another Perl Conference, Brasil, will be held on the 19th-20th October 2012 at R. Frei Caneca, 569 – Consolação – São Paulo, 01307-001, Brazil.

The Brasilian Perl Mongers, and São Paulo in particular, would like to welcome all Perlers, technology enthusiasts, programmers and other interested parties to attend this great event in one of the world’s fastest growing countries with an enthusiastic Perl community.


This year the conference will focus on the ‘Revolution of Data’ and is expected to have 24 presentations and 12 workshops focussed on delivering information and hands-on experience of the latest developments in Perl.

Each year there is a wealth of speakers, great food, entertainment and hallway tracks with some of the best people the Americas has to offer along with a bevy of international stars.


If you are unable to attend you may wish to consider helping to further promote the event by spreading the word through the social and traditional media channels you subscribe to. The organisers are also seeking to attract sponsorship from inside and outside Brasil, so if you are a company that is interested in sponsoring, or know of someone who may be interested in sponsoring please direct them to the sponsorship page of the website.

The team will be launching a donations portal for individuals and smaller donations in the near future.



nota bene

Due to spam attacks I have made the decision to block all comments on my site except for those that come from members of the group of per.ly people. If you want to make comments on my site then email me at m {dot} keating (at) shadowcat {dot} co {dot} uk.

Send-a-Newbie: Meet the Awardees

As reported in a previous post the three awardees of this year’s Send-A-Newbie initiative are:


SAN Awardee: Claudio

SAN Awardee: Claudio


SAN Awardee: Umer

SAN Awardee: Umer


SAN Awardee: Manzur

SAN Awardee: Manzur

We have now managed to complete the process of acquiring visas for Umer and Manzur and all the newbies[1] have arranged their travel and accommodation.

If you are in Frankfurt next week you might want to say hi to these people, or buy them a beverage of choice, and make them welcome in the community.


One of our neophytes, Manzur, will be in Frankfurt a few days early, due to his travel arrangements, and he has already volunteered to help the conference by volunteering his time and skills to the organisers.

This, like the efforts of previous SAN awardees like Leon Timmermans[2], is further evidence of the success of the SAN programme.

The Event Organisers

The Enlightened Perl Organisation has officially extended its thanks to the organisers of this years’ event for kindly donating free attendance at the conference and the associated dinners and events to the three awardees.

Without the kind support of the event organisers the task of arranging the Send-A-Newbie initiative would be a little harder.


The Send-A-Newbie Initiative is a yearly event to send neophyte conference attendees to a major Perl event. It is open to anyone regardless of their circumstances, the only conditions are that they must not have previously attended a large Perl event and that they need financial assistance to attend one.

The initiative is entirely organised by the EPO and is a sponsored initiative. Without the financial support gained from donations the initiative would be unable to run. If you would like to donate, or set up a regular contribution then please visit the SAN donations page. No donation is too large or too small.

[1] Just to clarify, when I say newbie I really want to indicate that they are neophyte, the initiative already had this name when the EPO was asked to take control of it.

[2] Leon is now a speaker, contributor, P5P affectionado and maintainer of Module Build

The Dao of Presenting

Have you ever presented anything, or are you ever going to present anything? From giving a keynote in front of a ten thousand strong audience to a short five minute business presentation to office peers?

Do you wish you had the skills to give the very best presentation you could? Do you wish there was a series of simple to follow techniques that will guide you towards making succesful presentations that are memorable, informative and impressive?

Do you feel that you need the confidence to perform well and that at this point you do not have it?

Or do you just want to improve your skills to be a better presenter by learning from an absolute master of the craft.

Then you MUST attend this course.

Once more the reknown presenter, author, developer, trainer and thinker, Damian Conway, will be presenting two courses in London in October. The first will be a course on Regular Expressions, a must for any Perl programmer and should be on the wish list for disciples from other tongues. The second course is a Presentation Skills Workshop (http://www.flossuk.org/Events/PresentationSkillsOct2012).

Damian Conway has perfected the art of presenting, if there was a Dao of Presenting the very first precept of it would start with “Damian says…”. This is no cowing compliment, he really is that good.

See the attached pdf (Damian-Poster-presentation-skills-web) or this page of testimonials to see what others have to say about this remarkable presenter.

I wrote a previous article about the excellent short course that Damian contributed to that I attended in Riga, and bemoaned the inability to attend the course he was giving in London on his last tour. But not so this year. I will be at the Workshop in October and if you have never attended this course and fit any part of the criteria above you should hasten to secure yourself a place now.

I hope I see you there.


Send-A-Newbie 2012

It is my enormous pleasure to announce the awardees for the 2012 Send-A-Newbie initiative. This year we have three applicants who were successful and they all come from across the Europe and beyond.[1] The attendees have all ensured that without the financial assistance of the EPO they would not be able to attend the event which is our caveat for application. All three applicants will be sponsored their flights and accommodation to attend YAPC::EU::2012::Frankfurt.

The three awardees are:

  • Claudio Ramirez from Belgium
  • Dr Umer Zeeshan Ijaz a research Fellow from Glasgow University originally from Pakistan
  • Manzur Mukhitdinov from Uzbekistan

At this point two of the applicants are submitting visa applications and we are awaiting the information concerning that. Once we have secured dates of travel and accommodation I will be coming to the community to help me to integrate these people into the event.

I will also be discussing with the organisers getting sponsored attendance at the conference, conference dinner and pre-meeting socials and encouraging[3] people to buy these new people a drink and generally embrace them into the community.

I would like to thank all of our donors and sponsors for this year and would encourage people to continue donating. You can use this simple web form to donate, we will now max out the reserve budget for the send-a-newbie initiative so a real need to raise extra funds to finalise this years expenses and continue the program into the future is required. All donations are useful and gratefully accepted. If you would like to discuss a sponsorship package whereby you entertain a marketing or promotional contract or position, please do not hesitate to contact me.


Due to spam attacks I have made the decision to block all comments on my site except for those that come from members of the group of per.ly people. If you want to make comments on my site then email me at <a href=”mailto: m.keating@shadowcat.co.uk”>m {dot} keating (at) shadowcat {dot} co {dot} uk</a>.

[1] One of our applicants is currently residing in the United Kingdom but comes from Asia.[2]

[2] Send-A-Newbie is not restricted to Europe for the applicants but has traditionally only received applications from Europe and Asia.

[3] Though previous experience has taught me that in the Perl Community little encouragement is actually needed.


A great idea…

At YAPC::NA::2012 brian d foy came up with an interesting idea. He said why don’t a few of the more well known of the Perl community, Perl celebrities if you wish to use the term, place their names on a board and allow up to four guests to go to lunch with them. The idea being that they would be able to lunch with people who have never lunched with them before, hopefully encourage people new to YAPC or to the community and generally mix things up.

The idea had a lot of merit and so we did it. I had my lunch on the Friday with four people whom I had never met until that day except to notice at the event and to whom I hadn’t spoke. We went for an Italian, we chatted about what people did and the usual conversation you’d have with someone in the community and we enjoyed a meal with people different to those we normally converse with.

I have to tell you that brian was spot on the money.

Because we are well known in the community and because we know each other we go to lunch with those people to catch up and it can be hard for others to join in. By just allowing people this chance we changed that situation and it was a good change.

…that we must continue.

One of my lunch guests made the point that it should be done more often and that it was a good opportunity, and I am in full agreement. I hope brian doesn’t mind if i add a little something and suggest that at workshops and conferences we assign a well known Perl ‘celebrity’ to a board and either allow people to sign up to lunch with them or/and randomly add people new to the event (if they are willing). We could have a pre-sign list when you register, ‘new to the event and want to lunch with a well-known member’ option, I don’t want to force people I want to build upon a great idea. I think we can also call it Lunch++ or something similar, it is a lunch karma :)

My only regret is that I didn’t do it on more days. I think I just made some new friends in the Perl community and I feel they had fun.

Thanks to my guests and to brian d foy for the opportunity to do this.


Due to spam attacks I have made the decision to block all comments on my site except for those that come from members of the group of per.ly people. If you want to make comments on my site then email me at <a href=”mailto: m.keating@shadowcat.co.uk”>m {dot} keating (at) shadowcat {dot} co {dot} uk</a>.

Officially a Hardware Hacker

Caution Contains @rblackwe*

So that Robert Blackwell is an evil man, he’s my dealer, he hooked me up, got me to score, gave me the skinny and I am a user now. He gave me a gateway drug and suddenly I needed more…

Robert 'the Dealer' Blackwell

It’s just hardware man…

Robert has run the Hardware Hackathon this week at YAPCNA2012 in Madison. Which means that he bought about 300kg of hardware across the Eastern end of the United States (9-12hrs drive I believe) so that we can play with it.

He also hooked you up. he gave you an Arduino and in his own words ‘threw the spaghetti at the wall to see what would stick”. What stuck was a lot. I am not, as many people seem to be confused by, a software engineer, my programming skills are locked in the simplicity of HTML4.0/CSS2. So being sat in front of C code, with loops and ‘int’ and ‘for’ to play with was interesting. What is more interesting was that the well written examples with website support, and Robert’s enthusiasm to just do it. ‘get on in there,’ he cries as he sticks wires into boards and make his iPhone spin on a motor…

Garu doing Hardware hacking

So what’s the skinny then?

Robert would love to see an integration of Perl and Perl people and the hacker/maker community. Well, there already is, what he wants is more of that and his mission is to get us all interested in making lights flash, motors spin and people laugh and cooh with joy when they make simple machines move.

Simple, not stupid. This is a low-level entry, but to be able to get a response in 10 minutes from starting and see your efforts make a light blink is greatly rewarding, which is probably why I bought the Radio Shack: Electronic Tester Board to take back home with me, because you know I have a two year old son and a four month old so I best learn so I can teach them to hack cool stuff**…

Robert has started hardware.pm, there is a github repo and there will soon be a website. Oh dear and like I didn’t have enough things to do … cool … :)


Due to spam attacks I have made the decision to block all comments on my site except for those that come from members of the group of per.ly people. If you want to make comments on my site then email me at <a href=”mailto: m.keating@shadowcat.co.uk”>m {dot} keating (at) shadowcat {dot} co {dot} uk</a>.

* And he is an evil man who has me spending money

** And it has no connection with the fact that I am addicted to making little things whirr and buzz, honest…



Donate to CPAN Testers

If you submit modules to CPAN, or are reliant on modules that are downloaded/located on CPAN then you have used the services of CPAN Testers whether you were aware of this or not.

CPAN Testers are an established resource in the Perl community that were,until very recently, almost unique in the software development world. There is still little to compare to them. They supply testing of modules on many flavours and distros of Linux and report back issues or conflicts to module authors and project design teams.

For those who are involved in Quality Assurance (QA) the people at CPAN Testers are the first essential service and they are part of the reason that Perl has such strong QA development practices and is the home of TAP.

This service is provided for free. They do not attempt to charge for either the server time or the personal time of the organisers. But it isn’t a free service to maintain.

This is where we all come in…

If you use CPAN for modules related to either your paid work or business projects you are using a service that is complimented, in fact greatly enhanced, by CPAN Testers. You can help keep this service free for all to use, help it evolve and expand, and make the service more efficient by donating towards its upkeep.

You can choose to make either a one-off donation, or perhaps subscribe to a regular donation. You can also do this with ease. The Enlightened Perl Organisation has become the business partner for CPAN Testers and you can donate directly from members.enlightenedperl.org. You do not need to be a member of the EPO to do this (though you might want to consider it).

The organisers of CPAN Testers have full access (when they so require it) to the donations system and banking of the EPO and manage the funds donated to CPAN Testers and their usage in providing a valuable service.


Due to spam attacks I have made the decision to block all comments on my site except for those that come from members of the group of per.ly people. If you want to make comments on my site then email me at <a href=”mailto: m.keating@shadowcat.co.uk”>m {dot} keating (at) shadowcat {dot} co {dot} uk</a>.

French Perl Workshop 2012

French Perl Workshop Banner

The French Perl Workshop will once again open its doors to all persons on the 29-30 June 2012. The Workshop is a free event that is held in a different French city each year and this year that city is Strasbourg. The organisers ask you to register to get access to the wiki, talk schedules and so the organisers can judge numbers and arrange appropriate events.

Each year the workshop grows a little in both scope and attendees while still maintaining quality presentations and training coupled with the unique air of a Perl event.

The organisers of the French Perl Workshop attempt to be as welcoming as possible to all people and offer tracks in two languages, if you are a UK resident there is the chance to make a short trip and attend an event that likes to cater to its channel hoping cousins.

You need not be a Perl user to attend the French Perl Workshop. Perl has seen a ressurgance of usage in the past few years and the number of companies seeking to hire Perl developers seems to be on an upward path. There is no better time to attend an event where you will meet Perl developers, see presentations and gain an understanding of learning Perl than at a Perl Workshop.

shots from the event

The workshop has been made free to attend by the generous contributions of the sponsors, be sure to check them out. If you wish to sponsor the event, or know of someone who wishes to sponsor the event, you can contact the organisers who will be more than willing to help you.

Visit the website today and plan your visit, Shadowcat Systems‘ Matt S. Trout is one of this year’s guest speakers. The call for papers is still open if you wish to submit a talk.

Don’t forget to follow the event on Twitter and identi.ca.


<h3>nota bene</h3>
Due to spam attacks I have made the decision to block all comments on my site except for those that come from members of the group of per.ly people. If you want to make comments on my site then email me at <a href=”mailto: m.keating@shadowcat.co.uk”>m {dot} keating (at) shadowcat {dot} co {dot} uk</a>.