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Perl.org: yapc Kicked Bootay

Jun 29, 1999, 20:18 (1 Talkback[s])

Thanks to Chris Nandor's "Perl News" for this report.

Thanks to conference organizer Kevin Lenzo, conference speakers, conference sponsors, Carengie Mellon University, Perl Mongers, and EFNet #perl (do we sound like an acceptance speech? Sorry.) yet another perl conference was a big success. If nothing else, the conference was a wonderful gathering of Perl hackers, but it was also proof that the Perl spirit of volunteerism can extend to events like this.

The conference kicked off with a keynote by Larry Wall, which Lenzo said helped legitimize the conference. Despite problems with his eyes and his props being routed hundreds of miles away by the airlines, Wall gave an interesting talk about the hime automation system, which he reverse-engineered and uses to automate his home using Linux.

Sponsors and publishers Addison-Wesley Longman, O'Reilly, and Manning advertised various titles. Manning, which has a cover art scheme similar in concept to O'Reilly's (but with kinda funny-looking people instead of animals) has Object-Oriented Perl by Damian Conway for release soon. O'Reilly has Mastering Algorithms in Perl, The Perl CD Bookshelf (which includes Perl in a Nutshell, Programming Perl, Perl Cookbook, Advanced Perl Programming, Learning Perl, and Learning Perl for Win32 Systems all on one CD-ROM).

Perl Mongers announced a forthcoming CD-ROM, with help from ActiveState, containing documents and resources for using Perl, which should be available in the next couple of months. Perl Mongers also announced the White Camel awards, to be given at the O'Reilly Perl Conference on August 24, 1999. They will be presented to the "unsung heroes" who have devoted extraordinary time, creativity, and energy for non-technical work for the Perl community. Nominations will be taken from the community, starting July 8 on the Perl Mongers web site.

Dick Hardt from ActiveState Tool Corp. spoke on Win32 perl, focusing much of his discussion on the recent Microsoft deal, which has Microsoft funding development of perl for Win32. Hardt noted several key areas of this development that would have cross-platform benefit, helping not just Win32, but possibly other platforms, too. Globalization work would include work to improve Unicode sipport, including allowing utf8 strings in %ENV and @ARGV. Work on a clean C API would also help all platforms, and the important work on an in-process fork should benefit all platforms that have threading but no fork.

Hardt also said that ActiveState would be working on making working with reusable code simpler, with better structure and meta data in the modules, and the ability to have different module versions installed. Perl packaging is to be improved, too, with a simplified runtime environment where Perl modules could be bundled into single archives.

Hardt emphasized that the Microsoft deal is good for Perl. "They're not controlling anything we're doing," he said. ActiveState actually seemed to be taking advantage of Microsoft's desire to make Win32 into the top web serving platform, by getting Microsoft to fund certain aspects of Perl development like fork in exchange for making Perl for Win32's IIS support better.

Lenzo announced that yapc will be held at CMU again next year, and that they would have more room for a lot more attendees next year.

As Perl News is technically on vacation right now, we'll get back to vacationing and include more news on yapc in the weeks ahead, including some words on more of the presentations. Until then, the conference materials should be going up soon at the yapc web site.