Today was better than yesterday, I think. There was less going on, so everything was more manageable. I had another waffle at breakfast, and it was good. I didn’t do a first lecture, and instead tried to get some work things done. I owed someone at work some notes for a meeting, but it turns out that the meeting had been cancelled in part due to the lack of notes from me. I was mildly annoyed, because I had hours until the meeting. Still, it was not unreasonable on the organizer’s part. I just felt like I was going to end up taking blame for not doing something that I was really doing. I’m not worried about it.

I went to a talk on building scaleable websites with Perl, and it was OK. I got the name of a few modules, and a few ideas for how to change my own work, but the material wasn’t very engaging to me, and it felt like a major gloss.

James Duncan followed immediately with “Enterprise Perl,” discussing how to write maintainable support code in a business. It was all very common sensical and it gave me quite a few good ideas. I’m sure that I’ll discard some of them later when I’ve had time to think about them, but I think I’ll end up with a number of good changes to make, too. After his talk and a later lightning talk, I feel I really need to look at Log::Dispatch and Log4perl.

After that was the Perl Style Guide. (I think my order is correct, anyway.) It held up Slash as an example of a project with a good style guide. Kinda. The presented was very wishy-washy and didn’t want to make firm points or really say much of his own. It smacked of, “I am reporting the result of my research to you, and will not try to help draw conclusions.” I guess that might be OK, but it’s not what I wanted. Basically, the only big point was, “have a style guide and stick to it.” When asked, “What if someone refuses to follow the guide,” his answer as near as I could tell was, “That’s a good question, I don’t know.” Maybe I missed the end of his reply.

I got BK for lunch, largely because it was convenient. PRL suggested sushi, and I was down, but Steve wasn’t, and I didn’t feel like spending time looking for alternate arrangements. We went to Foodcourtia and I got a bacon double. They charged me 25 cents for BBQ sauce and underfilled my fries, but I enjoyed it. Maybe I’ll get BK again tomorrow.

After lunch was Regexp::Common, which was really impressive in design. I knew what it did, already, but the interface is very clever and the implementation is also cool. I may just use the RE::C framework for some regex-collection in my projects at work. It looks convenient.

Abigail also gave a regex talk immediately after RE::C, entitled “Beyond Advanced Regexps.” He showed how to use regexps to determine primality, solve the Eight Queens problem, solve predicate logic, etc. It was scary, and I got lost early on, but it was interesting to see the ways the tool could be used.

The lightning talks were last up, and they were good. Mostly. One or two were lousy, one or two were so-so but gave me fun ideas, and a few were great. Chip gave a fantastic explanation of how Perl was very Subgenius. Nat explained that the young turks need to oust the old do-nothings. Andy announced some Phalanx restructuring. There was a talk on writing “comprehendable” code, which suggested using a lot of globals.

After those, Bryan and I got briefly lost looking for PRL and Steve, but finally found them. (Well, actually I phoned PRL and Steve wandered into the hallway where I was standing.) They had been doing the supercomputer tour, and bda and I headed down to see it. It was OK, but not amazing. The one amazing bit was a massive projection of a series of cross-sections of a human body, animated into something like the traversal of a plane through a body. I want to find a movie of that.

There was a good dinner at the hotel, and I chatted a little with some of the other JAPHs, and it was good. I was amazed to learn of more Mac users who don’t have Omni stuff or Quicksilver. The dinner was followed by the auction, which started off rambunctious and fun and ended tiresome and boring. I know they wanted to raise money, but when Uri was extending the auctions by minutes to eke out an extra dollar… I got really bored.

I did get a copy of the Perl Debugger Pocket Guide, for only about 210% the cover price. I felt like it was a good deal for everyone involved. I’m looking forward to getting a handle on more things than n, s, x, and c.

I talked to Gloria during the auction and again before bed. I /really/ love our iSights. There is /no/ comparison between a phone call and a video chat. It’s great. Even if it was half the quality, it would be great. Of course, I wouldn’t mind if it was double the quality, either.

Now, though, I’m completely exhausted. I’m going to sync this entry up, brush my teeth, and crash. Good night!

Written on June 18, 2004