thursday madness

The morning started with Freeman Dyson engaging in a “moderated discussion” with Tim O’Reilly and the audience. While Dyson was very charming and is cool, the talk was sort of uninteresting. This was followed by a guy from HP whom I completely ignored, basically because he was completely ignorable.

After some tea, I went to an incredibly packed room to see Ingy and Autrijus talk about “Using CPAN Tools for In-House Development.” While I was familiar with nearly everything they talked about, CPAN::Site sounded like it will be useful if we ever have a second full-time Perl developer.

Then I saw Casey talk about Class::DBI. It was a good talk, and I think that with some more work it will be a great intro to Class::DBI. Ok, I say that as someone who doesn’t use CDBI, but if he wasn’t lying, I think I’m safe in my assumptions. I definitely feel like I can use it for some things I need, including the Epitaxy::Substrate persister, which I need to write when I get back to work!

From there, lunch! I ate MS Lunch again, trying to keep my expense report down. It was just fine, although the stack of oreos filled me with an intense desire to brush my teeth, which I did.

After lunch, IO::All and Spiffy. I knew a lot about IO::All, but it was cool to see a few bits of it demonstrated, and I’m trying to decide whether or not I think it’s a good idea to use it in production code. If it works on Win32, I think it will be good. I didn’t think it worked there, but a few guys from ActiveState were at the talk, and I got the impression that they had it working.

I was really there for Spiffy, and Spiffy was spiffy. I think I finally understand it pretty well, and I can explain it to jcap when I get home. It looks like I’d really like to use it in Module::Starter, but I won’t! I am going to stick to minimal prerequisites, even though I don’t like that concept. It makes it easier for newbies to install, I’m told, so OK.

I still don’t know what Spoon does!

Nick gave a talk on the new Perl 5.8 release process. While I knew that 5.8.1 had been a big problem, Nick gave a lot of details I hadn’t known. Ugh! I like the new process a lot. It just seems like The Right Thing. For no particular reason, I installed 5.8.5 on my machine during the talk. Painless.

There was ice cream in the basement, followed by some standing around and chatting for a while. There were more Works in Progress, which was good. I thought about getting up and talking about some things, but I decided I wasn’t prepared.

There was another reception downstairs, but Paul grabbed me and dragged me aside.

“I have to find Jesse, you find Curtis!”

“Jesse is right over there. Who’s Curtis?”

“I’ll go get Jesse. Just start shouting ‘Curtis!’”

This didn’t work very well: Curtis was outside. Anyway, we did all get caught up, and we went to a place that served giant sushi. (We, here, is Curtis, Joshua, Paul, Schwern, Jesse, and me.) We ate some giant sushi, which was mostly good. I also had some “age dashi dofu,” which was good. It was fried tofu in mushroom broth, and I think it would be a good, light dinner or lunch. I also started to think that I might enjoy having miso for breakfast sometimes. I have to look into those instant miso mixes. They were pretty good.

From there we went to a place whose name I can’t remember. I got a slice of “white chocolate mint truffle cake.” It was like thick mint cream on top of thick chocolate cake. It was good, although not the best thing ever. We were all really hyped up on protein and sugar, now, and the ride to the hotel was full of a lot of bizarre humor.

We had to rush to get back, because the Perl Foundation auction was scheduled for 2100, and Schwern needed to work it. It was delayed to 2130, though, and even then attendance was poor. It was a shame, because they had some awesome things to auction! Someong to to pair for an hour with Ward. (Also, Ingy and Autrijus.) There were full-year subscriptions to Safari and a lot of paper books. I bought one of Schwern’s drinks away from him. I was taking one for the team here: I don’t even like Jaegermeister. I also picked up a signed copy of the first edition Camel, which is a pretty rad artifact. There was quite a pool of funds, though, to make sure Dan got pied.

See, at the Python Lightning Talks, Dan was supposed to get a pie in the face, because he failed to get the entire Python benchmark running on Parrot, let alone running faster than on C Python. Guido wouldn’t pie him, though, which was incredibly lame. I stayed for the rest of the lightning talks, and they were, too. The Python community strikes me as not very interesting. This might be because I’m not part of it, but there just wasn’t the same kind of irreverence that makes Perl so pleasant.

Once again, I got to my room and just fell asleep on my bed. Fortunately I woke up after just a little while, giving me a chance to take off my shoes and brush my teeth.

I’m really disappointed that the TPF auction was such an afterthought. It raised a few thousand dollars, but I think it could’ve done much more, had it had a good attendance.

Oh, one other weird auctioned item: someone tried to buy the shirt of Schwern’s back, which led to bidding to get him to keep it on. Eventually, this led to two sets of bidding groups: one to keep it on, one to take it off. Thanks to a $100 pay-in by brian d foy, the “take it offs” won, and I now have some scary pictures of Schwern stripping for TorgoX.

Written on July 30, 2004