PTS 2023: Lyon and changing plans (1/5)

It’s been three years since the last Perl Toolchain Summit. In 2019, I wasn’t sure whether I would go. This time, I was sure that I would. It had been too long since I saw everyone, and there were some useful discussions to be had. I think that overall the summit was a success, and I’m happy with the outcomes. We left with a few loose threads, but I’m feeling hopeful that they can, mostly, get tied up.

I’ll be posting updates over the next week or two, I suspect, because I’m not sure I can get everything down on paper right away. As I do, I’ll update this post with links into those. In the meantime, here is a brief overview of the event, my agenda, and what happened.

This was the third Perl Toolchain Summit held in Lyon. I was there for the first, but missed the second. The event hotel was right across from the train station and we did our work in meeting rooms in the hotel. The venue was great, and I have no complaints.

Lyon skyline

I arrived the day before the conference, like most attendees, and my first order of business was getting a shower. No, wait, it was getting a beer, then a shower. In the evening, we went to dinner at a place that served tartines. I was surprised, when we went in, that I remembered it. We’d eaten there once before. I suspect I may have had exactly the same seat as last time. Different food, though. Last time, I had something with soft cheese, honey, and walnuts. This time, sardines and capers. It was good!

I didn’t really spend much time out in the city. I wrote code and talked to my fellow summit attendees. Once the event was over, I was right off to Germany for a few days visting family. While it would’ve been nice to look around Lyon more, I have no regrets. My family visit was great.

What I planned to do: Making PAUSE Portable

My big goal on this trip was to make it possible to reinstall PAUSE from scratch for use in production. I told Robert Spier, who provides hosting for PAUSE, that I planned to produce a setup program to do things. He said, “That’s a start, by why not make it Docker or something?” I said, “Mostly because I don’t know Docker very well yet.”

It turns out that I didn’t need to worry. Kenichi had gotten a test version of PAUSE working with docker compose just a bit before the event, and we used that as a starting point. I did a very small amount of rejiggering to help me test and configure it, much of which was about tweaks to the email code. The real work on this front was done by Matthew Horsfall, who took the existing test configuration and parameterized it to work for testing a production environment.

The work isn’t quite done, but I think that the main next steps are going to be related to the actual data transfer, setup, and cutover to a new PAUSE environment. I’m excited for this for a number of reasons, mostly related to the testability, reliability, and maintainability of PAUSE — all of which are related, of course.

Things I actually did at the summit

More posts will come here for a bit before I have finished…

Thanks to our sponsors and organizers

The Perl Toolchain Summit is one of the most important events in the year for Perl. It’s how we make progress on a lot of our key software, either by finding time to code together or by getting into one place to make tough decisions. Doing that means having a place to go and a means to get people there. Our sponsors and organizers make that possible. Our sponsors provide much-needed money to the organizers, and the organizers turn that money into concrete things like “meeting rooms” and “plane tickets”.

I offer my sincere thanks to our organizers: Laurent Boivin and Philippe Bruhat; and to our sponsors:, Deriv, Grant Street Group, Fastmail, cPanel, Perl Careers, MaxMind, Fastly Inc., Perl Maven, OpenCage, Perl Services, Oetiker+Partner, and Procura.

Written on May 4, 2023
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