Notes from YAPC in Austin

July 1, 2013

I’m posting this much later than I started writing it. I thought I’d get back to it and fill in details, but that basically didn’t happen. So it goes.

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print-ing to UDP sockets: not so good

June 28, 2013

We’ve been rolling out more and more metrics at work using Graphite and StatsD. I am in heaven. I’m not very good at doing data analysis, but fortunately there are some very, very obvious things I can pick out from our current visualizations, and I’m finding all kinds of things to improve based on these.

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the 2013 Perl QA Hackathon in Lancaster

April 15, 2013

I got home from Lancaster, this morning. I’d been there for the sixth annual Perl QA Hackathon. As usual, it was a success and made me feel pretty productive. Here’s an account of most of the things I did:

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money into code: Perl 5 code bounties

February 25, 2013

If there’s money earmarked to be spent improving Perl 5, one seemingly obvious thing to do is to try to use it to directly to improve perl. In other words, the mission is to “turn money into code.” The most successful expression of this strategy, I think, has been in Nick and Dave’s grants. On the other hand, it’s an expression that succeeded because of very specific and felicitous circumstances. Dave and Nick were both well-established, trusted participants in perl’s development, known as experts and conscientious workers. They were given, by and large, free rein to pick the topics on which they would work. The foundation trusted them to pick things of value, though with a means for TPF to call shenanigans if needed. That trust has been well-placed, in my opinion.

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spending somebody else's money… for Perl!

February 18, 2013

Over the past few years, the Perl Foundation received a bunch of nice big donations to be used for Perl 5. Some of this money has been used to pay for work by Dave Mitchell and Nicholas Clark to work on difficult problems in the Perl 5 core. This has, in my opinion, been money well spent. Dave and Nick know the Perl core very well, and they’ve worked seemingly tirelessly to make progress where progress is not easy, and to fix things that nobody else wanted to touch.

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The Great Infocom Replay: Deadline

February 16, 2013

Last weekend, I went to Las Vegas for a one-day trip to attend a party in honor of my father’s many years coaching rugby. It was a great event, but the travel was, as usual, not a big bowl of cherries. I decided to make the most of it, though, and play Deadline on the plane.

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The Great Infocom Replay: Zork Ⅱ

February 3, 2013

In my memory, before I “came back” to adventure games in the mid-nineties, Zork Ⅰ was an important classic and Zork Ⅲ was the serious, thoughtful capstone to the trilogy. Zork Ⅱ was, in my mind, an afterthought. It was something I had to get through before I could get to the trilogy’s endgame.

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