April 2007 Archives

It's a new year and time for the White Camel process to begin. The White Camel awards are given each year at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention by The Perl Foundation for community-oriented, rather than technical, contributions to Perl. The list of previous winners goes back to 1999.

The nomination process is open to the public, and we welcome your involvement. If there's someone who's served to make Perl better, but not through technical achievements, please let us know at whitecamel- [email protected]. Nominations must be received by midnight on May 31st, 2007.

Running Perl on your Apple TV

Hackszine.com has an article about how to run Perl programs on your Apple TV, so that you can have little menu options to look up the weather and whatnot.

James Keenan writes:

Toronto Perl Mongers are pleased to announce Hackathon Toronto, a one- day, almost-spur-of-the-moment hackathon, to be held Saturday, April 28, 2007.

A hackathon is a gathering of free and open source software developers reflecting the joy of collective hacking. Building on the tradition of previous Perl hackathons in Toronto, Chicago and elsewhere, Hackathon Toronto will encourage people to come together for face-to-face work on Perl 5, Perl 6, CPAN modules, Parrot, Pugs and ... you name it!

A hackathon wiki has been established at http://rakudo.org/hackathon- toronto. Go there to learn details as to participation, location, transportation, projects, logistics, etc. As we get closer to the hackathon date, log on to #hackathon on irc.perl.org.

If you can be in Toronto on Saturday, April 28, we hope to see you there.

Perl Events, Great and Small

There are so many Perl events around the world now that I thought I'd take a shot at categorizing how they all relate to one another. I thought this might help people thinking about attending something for the first time, people thinking about presenting something and also people thinking about organizing an event.

For people thinking about becoming more involved in the Perl community, this presents a sort of ladder of involvement. You can start small at a Perl Mongers meeting with almost no cost to yourself in dollars or time. If you like what you see, there are several more steps you can take before you ante up and fly to someplace like Vienna or Houston for the full YAPC experience.

There are a ton of brilliant people out there using Perl and I'll bet nearly all of them have something interesting to say about how they use Perl. But presenting is a skill and it can be tough to learn because you need to stand in front of people while you are learning. That's a very public learning curve and you can't write automated tests for it. Public speaking can be really hard, that's why there are organizations like Toastmasters and Dale Carnegie.

But Perl has an organizational structure to help you too. You can start by giving a small presentation at your local Perl Mongers group to people you probably know. As you work out the kinks, work up to a Workshop, then maybe a YAPC. In a few years you could find yourself traveling to other PM groups or presenting at OSCON.

There is also heavy demand for the prominent speakers in the Perl community. This strucure helps the community because it nurtures new people as they work on their presentation skills, especially when they already have the technical knowledge. You never know who could be the next Randal, brian, MJD, or Damian, but they might come from your PM group. OK, there won't be another Damian, but you get the idea.

And we always need organizers too. You say everything has been done in the Perl community and you don't know how to help out? Besides, you're not sure your Perl-foo is good enough to send in a patch for the DBI module? Well, there is no better way to support the Perl community than to host an event that brings together people who do want to do those things.

Hosting these events is just as time-consuming and important as putting things on CPAN. And as with speaking, there is a nice way to work your way up the ladder. I'm sure hosting YAPC would be a lot less intimidating if you already had a hackathon or workshop under your belt.

Read on for the types of Perl events out there and let me know if you have any additional input. In the future, I'd also like to add some details on how and when groups like TPF and YEF get involved in these events.

From Jesse Vincent and Leon Brocard:

We're pleased to announce that we've selected Phil Crow as the recipient of the second Perl 6 microgrant. Phil is the hacker behind the Java::Swing module that allows Perl programmers to put a Java Swing GUI on their application without writing any Java and he'll be using this knowledge to convert Java declarations to Perl 6. You can find details of the project he's planning in the text of his grant application:

Tim Bunce has suggested that it would be nice to have a general purpose declaration translator from Java to Perl. In particular, he is interested in leveraging this tool to create a JDBC API for Perl 6 from the Java JDBC classes and interfaces. The result would then provide a strong foundation for the Perl 6 DBI.

I propose to write that translator. It would have two pieces:

  • One would use the Java deparser (part of its standard development kit) to turn Java classes or interfaces into an internal structure
  • The other half would turn that structure into valid Perl 6. Note that it would only translate class, interface, and method declarations, not code.
Success for this project will be a working translator that generates method declarations in Perl 6 from compiled Java .class files. While all cases might not be covered, at least the final product should not die when faced with the unexpected. The generated files will be tested using the then current version of Pugs.

This project is new and has only recently been discussed in response to the call for proposals. I'm sure I will have questions to direct to various Perl 6 mailing lists as the project progresses.

Phil will be blogging about his grant progress in in his use.perl journal.

This microgrant is supported by additional sponsorship from Tim Bunce / DBI.

Please join us in wishing him the best of luck with his project. We're really looking forward to seeing the results of this work.If you're interested in submitting a Perl 6 microgrant proposal, you can find details here.

Planet YAPC


With so many Perl events going on around the world, I often wish I could take a quick peek to see what's going on at each one. I watch the conference sites and wikis when I can and I watch use.perl, but not everyone posts info there.

I think what I really want is a planet yapc aggregator like planet perl that could pull in blogs tagged with pre-arranged tags. For example, everyone blogging YAPC::NA would use yapcna2007, etc. We could include workshops, hackathons, etc. It seems there would still some maintenance involved to add blog sites to watch and add new conferences as they come along.

Anyone else think this is a good idea? Any volunteers interested in setting up a prototype?

YAPC::Europe::2008 Call for Venue

Just announced (see below). Note that based on our schedule, the call for venue for YAPC::NA will be coming soon as well.

With preparations for YAPC::Europe::2007 well underway in Vienna, it is time for the YAPC::Europe Venue Committee to consider suitable hosts for the 2008 conference. Any dedicated group interested in hosting YAPC::Europe::2008 should send a brief statement of intent to [email protected]. A full and complete application should then be sent to the same address prior to the deadline for applications, which is June 30, 2007.

For more information about the requirements for hosting a conference, you may want to refer to the YAPC organisers documentation (administered by TPF) or look at the examples of previous European conferences.

Please direct any questions to [email protected], and a member of the committee will endeavour to respond as soon as possible. The public announcement of the location for the 2008 conference will be announced during the 2007 conference in Vienna.

YAPC::NA Registration Open with Act

1 Comment

In case you haven't seen it elsewhere, registration for YAPC::NA is now open. One really cool part about this is that it takes the Act!-hosted conference site to the next point of integration, which is accepting payments through the Perl Foundation's payment site.

This fulfills a large part of my call last year for a conference system. I mentioned that Act was a start, but it wasn't open-source and it didn't integrate with the TPF payment system. Both of these have been resolved and we're off and running. Many thanks to Liz Cortell and Eric Cholet for getting this up and running!

And, now that Act is open and available, that means you can help too! If you don't like something about the Act system, contact the Act developers and offer to help. You can fix anything you find broken or add features. Not sure what to do? Check out the unofficial TODO list in the svn repository. Act development has been very active, including some work at the Euro hackathon, so watch for new features.

Finally, the best part about sharing the hosted Act site is you don't have to re-enter your personal info for each Perl event. It will save user data and make your account available for all Act-hosted events you attend.

New Grant Awards

The Perl Foundation is pleased to announce two new grant awards. The first is adding new policies to Perl::Critic. The second is improving the Smolder project.

Note that the second project involves the TAP::Parser module (which was known as TAPx::Parser at the time the grant application was submitted). This was a project I started, currently maintained on the CPAN by Andy Armstrong (I'm still involved, as are others). This is slated to be the replacement for Test::Harness. Because we're seeing more grant applications involving this module, I have decided that I will abstain from all future votes for applications which specifically require adding TAP::Parser support (if it's peripheral to the project, that's OK). Approving money for people integrating a project that I started doesn't pass my personal "smell test". This does mean that it's possible we'll have worthwhile projects which come up one vote short, but in this case, Smolder was unanimously approved by everyone else.

Mango Grant Update

Here are the latest update from the Mango grant.

As a side note, we're working on a new process for getting grant information out even faster than we currently do (you might recall that we used to have none). If everyone signs off, this information should be much more timely.

About TPF

The Perl Foundation - supporting the Perl community since 2000. Find out more at www.perlfoundation.org.

About this Archive

This page is an archive of entries from April 2007 listed from newest to oldest.

March 2007 is the previous archive.

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