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The Perl Conference Newsletter: 04/26/2018

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In This Issue:

I am pleased to announce that Ricardo Signes' recent grant application to cover the cost of his travel to the QA Hackathon has been successful. I would like to thank everyone who provided feedback on this grant.

This grant was awarded from our Perl 5 Core Maintenance Fund. If you would like to contribute to this fund please use our donation system or contact karen [a]

The QA Hackathon is a free of charge coding workshop for people involved in Quality Assurance, testing, packaging, CPAN, and other quality assurance projects. It is taking place in Rugby, UK, from the 21st to the 24th April.

YAPC::NA::2015 Hackathons Announced

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The Perl Foundation is excited to announce three hackathons that will be running sequentially with YAPC::NA 2015 in Salt Lake City this June. These events include a Perl 6 hackathon with Perl creator Larry Wall to be held on June 11th.

The cost to attend these three hackathons is included in all YAPC::NA 2015 passes, but we do encourage you to RSVP online so we know how many to expect. Putting on these events is not cheap! Along with being able to attend each hackathon, we will also be providing rooms, wi-fi, and snacks throughout the day. So we would appreciate your help! To help cover these costs, we have a suggested donation of $50 per day, which you can make during your online registration.

Each hackathon listed will run from 9:00 am until 6:00 pm. We will provide snacks and drinks, but you will be on your own for lunch.

This year's hackathons will be:

Sunday, June 7th 2015: Pull request hackathon

Come join your fellow Perl developers for a day of bug squashing and developing as you participate in the 2015 CPAN Pull Request Challenge. Or, bring your own pet project and just enjoy a day of hacking amongst your like-minded peers.

Thursday, June 11th 2015: Perl 6 hackathon with Larry Wall

Come spend an entire day working on the next generation of Perl. There's no better way to learn it than to do it! Perl creator, Larry Wall will be on hand throughout the day.

Friday, June 12th 2015: Hardware hackathon

Get up to your armpits in Arduino! Bring your own toys or come check out some of ours. It's time to get creative and see what you can make.

We look forward to seeing you! Please take a moment to register on the YAPC site:

Act Voyager ---- long story

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Happy New Year from outer space...

since the last report a lot has happened on our journey with Act-Voyager... So, let me try to write down the episode of this saga...

In the months leading to the Act-hackathon there where two things being worked on...

Firstly, there is now a 'Act-out-of-the-Box' that makes it super easy to start hacking on Act (current version). With three simple commands, any developer can be up and running and start writing their own bits.

    curl -Os
    vagrant up
    vagrant ssh

And then, point your favourite browser to: http://localhost:8080/voyager to see a very bare Act-instance.

What it will need to work, is of course VirtualBox and Vagrant. It will download a Vagrant base image from my company server, which is preconfigured with Apache, mod_perl, PostgreSQL and the dependencies of Act. Thanks to many contributions of others it is workable and is something that needs updates as the Act-Voyager moves on... one of them, is including DBIx::Class as a core dependency in the Act-out-of-the-Box base image.

And secondly, I started working (and finished) the DBIx::Class Schema for Act. During the London Perl Workshop, I spend quite some time with 'SysPete' who gave a lot of advice on what to do with the DBIx::Class Schema for Act. There is soo much possible and nice to do with DBIx::Class, but for Act-Voyager it was advised to just stick to what was needed... a nice sugar-coated schema (using DBIx::Class::Candy) and documented attributes to explain what the purpose of each is. DBIx::Class::Schema::Loader does do POD in a excessive technical manner. Ribasushi had to convince me that it was better to remove verbose defaults, which enhance readability for experienced users.

The schema has already been proven to be usable in some branches of the Act Voyager project...

Which brings me to the star-map of the Act-Voyager project... "a Journey through the Universe" where we explore new galaxies and make small adjustments to the plans as we go... with one goal, a Next Generation Act, extensible and fun to hack on.

The original plan needed some adjustments... and it will need more whilst traveling along the stars. I am very fortunate to have a Grant-Manager that understands that development of the Next Generation Act is a project that needs flexibility. She does agree on the new plan below, which already had some adjustments since the Hackathon in Lyon.

  1. Orientation and fundamentals ( 1.000 USD ) FINISHED, needs continuos updates
    • Make Act 'hackable; with "Act-out-of-the-Box"
    • DBIx::Class schema
  2. Port Core Act to DBIx::Class schema ( 1.000 USD )
    • Make Act::Object sub-classes into proxies for DBIx::Class::Result classes
    • They have the same attributes and methods as the original ones
    • Retaining the tests that currently exists
  3. Dancer2 implementation ( 1.500 USD )
    • move mod_perl handlers to Dancer2 routes
    • have Dancer2 routes fill in the original template
  4. RESTapi ( 1.000 USD )
    • define all useful resources
    • write the POST, GET, PUT and DELETE methods (and more)
    • test, test and test
    • write documentation
  5. Theme Based Templates ( 1.500 USD )
    • Find a proper frontend framework (Foundation)
    • Define Layouts
    • Define Pages
    • Redo the entire ACT with new templates and themes
    • Decide which SASS variable will be editable
    • Run several default Themes and Colorschemes
    • Write a admin/theme-selector

The next two milestones, porting Core Act and building a Dancer2 implementation, are the steps that will ensure that all the old conferences (and the current) can be viewed and visited by bots once the Jurassic Apache and mod_perl implementation are shut down. For these legacy instances it will be sufficient that the pages can be rendered and no changes in the schedule or attendees have to be made. Therefore not all the handlers need to be moved to Dancer2. These routes gather information from the database and are used to fill the variables for TemplateToolkit. Those templates do not need to be changed and thus we can keep the websites backward compatible. Using Act::Legacy::Objects as proxies to the DBIx::Class::Schema for Act gives the flexibility to change the underlying database structure, without breaking the code that handles the original Act::Objects.

And somewhere along the line, there should come a tool that can read the 175 .INI files, the httpd.conf and possibly write them back as well. Those files contain valuable information not stored in the database, but are actually the 'root' objects for DBIx::Class::Schema. Most objects are related to an instance of a conference, but since there are no Conference tables yet, there can not be any relationships to select talks given during a specific conference, or list all attendees.

And then, of course we had a wonderful hackathon, full of action, fun and drama and produced some really cool prototypes that actually might work "in production". Unfortunately BooK and I had not fully prepared the hackathon, and there was no real clear path of direction. For a moment I even was worried about the crew members of the Act-Voyager. But you can't expect things to go very smooth when there are such great minds together that have their own backgrounds, their own experiences ... and yet have to get to the point that they were honourable people that were willing to work on Act, despite the differences.

There were made several patches to Act, Act-out-of-the-Box, done some design at the RESTapi side and some great ideas about how to move forward. Enough 'materials' to work with for the next couple of weeks and get to the next galaxy-stop, the Port of Act Core to DBIx::Schema.

Many thanks for all that support for this project, those who support this financially, but also those crew-members I consider my friends. People that encourage me to continue this exploration and voyage, that will lead us to a Next Generation Act! Thanks for all that came to Lyon (where my MacBook was stolen from the hotel room - and thanks for the generous help to buy a new one while waiting for the insurance). Special thanks for BooK who helped clearing the mess after the mutiny on the command-deck - and Liz who made sure I kept my head focused on this community project.

it's going to be a very exciting Act 2015!

Theo van Hoesel

The Frozen Perl 2010 workshop is scheduled for Saturday, February 6th at the University of Minnesota's McNamara Alumni Center in Minneapolis, MN. The organizers just put out their call for speakers a day or so ago.

If you have no fear of freezing temperatures[1] and want to attend or speak at a great Perl workshop, check it out.

Also, the are still looking for sponsors if you'd like to help out.

[1] Freezing temperatures optional since the closest hotel connects underground to the venue

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 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

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

The first European Perl Hackathon has successfully concluded. They ended up with 16 registered attendees from 6 different countries. Read on for more details.

The total cost to The Perl Foundation was 468.71 euros, and you can read about what they got done on the successes page. Work was done on Parrot, Perl, Act, CPAN6, and a few other things.

You can find some additional info here:

Thanks to Ann Barcomb for all her work in organizing the event and to all participants!

About TPF

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

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