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Perl@FOSDEM: a big thank you! February 4, 2014

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FOSDEM

Just a short post with a huge “thank you” to everyone that made the Perl presence (dev-room + booth) at FOSDEM 2014 a success: the speakers, the video and booth responsibles, the volunteers that decided on the spot to help us man the booth or helped us to set it up/break it down (this was a heavy job: we had the biggest collection of Perl books *in* *the* *whole* *world* and a huge camel with us…) and of course everyone who attended the talks or talked to us at the booth.

And last and not least, the people from FOSDEM itself. Organizing and running an event of such size and importance is a herculean task. And yet, every year 5000 FOSS people leave with a smile on their face and full batteries to continue our work advancing FOSS.

Thank you,

Claudio and Wendy, the Perl@Fosdem organizers.

Perl at FOSDEM 2014: dev-room and stand January 21, 2014

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Also this year will Perl be present at FOSDEM, certainly one of the nicest and biggest (+5000 hackers) Free and Open Source conferences in Europe. Also this year, we’re very enthousiatic about the lineup. Let’s have a look:

Event Speakers Start End

Saturday

Welcome to the Perl devroom Claudio Ramirez, Wendy Van Dijk 11:00 11:15
Convos, a modern IRC client for your browser - A fullly HTML5 async Node.js-like application in Perl Marcus Ramberg 11:15 11:55
Asynchronous programming: Futures Paul ‘LeoNerd’ Evans 12:00 12:40
Perl Community Essentials - How to get the most out of the Perl community? Salve J Nilsen 12:45 13:25
Writing novels using Perl Juan Julián Merelo 13:30 14:10
A/B testing: what your mother never told you Curtis ‘Ovid’ Poe 14:15 14:55
Perl and the Web – A Love Story Sawyer X 15:00 15:40
Perl 5 and Unicode - A Thorough Introduction David Lowe 15:45 16:25
Nearly Everything you do is Optimization - Stop. — Really, Stop Matthew ‘diakopter’ Wilson 16:30 16:50
Stop Building Bridges to Nowhere: Build Bridges to MoarVM instead Matthew ‘diakopter’ Wilson 16:50 17:10
Net::LDAP - Basic concepts of LDAP, the Net::LDAP module and some real life examples Clément Oudot 17:15 17:55
Perl 6: what can you do today? - State of the Butterfly Jonathan Worthington 18:00 19:00

Video recording responsible: Theo van Hoesel

Please remember to also visit us at out Perl Stand, K.level2.13 (same building!, see https://fosdem.org/2014/stands/ ). The stand will be open non-stop during the conference, Saturday *and* Sunday. Please consider dropping by to help at the start and end of both days for helping setting it up/secure it for the night/dismantle our Stand. Also during the conference your help is welcome (so people can take breaks, etc).

We also plan going to dinner together. Keep an eye on this Perl-Fosdem specific twitter account: @PerlFosdem. (If you don’t use twitter you can always read the announcements here: https://twitter.com/PerlFosdem ).

See you soon!

Call For Speakers/volunteers: Perl devroom (2014 February, 1st), FOSDEM, Brussels, Belgium January 6, 2014

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FOSDEMIt’s almost time for FOSDEM (February 1st & 2nd), and like every year we need to make sure that the Perl community is manifestly present. We applied and got both a stand and a dev-room. Yes!

So what do we need to make this year a success and how can *you* be part of it?

  1. We need talk proposals for our dev-room (Saturday 1st February, 11-19h). We really do. This is *our* room, it’s not only a meeting place for our community, but also how we show ourselves to the free and open source world. Please send you proposals *as soon as possible*. We’re flexible about the format and time. If you can not make it, hassle your Perl contacts to send a proposal. It’s has been an interesting year in the Perl world, so why not make it know? SEND YOU PROPOSALS NOW! We don’t have a lot of time left (the FOSDEM people need to print the booklets), so don’t make me use blinking text! (I remember the tag).
  2. We need a video volunteer. This year the nice people at FOSDEM want to record all the talks. This is great for our outreach and breaking out of the dreaded echo chamber. What will the volunteer need to do? Make sure things get set up and recorded. Video material and specific instructions will be provided, so technical video knowledge is not needed. More info here: https://lists.fosdem.org/pipermail/video/2014-January/000078.html
  3. We need stand volunteers (so everyone can take enough breaks, visit talks and eat/drink). The Perl booth will be present on Saturday and Sunday 1st-2nd February). What need you need to do? Help to set it up / break it up and, most importantly, share your enthusiasm about Perl by talking to people. I know that this may sound scary, but it’s actually *really* a lot of fun. Give it a go. Also, you can always drop by and help out. Always welcome.
  4. We also appreciate promotional materials of your company or organisation for this event. Brochures, flyers, pens, buttons, stickers, little toy animals, etc, etc: it is welcome. The more interesting stuff is gone *very* quickly. Please let us know that you want to send us your promotional materials and we will let you know the address to send it to.
  5. And finally and rather obvious, visit our dev-room and stand: don’t be a stranger :).

Please send your proposals and/or your volunteer timeslots to us:
Claudio Ramirez (El_Che, nxadm, email: padre.claudio at apt-get.be) and Wendy van Dijk (email: nl.pm at wendy.org).

Please get in touch and see you at FOSDEM!

PS: Forward/twitter/facebook/g+ this link as wide as possible:
URL: http://nxadm.wordpress.com/2014/01/06/call-for-speakersvolunteers-perl-devroom-2014-february-1st-fosdem-brussels-belgium
Short link: http://wp.me/p69IC-j7

Perl@FOSDEM2013: we will be there January 28, 2013

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FOSDEMWe did it. A dev-room was cancelled by an other programming language community at FOSDEM. So why not help out and fill the void? A full program for a Perl dev-room  with a deadline of two days. The schedule will appear shortly on the FOSDEM website (Perl dev-room) once they refresh the data.  When the schedule will be online you’ll discover how cool it is…

Thanks for everyone on the community making this possible!

Also, have a look at Wendy’s post about the dev-room.

Perl@FOSDEM2013: A very late Call for Papers January 25, 2013

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FOSDEM

Dear Perl Mongers and friend,

PLEASE FORWARD THIS TO YOUR PERL CONTACTS  (excuses for the yelling :) )

We have to make this short and simple. Therefore most of this email is copied from last year’s Call for Speakers.

What?
Perl Dev-room, Saturday 2 February 2013, 11-19h.
Perl booth, Saturday and Sunday 2-3 February 2013, 11-19h.
FOSDEM, Brussels, 2 & 3 February 2013 https://fosdem.org/2013/

Where?
Free University Brussels, Campus Solbosh: https://fosdem.org/2013/practical/transportation/

Why so late?
Because our dev-room request was denied at first. They gave it to another programming language community, so we ended with only a booth. Now, the other community had to cancel their participation. We are Perl, so we jumped in and we asked for this. We got it.  Now we have to fill it.
So be quick and send in your presentation proposal.

Send proposal to who?
Both Claudio Ramirez (nxadm, email: padre.claudio at apt-get.be) and Wendy van Dijk (email: nl.pm at wendy.org).

Perl booth and dev-room information (most is from last year’s Call for papers):

The stand request is approved some time ago.  The stand will be open throughout the weekend. The dev-room event will take place Saturday, February 2nd 2013 , between 11:00 and 19:00, in room AW.126. The room itself has 75 seats, WIFI and a VGA projector.

This environment, being a university classroom with raised seats, lends itself perfectly for talks. This is a wonderful opportunity to present your Perl project ­big and small­ or talk about subjects you care about. We are looking for a variety of subjects on all levels: starter and advanced, generic and specialized, core internals and CPAN. We have 8 hours time, so we have the flexibility of using different time formats: e.g. talks of 20 minutes, more classic talks of 40 minutes or longer (although we learned from experience that longer talks should be split into slices of 20 or 40 minutes).

Please don’t doubt to send a proposal (information about yourself, subject, short description and time needed). If you have several subjects you are enthusiastic to talk about please send alternative proposals. In the case more than one talk is not selected, your proposal will help us when putting the schedule together and even have backup talks in case someone cancels. Also mention your time constraints (if any).

Please send your talk proposal by e-mail to the address below as soon as you read this.  You will receive an answer within 2 days. We will submit a definitive schedule on Sunday 2013-01-27 to the FOSDEM organizers.

Please forward / distribute this call as wide as possible (certainly to your local mongers).

Thank you.  Hope to meet you all in Brussels.

NB1: This is a community event without sponsoring. We don’t have the means to pay for your trip and time. If you want to sponsor part of the event, please feel free to contact us.

NB2: We’ll also appreciate volunteers, booth and dev-room. Please tell us your availabilities so we can also prepare a planning for this.

YAPC::EU 2012 August 24, 2012

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While waiting on my train to Belgium, I profit from this distraction-free time (read: no Internet) to reflect on the last days at Frankfurt. But first things first: I would like to thank mdk and the Enlightened Perl Organisation for making the attending of my first YAPC possible though the Send-A-Newbie initiative. It was a wonderful experience.

Hammering Man, Frankfort

Getting to Frankfort wasn’t as easy as expected. A three hours direct trip from Brussels became a 7 hour one including six trains (including local ones), several changes and stops in the middle of nowhere because of a yet again a broken train. Being packed like sardines in the corridor of a non air-conditioned carriage for 1h30 when the temperature outside was close to 40 °C (who knows how hot it was inside): not nice. Add to that getting almost no information what so ever. Anyway, a long cold shower, a change of clothes, a walk in Frankfurt and dinner with the Belgian mongers Serge (president of Brussels.pm) and ecocode (Brussels.pm && Flanders.pm) put me back in the YAPC mood in no time. The hotel were I stayed was a half an hour walk from the venue and although there was public transportation, I preferred to walk to and from the conference: what better way to enjoy a city?

Walking to YAPC

The arrival at my first YAPC was a little schizophrenic. It was impressive to see the wide array of people of the Perl community. Different languages, accents, backgrounds… you name it. At the same time, it was fantastic to meet Perl people I already met in the past (e.g. by organising the FOSDEM Perl dev-room) and being able to link faces to irc nicks (e.g. sewi from Padre). I picked up a lot of things I can use at work, and through the presentations I got curious enough to try new things (e.g. Dancer). Also talks outside the rooms made me curious (e.g. Mojolicious). For the record: I am not a web-dev guy.

Larry Wall

Even if you weren’t there, you can probably get from the lines above that YAPC is at the same a technical and a community event. There were way too many great talks to name them all, so I’ll limit myself to the talks that left a background job running in my head. Probably in chronological order, first there was markov’s lightning talk about the “Perl Reunification summit” (summaries here and here) that was held this weekend in the town of Perl (a real town). Liz and Wendy (which I know from Flanders.pm) gathered important people from the Perl 5 and 6 community and got them… talking. If they can fulfil their plans (they are ambitious) it would be completely amazing. Time will tell. Read the summaries linked above.

markov’s talk about the Perl reunification summit

The second talk that rang a bell was Stevan Little’s talk about the new MOP (Meta Object Protocol) in Perl 5. I can not stress on how cool and important this is: Perl 5 is going strong. While a technical talk, Stevan’s talk had a strong –although implicit – community aspect. This is a huge change to the core Perl and introducing the MOP and the related syntax requires the collective effort (in code and advice) of different part of the community, including Moose and yes, Perl 6. Salve from Oslo.pm announced they are organising and sponsoring a Moose hacklaton in a few weeks. Oh, and stevan mentioned en-passant how real exceptions will look like. That would remove 2 out of 3 of the my “weakest points in Perl” list. Incredible.

stevan’s talk “A MOP for Perl”

Salve’s talk about Mongers communities

I was positively surprised by Mst’s “State of the Velociraptor [Perl 5]” as it echoes my personal stand of Perl in the wider FOSS world. First, Perl 5 trolling is so passé. Second, we should be positive about the FOSS “competition”: “Let a hundred flowers blossom” as they used to say in China :). He illustrated this by a very recognisable example from IRC when people ask (e.g. #python and #perl) what language to learn. His advise is “learn both and pick the one you like most, they are both great languages” (quoting from memory). I applaud this positive attitude of the community of the last years. It shows that we’re no longer in the defensive. In my experience this is something people appreciate.

mst’s “State of the Velociraptor”

To conclude, mdk’s last lightning talk didn’t get stuck it my head through the technical or the community aspect, but -damn it!- through the the rhythm and the melody. Like the next speaker said: “try to be the next speaker after that” :).

I don’t like Perl!

The last day I had a nice dinner with two Perl Mongers from Barcelona: Diego and Enrique. I met Diego at FOSDEM and Enrique is a co-Padre-hacker. We had a very nice and long talk on a beautiful –and luckily less hot– evening. A perfect end for my first YAPC.

But let me end by thanking the people in the yellow t-shirts, the organizers. They did a fantastic job in difficult circumstances (did I mention how hot it was? :) ). Thank you Frankfurt.pm and friends!

A big applause for the organizers!

You’ll find more (and bigger) photo’s on my flickr page.

Review: Programming Perl (4th ed) by Tom Christiansen, brian d foy, Larry Wall, Jon Orwant (O’Reilly Media) August 10, 2012

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Image

If you already program in Perl you know that “Programming Perl” is the de facto reference of the language. I haven’t met Perl Mongers citing randomly from it, but we are not that far from it :). If you’re new to Perl, well now you know what you will be reading soon.

 This brings us to the targeted public of this book and that’s a tricky question. In my opinion, if you’re new to Perl –or new to programming– you are better served by “Learning Perl” (or a similar book). On the other hand, if you are an experienced programmer you’ll learn Perl from “Programming Perl” with a deep understanding of the language as a bonus. But 1184 pages may be a little too much to get your feet wet.

Don’t return the book to Amazon yet if you take the tutorial-road: your copy will serve you well for years to come as reference for the less obvious aspects of the language (and let’s be honest, there are several). So, this book is not a tutorial book. It’s neither, unlike what I just wrote, a pure reference book. The book is very well written, with just enough humour (also: as not “too much”) to make the 1184 pages digestible to get a deeper insight of the language, something that can not be said of many reference books that are written in a “phone book” style.

The previous versions dates from the year 2000 and covers ancient perls preceding the Perl revival and modernisation we’re enjoying today. Well, if this book is so important for the language –the codification of the language as it were– and well written to be enjoyable, the authors should be lucky to not face trial for the Perl riots while waiting for the update of the book. More seriously, the update was indeed urgently needed and kudos to the authors: writing this kind of book (content and reputation) is hard. It helps that Larry, the creator of Perl, is part of the team. A great read.

“Programming Perl, 4th Edition” by Tom Christiansen, brian d foy, Larry Wall, Jon Orwant
O’Reilly Media, February 2012, 1184 pages
Print ISBN: 978-0-596-00492-7, ISBN 10: 0-596-00492-3
Ebook ISBN: 978-1-4493-9890-3, ISBN 10: 1-4493-9890-1
Programming Perl @amazon.co.uk

Screen Calibration on Ubuntu 12.04 with Spyder2 [workaround] May 6, 2012

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The bad news: the default colour calibration wizard on Ubuntu 12.04 has a bug: awful magenta cast on some screens. Fine on others.

The good news: it works flawlessly using the (graphical) alternative below.

As a enthusiastic photographer (see my latest Perl Fosdem pictures) I am very positive about the colour management integration in the latest Ubuntu (12.04). Sure, colour calibration was possible before, but now it’s an integral part of the system and not a simple add-on. Ubuntu++

Once the reviews are in, I will probably buy the ColorHug open source hardware calibration device. In the meantime I borrowed an old Spyder2 (express) from my father-in-law. I do not recommend buying new devices from Colorvision. The company is known to be very antagonistic to free and open source software. But, if you already have the hardware in a drawer it’s better to use it.

Once you plug in the device, the “Calibration” button will activate and the necessary packages will be installed. However, for this HOWTO it’s easier just to install the software (and its dependencies) from a shell window:

$ sudo apt-get install gnome-color-manager

(This install argyll as a dependency that does the real calibration beneath the GUI.)

This step is only applicable if you have a Spyder 2 device. As mentioned above, the company is not FOSS-friendly and doesn’t even provide technical specifications. You will need the firmware of the device from the Windows driver. If you trust me, you can get mine here [MD5: 007ac5705a3a8ed7edf01569700e6ebf]. Put it in the .local/share/color directory in your home directory (create the needed directories if not present). It was extracted from the 2.3.6 Windows driver for the Spider2 Express (the latest at the time of writing). If you want to create the file yourself, see here. In short: you’ll need the driver CD. If you don’t have it or want/need a more up-to-date version, you’ll need to install the driver and feed the generated .dll to spyd2en: spyd2en -v ./CVSpyder.dll

In the GUI (Dash -> Applications -> Color, or simply type “color” and click the icon), if you select your screen and the “Calibrate…”, the steps offered by the wizard are straight forward. Very easy. While it worked great on the computer of my better half, the generated profile on my own laptop (attached to an external screen) had a terrible magenta cast. Not of the type “your eyes will adapt to it”.

After investigating and looking closely at the profile, it was clear that the profile used a 6500K white balance, instead of the 5000K requested in the wizard (it’s called “Photography and graphics” there). Furthermore, the wizard offered 3 calibrations options: 4, 10 and 20 minutes depending on the desired accuracy. While I chose 4 minutes for testing purposes, the calibration took a long time (an hour or longer). Also, the advanced output in the calibration window (hidden by default) categorised the screen as CRT while it’s a LCD. Because of this, I don’t think the problem is tied to the specific firmware (running the latest available) of the hardware, but rather to gnome-color-manager integration with the device and maybe certain configurations. I don’t have other calibration devices available to test. Bug reported.

dispcalGUI is a OS-agnostic alternative to gnome-color-manager and in fact – just as gnome-color-manager – and GUI on top argyll. Just download the deb (the most recent deb for Ubuntu 11.10 works fine on 12.04). If you double click it, the Ubuntu Software Manager will launch and perform the installation (or just use “dpkg -i” if you are a Debianista at heart).

Now, launch the dispcalGUI application from the Dash or just open a terminal (Ctrl + Alt + t) and type:

$ dispcalgui

Select the Photography profile, your screen (if you have a multi monitor setup) and probe your device (by clicking on the “recycle” arrows) and give your profile a more recognisable name and a location. I use brand_model_calibrationDevice, e.g. Samsung_SyncMaster2443FW_Spyder2Express). Click on Calibrate and Profile and go read a book or take some pictures (it will take a lot longer than 20 minutes, probably an hour). If you wish you can skip the white point and black level, YMMV.

Now go back to the Ubuntu Color Settings as above and add the new created profile by selecting your screen, then click “Add profile”, select other and choose the path you save the monitor profile.

Your monitor is now calibrated!

Perl devroom @FOSDEM2012: photos April 27, 2012

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Finally I found the time to “develop” my Perl dev-room @ FOSDEM 2012 pictures (convert from camera RAW files to jpg). It was a very nice event. If you missed the Perl dev-room in the past year, you should really visit us in 2013. Or even better, give a talk.

In the pictures above you see Nicholas talking about Moose. He forgot his mac-VGA adaptor (ahum) so he ended up writing code on the blackboard (“the loudest syntax checker on earth”). Marc mixed some Haskell in his talk while Flavio showed some Javascript-powered Perl. Clément presented a Perl SSO solution and Erik showed us a open source accounting solution. Stefan introduced the PerlCommerce platform, while Ævar (a famous guy being the most mentioned name in Programming Perl, 4th ed!) talks about git-deploy (or rather git-undeploy :) ). Marius explained the marriage of Moose and MemCached.

As the organizer of the Perl dev-room, I had to attend to a few things during the talks. My excuses for not taking pictures of Mark’s and Guillaume’s talk (I was able to attend most of it, though). Sadly,  I didn’t had the time to photograph our fabulous Perl stand (although I have some pictures from last year): Wendy, Liz, Eric and all the other volunteers did a great job.

Thank you for a successful Perl FOSDEM presence.

The Program was as follows:

Welcome to the Perl devroom Claudio Ramirez AW1.121 09:00-09:05
Moose Primer Nicholas Perez AW1.121 09:05-09:25
Advanced Moose Techniques Nicholas Perez AW1.121 09:35-09:55
Perlude: a taste of Haskell in Perl Marc Chantreux AW1.121 10:05-10:45
Perlito Flávio Glock AW1.121 11:05-11:45
The LemonLDAP::NG Project Clément Oudot AW1.121 11:55-12:15
LedgerSMB: Open source accounting running on Perl Erik Huelsmann AW1.121 12:25-12:45
Modern PerlCommerce Stefan Hornburg AW1.121 13:25-14:05
Rapid real-world testing using git-deploy Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason AW1.121 14:15-14:35
POSIX::1003 Mark Overmeer AW1.121 15:00-15:40
The FusionInventory Project Guillaume Rousse AW1.121 15:50-16:10
Using Moose objects with Memcached Marius Olsthoorn AW1.121 16:20-16:40

Perl devroom @ FOSDEM2012 February 3, 2012

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fosdemJust a short reminder of the Perl talks at FOSDEM2012.

The Perl dev-room will be held this Sunday February 5th, from 9 to 17h on room AW1.121. We have a wide range of talks. Some talks target Perl programmers with subjects ranging from a beginner to an advanced level. Other talks don’t focus on the language itself, but rather on projects that use Perl as a building stone.

So please, drop by if you are at FOSDEM…

Room: AW1.121
Sunday 2012-02-05
Event Speaker Room When
Welcome to the Perl devroom Claudio Ramirez AW1.121 09:00-09:05
Moose Primer Nicholas Perez AW1.121 09:05-09:25
Advanced Moose Techniques Nicholas Perez AW1.121 09:35-09:55
Perlude: a taste of Haskell in Perl Marc Chantreux AW1.121 10:05-10:45
Perlito Flávio Glock AW1.121 11:05-11:45
The LemonLDAP::NG Project Clément Oudot AW1.121 11:55-12:15
LedgerSMB: Open source accounting running on Perl Erik Huelsmann AW1.121 12:25-12:45
Modern PerlCommerce Stefan Hornburg AW1.121 13:25-14:05
Rapid real-world testing using git-deploy Ævar Arnfjörð Bjarmason AW1.121 14:15-14:35
POSIX::1003 Mark Overmeer AW1.121 15:00-15:40
The FusionInventory Project Guillaume Rousse AW1.121 15:50-16:10
Using Moose objects with Memcached Marius Olsthoorn AW1.121 16:20-16:40
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