Another early start of course, and I could definitely see a dilemma in the eyes of some attendees. On one hand the previous night’s conference dinner and the subsequent late night drinking session was encouraging them to stay in bed and miss the first couple of talks. But on the other hand, the first talk in the morning was Tatsuhiko Miyagawa talking about Plagger. I’ve raved about Plagger here before, but for those who don’t know, it’s a fully modular system for dealing with web feeds. I’ve used it for building “planet” sites, but there is so much more that it can do. Looking around the room I could see that the buzz around Plagger had overcome many people’s hangovers and the room was pretty full.
After a short break, Thomas Klausner talked about CPANTS (the CPAN Testing Service) which is an automated system that monitors the quality (or, more accurately, the “kwalitee”) of modules on the CPAN. He was followed by Rúben Fonseca talking about using Ajax from Perl. This talk had an interesting presentation technique - Rúben had created screencasts of himself writing sample programs and played them back at double speed. At least one person was fooled into asking how he could type so fast.
Another break was followed by Aaron Crane addressing one of Perl’s little foibles. The fact that there is no barrier to putting modules on the CPAN means that we often get many modules that do very similar things. Aaron demonstrated this by giving an overview of 31(!) modules he found on the CPAN for parsing command line options. His conclusion was that most of them are pretty pointless and that you’re usually better off using GetOpt::Long (which is part of the standard Perl distribution). The morning finished with two less technical talks. Smylers talked about the problems of interviewing Perl programmers and Karen Pauley taught us to be more careful about what we say by pointing out how a group of people can interpret the most simple of phrases in many different ways.
The final afternoon at YAPC::Europe is always a bit different. It starts off with the lightning talks. These are five minute talks that give a very brief overview of a subject area. As always they were extremely varied. The highlights for me included Miyagawa controlling Google Maps by tilting his laptop and Juerd’s attempt to define “undef”.
After the lightning talks the organisers gave some souvenirs (engraved balti dishes) to people who had been helping out over the previous days and then the YAPC::Europe foundation announced that Vienna had been chosen for next year’s conference. But that wasn’t the only big announcement. They also announced that Houston had been chosen as the venue for next year’s North American YAPC.
And then there was the auction. The auction items seem to fall into four categories. There are the books that have been donated by publishers like O’Reilly and Apress. Then there are the t-shirts. The European Perl community have made a lot of t-shirts over the last few years and the YAPC::EU auction is always a good time to pick up a few. highlights this year were a very rare “Perl Is My Pitch” t-shirt and a complete set of YAPC::EU conference t-shirts.
The third category of items are the slightly strange things that people donate or make. This year all of the speakers had signed the signs with the names of the various conference rooms. These had then been laminated and were sold. There was also a tub of “Google Goo” which apparently had Larry Wall’s fingerprints on it.
Finally there’s a tradition that there’s an auction battle to bid on an item that will in some way stitch up the organisers of the next year’s conference. Last year it was the language of this year’s opening speech and this year it was the hairstyle to be worn by the organisers of next year’s conference. After a certain amount of wheeling and dealing, the winner was orange mohicans.
With that the conference closed. And what a great conference it was. My congratulations to all of the organisers. They did a great job.
I hope to see you all in Vienna next year.