I’m waiting for the evening Perl talks to start, especially Larry Wall’s State of the Onion. This afternoon I alternated between mostly technical and mostly entertaining talks, though they were all a mix of the two.
I started with Sam Ruby‘s talk about what to expect in Ruby 1.9. It was a lot of details of his experiences testing existing Ruby modules with the new developers’ release. There are some small syntactic clean-ups in the language that break a lot of modules. Most of the fixes are easy, but the module maintainers aren’t always responsive to applying them. That’s a bit worrying about the way the Ruby language is being handled.
I then went over to Robert Lefkowitz’s talk on open source as a liberal art. It’s not really something I can put in a nutshell, but it was broad-ranging, thought-provoking, and fun.
After the snack break I learned about the new options for pluggable storage engines for MySql 5.1 from Peter Zaitsev. He literally wrote the book on high performance MySql, so he really knows his stuff. I learned a lot, but also ended up with more questions than I started (because I now know enough to ask them).
I then went to the second half of Perl Lightning Talks. I always love these five minute presentations. I saw two astounding talks in a row using the new Parrot compiler tools. The first one defined a brand new language and created a compiler for it. The second one build an Apache module to run that language persistently. Each talk completed the entire task and demonstrated the result in their five minute allotment.
Now I’m at the State of the Onion talk, and learning what Larry thinks about Perl 6. He’s breaking his tradition by actually giving a technical talk about Perl, but he can’t help but be interesting.