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Report on the Tel Aviv Perl Mongers Meeting [Jan. 2nd, 2011|09:05 pm]
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This is a report on the latest Tel Aviv Perl Mongers meeting. During that day, I woke up relatively early (07:00 or so as far as I can recall), and did not go to bed before night time so I was a little tired later on. Before the meeting, I spent some time trying to get the game Aquaria, which I got as part of the 2nd Humble Indie Bundle to work properly on my Linux system, unsuccessfully. (A more recent update is that someone eventually helped me after I filed a bug report, and now I am able to play the game nicely.). This delayed me a little, and I left relatively late to the meeting.

After I arrived to Shenkar, I met Ido and a friend of his, and guided them to the room, which was different than the one where the Tel Aviv Open source used to meet. We met some people there, including Sawyer and I decided to go to the nearest kiosk and buy some snacks. I bought some chocolate chip cookies, Doritos and a chocolate and hazelnut treat and returned with still a lot of time before the lectures started.

In the meantime, other people arrived there, and we talked about how to get more people to contribute, about making use of CPAN modules in projects and about which versions of Perl are used in the enterprise. Then the talks began.

Sawyer X gave an entertaining presentation titled "Why Perl?" with several jokes in between that got the audience to burst into laughter. He mentioned this page titled "Your language sucks" where several of Perl 5's shortcomings are mentioned (along with other languages), and concluded with bad things about Perl, like the fact that it makes you lazy, and that you can't stand programming in other languages. He also mentioned there several ways to start with Perl, but I was disappointed that he did not mention the Perl Beginners' Site (Perl-Begin).

After that, Gabor came and talked about what's new in perl-5.10.x and perl-5.12.x. He covered most bases and then when he got to perl-5.12.x's while (my ($index, $value) = each(@array)) I asked him if there was also keys(@array) and he said he doesn't know. Today I tried it out and there is indeed keys(@array):

shlomif:~$ perl -E 'my @a=(50 .. 60); say join(",",keys(@a));'

There's also values(@array), but it's likely the same as "@array". There are many small and large improvements in perl-5.10.x and 5.12.x and he mentioned that the perl5-porters are now switching to a yearly release cycle, which will make improvements materialise in production more rapidly.

After that, Ilan did a round of introductions where every person introduced themselves and said which languages or technologies they work with and why they came to the meeting. It was entertaining.

Then came Yuval's presentation about "immutable state for Perl". He spent a short time explaining what is mutable state, and that if we want to create a modified object, we need to clone it with different constructor arguments. He spent the rest of the time touting some of the advantages of immutable state, like easier distributed NoSQL storage due to lack of cache invalidation, and he described how he handled a problem in KiokuDB by creating a buffer for it, and also focused on a recent problem we had at my (and previously his) work for Reask where HTML::FormHandler misbehaved due to modified state after reset, and we were unable to resolve it and had to switch to a different form generator (HTML::FormFu).

Some people with whom I talked felt this presentation was a little bit abstract and "floating in the air" and I tend to agree, but I still enjoyed most of it.

I left shortly after that presentation because I was tired (as I had woken up early that day) but based on Sawyer's post, some people went to dinner afterwards and had a good time. I walked with mksoft to the bus station and talked about games in Linux and the Humble Indie Bundle 2 which we both had bought. Then a suitable bus had arrived and I took it home.

To sum up, I had a great time, about 20 people came, which meant the meeting was a success, and I'm looking forward for the future meetings. Meeting at Ramat Gan is much more convenient for me than the Rehovot meetings and I met some people I didn't see in Rehovot like Ran, who also gave me some money in exchange for the refreshments I bought (Thanks!). I'm looking forward for the next meetings and thanks to all the people who had organised and publicised it.


[User Picture]From: themoniker
2011-01-05 11:41 pm (UTC)
Props for bringing the refreshments, but Doritos were definitely not the ideal snack to eat during a lecture. Next time maybe borekas.
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[User Picture]From: shlomif
2011-01-06 10:57 am (UTC)


Hi Dotan.

You may be right about the Doritos vs. Bourekas, but if we are going to buy bourekas, then we'll need to pool some money for that, especially given that I paid for the refreshments out of my own pocket, and my future as an employee for my current workplace is currently uncertain (I can give more details in private.). Bourekas cost much more than what I bought.
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