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October 26, 2005

Damian Conway's Small Miracle Talk at MIT

Sitting (with the other three TUSK developers) at MIT watching Damian Conway, who's delivering his "Small Miracles" talk. It's the story of Damian getting to a YAPC in 2003 and hearing that he's going to stand in for Larry Wall. Damian describes this talk as:

In 2003 Damian arrived at the YAPC::NA conference only to be told that he had to give both keynotes, rather than just the one he had prepared. "Oh, and we need you to present the extra one this time tomorrow." Ever wondered what you'd get if you locked Damian in a hotel room for 24 hours with nothing but a perl interpreter, a deadline, and a dozen PowerBars? This talk reveals the ten terrifying answers.

The talk is classic Damian Conway, a bit of introduction to the situation in "Part the First" and then covers the Perl programs/modules in "Part the Second:"

  1. makeslides - make text files to view in vi to deliver presentations
  2. application.pm - call any application from a perl program (jpg viewer, iTunes)
  3. Smart::Comments - module to add progress bars to running applications by sticking in comments in specific formats
  4. Tenacious::Undef - give Perl trivalent logic (and yes, Damian likes Tenacious D
  5. Memoize::ITU3X ("I Tell You 3 Times") - a module to go through source code finding packages and caches modules to make Perl calls run in zero time
  6. Manifest::Constants - module to control if/where constants can appear in Perl
  7. ?? - I got too enthralled, can't remember this one (battery ran low, had to stop)
  8. Perl6::Junctions - Perl 6 junction functionality in Perl 5
  9. Text::Autoformat - added a long-requested fix to the processing of mail headers and footers

After Damian finished his presentation there were a lot of questions about the different modules which eventually led to a long conversation about operators in Perl 6. Although I understood what was being said, I have to confess I've never seen such passion for the inner workings of Perl. Enlightening. The Boston.pm folks were quite friendly and made us feel welcome.

Posted by mike at October 26, 2005 7:32 PM