Why community matters
After spending way to much time away from Perl lately I found myself happily at the Nordic Perl Workshop 2011 event that occurred in Malmö, Sweden this weekend. Organizers this time were Jonathan Worthington and Carl Masäk - both Perl6/Rakudo hackers extraordinaire. They and several other speakers both local and from the new world gave a variety of presentations ranging from parsers to message queues to why well structued documentation matters. And as usual there were also a few lightning talks (more about mine a bit down).
I've been going to Perl conferences the past 10 years or so and personally these gatherings are to meet old friends and new friends which can give me inspiration and ideas. Getting a face on an IRC nick adds a lot of value.
What I like about Perl workshops and conferences is that there's a very social and friendly feeling over them. There's usually no rockstar or diva behavior from the speakers. I suppose this is mostly because pretty much all Perl gathering such as ours are community driven now-days . When there's little (or no) money involved the "high profile" speakers are there because they want to and not because someone paid them to be and I believe this makes it much better for the speaker/audience interaction and takes away some of that nervousness some people may feel when talking to a speaker, perl5/parrot/rakudo/etc core-hacker or CPAN author.
Somehow these gatherings also seem to result in a bunch of interesting projects or nice hacks when people who usually don't interact come together and exchange thoughts on topics they'd normally not talk about. My little hack this weekend was Runops::Recorder and by giving a lightning talk about it I got some really valuable input it'll progress in ways that I never would have thought of myself.
Runops::Recorder is a replacement runops-loop for Perl that'll save whatever is done to a file which you can later playback to inspect the run. Currently it just records the file and lineno when the next statement is executed but in the future it should save changes to variables and so forth. It's on CPAN as Runops::Recorder if you want to try it out. (Danger! Danger Will Robinson! BETA SOFTWARE WARNING). Hopefully I've had a chance to hack more on it until YAPC::Europe in Latvia and can then do a more extensive lightning talk on it.
Oh, and here's some pictures from NPW 2011: http://www.flickr.com/photos/39538458@N03/sets/72157626989431116/
This concludes my first post here on blogs.perl.org and thank you for reading.