Perl Love Archives

Perl Toolchain Summit 2017

For the second year, I have had the great privilege of attending the Perl Toolchain Summit (PTS, formerly called the QA Hackathon QAH). This year it was held in Lyon, France, and three cheers for the organizers; it was an amazing event!

Last year I unexpectedly became involved in the Meta::CPAN project, even to the point of hosting the first (annual?) Meta::Hack a few months ago. This year, I continued to work with them, however, the need was greater in the CPAN Testers realm and so there I went.

meta::hack 2016

MetaCPAN is the community developed and maintained website and api for finding and learning about Perl modules. This year, we dedicated a long weekend to improving it and oh what a weekend it was!

My Perl QA Hackathon 2016

While I have hung out on the fringes of the p5p and toolchain communities for a few years now, my largest “qualifying” contribution has been Alien::Base, which has largely been handed off to Graham Ollis (plicease). Therefore I was a little surprised but very honored to be invited to the 2016 Perl QA Hackathon held in Rugby, England.

Overall it was an incredible experience. Day after day the energy in the room was palpable. Everyone was creating and improving the code that we would all get to use one way or the other. People hacking on PAUSE and MetaCPAN and CPANTesters, on ExtUtils::MakeMaker, on Test2 and Test::More.

Reflections on Test2

In a future post I will recount the details of my delightful experience at the 2016 Perl QA Hackathon (N.B. now published here). Since this is my first post since that time I do want to tip my hat to the great sponsors of the event and to my own employer ServerCentral without whom I would not have been able to attend. I will thank them in more detail in that post.

Before I get to that however, I want to post a reflection on one discussion that is and has been weighing on my mind since then. That topic is the upcoming release of Test2, which I consider to be a very important step forward for Perl’s testing architecture.

I'm Thankful for Perl

These last few years have been just astonishing and so much of it is due to Perl and the Perl Community. In 2013 I ended my 8 year graduate experience (where I learned a lot of Perl) by defending my thesis (which used Perl extensively) right into the teeth of The Sequester. The US Government decided that they weren’t going to pay for science just when I was looking for a science job. The prospects were bleak.

I turned to my local Perl Mongers group (Chicago) begging for a job. In no time at all I had one. Although it actually quickly became a Python job, I was nonetheless employed and employed well at that. Then that PM group acted as a meeting place wherein I was lured away to my second job (my first real Perl gig). This job was due in part to Mojolicious, for which I am also very thankful.

Unfortunately, not long ago I was informed that that company would be closing its doors (nothing to do with the software) and I was on the hunt for a job again. This time it would be thanks to Perl and Mojolicious and #mojo on which would have me talking to the person who was to become my new boss literally minutes after I had gotten the news. Less than two weeks later I had started at writing an internal api in Perl and Mojolicious and other open source technologies. I am very thankful to them for taking me in and I’m looking forward to working with and for them.

Incidentally, if you or your company are in need of top-notch server colocation, managed infrastructure, or VMWare managed virtualization, please give a look!

From trips to YAPC::NAs and YAPC::Brasil to MojoConf in Norway, Perl has also helped me see the world. And once I arrive I am always surrounded by such amazing people. It is you that I’m most thankful for!

The Perl language and Perl Community have been responsible for and a part of so much of my success and contentment and I just want to take a moment and say: Thanks!

Anonymous Classes With Private Data

A long while back (I’ll find the reference if I can) Stevan Little, author of Moose, commented that part of what he wanted for a p5mop was the ability to have truly private data in classes. Much in the way Perl 6 has $!data attributes that are simply private data, he wanted to just be able to use Perl’s regular variables in this same way.

I took this as a bit of a challenge and several iterations later, I had a working system. I then spent months trying to decide if I wanted to put it on CPAN. I kept weighing utility vs practicality. Though it is an interesting thought exercise, I have no idea if its a good idea.

A few things happened which made me soften my view. Most importantly, the great Damian Conway released Dios which does bring lots more of the Perl6 style classes to Perl5. This lead me to stop worrying that people would actually try to use my module for real heavy lifting; if you need that use Dios. Also Stevan gave a talk at YAPC::NA which showed an exciting and I think very promising reimagining of the p5mop project.

With these two projects out there mine can just be a curiosity. I kept finding myself showing it off and wondering. Finally, today Yanick Champoux found himself pondering blessed-subref-based objects and I reminded him of my module, which I had shown him at YAPC. I mentioned that I still was on the fence about releasing it to CPAN, he replied:

So I did.

I’m happy — and a little scared — to introduce Class:Anonymous to the CPAN. It may be the strangest thing I’ve put there yet.

YAPC::NA 2015 Wrap-up and More New (PSGI!) Modules

I was lucky enough to be able to attend YAPC::NA 2015 in Salt Lake City, this year. First and foremost I have to applaud the organizers, the event was so well coordinated it looks positively effortless, which I’m sure masked the huge amount of effort that it takes to appear so.

After not being able to attend the last two YAPC::NAs, it was such a joy to be back. As my new friend VM Brasseur has been saying in #yapc lately, “these are my people.” The community feeling at all Perl meetings, and especially at YAPC::NA, is overwhelming and I loved meeting and reconnecting with so many fellow Perlers.

Come to MojoConf and tell us something cool!

Maybe you are already registered for this year’s MojoConf in New York City (June 4th-6th) or maybe you are still thinking about it. Either way, a great way to introduce yourself to the Mojolicious community is to give a talk! But what should you talk about? The cool stuff you do with Mojolicious!

Last years talks were on a wide range of topics. When I write a talk, I usually write really technical talks; I’m always trying to pack too much code into each slide. But when I’m in the audience, the ones that really knock my socks off are the ones I don’t expect.

Last year, Rich Elberger (this year’s host, incidentally) gave a talk that took me completely by surprise, he’s gaining traction using Mojolicious in an Enterprise system! How cool is that?!

So this year I’m really looking forward to seeing all the interesting ways that people are using Mojolicious! Maybe you wrote a cool app, or an interface to an API that’s popular or one that going to be. Maybe you are using Mojolicious to do some system task or solve a real-world problem.

Then again, tutorials are useful too. There are going to be lots of newcomers to Mojolicious. Maybe you want to tell us about your favorite Mojolicious feature and how to use it. Maybe you wrote a module on CPAN that you would like to show off. Maybe a construction technique that you find useful.

I’m really looking forward to this year’s MojoConf and I’m hoping to be delighted by new things, big or small! I hope to see you (and maybe even hear you) there!

For CPAN Day: Show Off Your Web Framework!

While I know many of you have CPAN Day projects, some of you might still be searching. There is a very well known benchmark from TechEmpower which compares web frameworks. It gets plenty of press and generates much interest. Unfortunately, the Perl results look like this:


We all know the reputation that Perl has to the outside world, and sadly these results would tend to reinforce it. The person or persons who added these apps seems to have long since forgotten about them. At least the Mojolicious app was a port of one of the others and did not exemplify either the style or power of the framework. The others likely share those traits.

But all is not lost! TechEmpower has recently made it much easier to contribute, and I have fixed the deployment and toolchain problems. I have also updated the Mojolicious app. Would you like to improve the submission of your favorite framework or add your own? Read on!

MojoConf 2014 Recap

Last week I had the joy to attend the first (and certainly not the last) MojoConf in Oslo Norway. It was an incredible experience! First and foremost I want to thank the Oslo Perl Mongers, the organisation and execution of the conference was first rate! I also want to thank Jan Henning Thorsen (batman), who graciously offered to host me. We had such productive conversations over evening congacs, both Perl and otherwise.

I will admit now, that had wondered if the community was large enough to support an international conference. I am quite happy to say that my fears were unfounded. We had attendees from all over the world, including the USA, France, Greece, Israel, the UK, Germany and others I’m forgetting I’m sure.

Glen Hinkle (tempire) gave a professional training, which was sold-out! When companies (and even a few individuals) are willing to pay real money for training, it goes a long way to prove that Mojolicious is the world-class framework that we know it is.

I was also impressed (as Glen was) at the talk given by Richard Elberger (riche) in which he touts his company and the success it is having replacing an enterprise Java application with a Mojolicious one. He shared the success of the transition, detailing how everyone from the developers to the development managers to the stakeholders have been impressed at the ease and power of Mojolicious and Perl! That is so encouraging to hear! He even had all those enterprisey words that I try my best to ignore at my $dayjob, but what a feeling to hear them spoken about Mojolicious!

From a personal standpoint, it was so much fun to meet all these wonderful people and programmers who I have interacted with online for so long. I love that I can hear Sebastian’s laugh when he writes “haha” on IRC now! I can see him and Marcus and Salve and Vincent and Nils and Jan Henning and Nicolas and Glen and Alexander and Dotan and Richard and all the others, as they were, sitting around their laptops at the hackathon, rather than just names scrolling along a chat window.

So now the conference is over, but my excitement for Mojolicious is still peaking. I got so many ideas and so much motivation last week that I’m almost not sure where to put my attention first. I can’t wait for the next MojoConf, it can’t come soon enough!

See the presentation videos on the MojoConf YouTube channel!

About Joel Berger

user-pic As I delve into the deeper Perl magic I like to share what I can.