Les Journées Perl / French Perl Workshop 2017
Nobody seems to have blogged about Les Journées Perl so I thought I would blog about Les Journées Perl. Or maybe I haven't been paying attention, or it passed by me in a state of crossing timezones?
I was travelling back from the UK office the weekend the workshop happened, so stopped by. I also uploaded a couple of photos to the perl_events Instagram feed. The workshop was held in the Carrefour numérique in the Cité des Sciences et de l'Industrie in Paris - a very interesting space within a very interesting space. Possibly one of the most interesting spaces I've been that has hosted a Perl workshop. Here's a recap of the talks I understood that stuck in my mind, I believe the talks were recorded so may appear online soon. You can find all the talks, with links to slides/etc here.
Sébastien Aperghis-Tramoni gave a talk titled "L'alerte de 4 h du mat'" (The alert at 4am). The talk documented the solution to the question: what do you do when your alert system involves sending an SMS and that results in several hundred messages, which can quickly become costly? The answer is you combine some perl, debian packages, a raspberry pi, and save yourself a fortune.
R Thibert gave three talks, two of which stick in the mind - the first being an introduction to Munin, which seems like an alternative/addition to nagios for general and custom server monitoring. This appealed to me as we use AWS EC2 instances, and once they're gone: they're gone. This includes all the monitoring information about them, so debugging load spikes, etc, can be difficult. The RRD graphs (still one of my all time favourite bits of software) in Munin stick around, so I will be having a look at this when I get time
R Thibert's second (actually third) talk was "QCM en perl !" (Multiple-choice questions in Perl). In this he showed how he had gained back his weekends by using a Perl GTK based app to generate *and* mark multiple choice questions for his students. The app had options for generating many variations of the same question sheets (I guess to prevent cheating) and then OCR to mark the answers. Lots of configuration options and flow tweaks to make the process a breeze.
On the subject of OCR, Jean Forget gave a talk titled "Comment faire de l'OCR lorsque l'on ne connaît rien à l'OCR" (How to do OCR when we know nothing about OCR). This was a classic case of wanting to do something seemingly simple then getting sucked into a whole other problem. Jean wanted to add some old Pascal code to git, the problem? The listings were only available as printed versions and the print outs were from an old style dot-matrix printer that OCR programs didn't seem to work well with. So Jean recounted the diversion of how he solved this problem. Very interesting, and quite amusing.
Laurent Rosenfeld, whose recent book Think Perl 6 is now available, gave a couple of talks on, of course, Perl 6. One covered the new regexp and grammar engine available in the language, the other a demonstration of generating RSA keys. The two talks demonstrated the power, flexibility, and succinctness of Perl 6.
Last and most certainly least was my own talk on OAuth2. A short one to demonstrate the module I have recently finished and which OAuth2 flows you should be using. I challenged myself to give this talk in French and was hampered by my lack of vocabulary (basically making improvisation impossible), having to use someone else's machine (because I did't bring an adaptor), and the notes for my slides failing to function (because I was using new presenting software I wasn't familiar with). I also think my accent was a little "quelle horreur !", but I stuck with it and I think most people understood. The most important thing I learned is that it is incredibly difficult to give a talk in a second language. If and when I do this again, and by which point I hope my French will also have improved significantly enough to make improvisation easier, I will make sure I practice the talk several times over before I give it.
I had to leave a little bit early on the Saturday so missed brian d foy's talk on the shiny new of perl5.26. I'm sure I will see Sawyer give a talk on the same subject reasonably soon so I figured that wasn't too much of a problem to miss.
Overall, Les Journées Perl was short but very very sweet.