Impressions from the German Perl Workshop 2019

Another edition of the German Perl Workshop took place in Munich from 6th to 8th March 2019. I very much enjoyed taking part. Let me share some personal remarks.

Things I learned

  • I’ll replace my OpenSSL CLI recipes by IO::Socket::SSL::Utils calls. Thanks Steffen.
  • A developer team will benefit from a graphic artist and vice versa, reported Daniel from Coocook.
  • Perl 6 has some interesting idioms harnessing concurrency. Jonathan vivdly presented react and supply blocks.
  • Lars, on the other hand, brought up serious issues with the documentation of Perl 6 grammar semantics.
  • One can put job candidates at ease by giving them a horrible but unrelated task first. They’ll be so glad when they’re done that they’ll forget their anxiety.
  • Some analogue cameras can do things digital image processing can’t. Single shots taking hours to take can be an artist’s delight.
  • It is nice to present women with flowers on the occasion of International Women’s Day, although it would be nicer if there were so many women among us attendees of a technical conference to make that impractical.
  • The fossil Act website is alive after all. Improvements include TLS and an URL summarizing all talk resources.
  • Bringing a tablet instead of a notebook was a bad idea. Module installation ate most of the time I otherwise would have spent fancily illustrating my slides.
  • Bringing a Brompton bike, however, turned out exceptionally well. Munich is just the place to annoy car drivers and pedestrians alike. Not me anymore!
  • Elementary knowledge of mathematics is lacking in many places. I found The Worst Pie Chart Ever in a brochure from some recruiting company (see below). They divide 100% into parts of 61% + 79% + 94%, and show that 61% clearly is more than 79%. Ugh.
  • A propos recruiting, contrary to some language popularity rankings, the job market for Perl programmers seems remarkably stable.

100 = 234

Installing sets of modules

In order to quickly install a set of Perl modules for a given task, it is nice to have some kind of meta-package serving no other purpose than pulling in a set of other more specific packages. Traditional ways of doing this with CPAN can be found in the Bundle:: and Task:: namespaces. Recent developments, however, seem to have put meta-package maintainers in a predicament. Technologies are shifting once more. In this article, I explain how I rescued my meta-packages with minimal changes.

The Math::BigRat Trap

rat tail

With the latest stable release of perl, v5.24.0, you could easily get trapped into using a problematic combination of math modules. Here is how, and what you should do to avoid trouble.

The Fuse Operator - A Suggested Language Extension

Perl 5 has become pretty stable, but there is always room for small improvements. I would like to discuss yet another "missing" operator. Its purpose is to make expressions handle some edge cases more gracefully. It could render some other extensions that have been suggested before unnecessary.

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