Report on the Latest Tel Aviv Perl Mongers Meeting

I attended the latest
Tel Aviv Perl Mongers (
meeting the other
day, and am writing this report in order to encourage more people
to come. We didn't have meetings in September or October due to the Jewish
holidays and some renovations on the site, so it was good to finally have
a meeting.

Before the meeting, I had helped publicise it on various online news channels, and thankfully quite a few people (about 20-30) came. I had a previous appointment that day at 12:00, and so returned home where I ate, worked on the computer, and rested before the meeting.

After I rode the bus, I arrived there a few minutes earlier. I met a fellow Perl monger on the way. We found the room with some difficulty, as there were very few signs outside the doors of the various rooms in the building. Several people including Gabor were already sitting in the room. They were discussing the upcoming Israeli Perl Workshop in February. In any case, I decided to walk to the nearby grocery store to buy some refreshments for the meeting, and when I returned there were more people in the room.

Quite a few people arrived relatively late, but the talks started mostly on schedule. The first talk (by Erez Schatz) was short, and it discussed some recent tools that facilitate the Perl programmer's life: local-lib, perlbrew, cpanm and pm-uninstall. The talk was very fun, and he ended up covering some other tools in brief in the last slide. I'm still not convinced that I should use CPAN-Minus instead of my CPANPLUS (especially given CPANPLUS-Dist-Mageia and friends), but I still like perlbrew and local::lib and pm-uninstall seems useful.

Erez mentioned that on Perl forums there were several very common and hated questions like "How do I uninstall a perl module?" or "How can I use CPAN without root?" and that these technologies address these needs precisely.

After this talk, Erez gave a longer talk about DBIx-Class, which is an Object-Relational Mapper (ORM) for Perl. For the demo, he used a company whose employees are dogs, and the slides featured many pictures of dogs in suits (some of them pretty scary). There were a few glitches in the demonstration, but they were promptly overcome, and the DBIC_TRACE=1 flag was a big help. One bug in the code was that instead of updating the employee's department (by looking it up by name), the department's name was updated (globally). I any case, it was an enjoyable talk, but the person who sat next to me said that she didn't like it because she used to be a DBA, and she was worried about performance.

Erez mentioned that DBIx-Class was the "Elephant in the Room" of Perl ORMs, which I had concluded was the case as well.

After that talk, there was a break, where people got to eat more of the cookies I bought and to chat. Afterwards, Ido Kanner presented about Firebird SQL. It was a good talk, and Ido drew some comparisons between Firebird and SQLite, MySQL and PostgreSQL. Firebird looks interesting and it also has embedded (like SQLite) and read-only modes.

One problem during the talk was that the projector kept shutting down, and it took us some trouble to restart it. We hoped this problem would be resolved in upcoming meetings.

After the meeting, some of us (about 10) went to Spaghettim (a pasta/etc. place) and had dinner. We chatted about Atheism, Cable company tech-support, GNOME 3 and KDE 4, and lots of other stuff. This time I had a pizza, which although not too bad, made me realise I will be ordering pasta there from now on.

To sum up, it was a very enjoyable meeting, and I'm looking forward for more future ones. One thing notable about it is that this time Sawyer did not deliver a talk, which made him happy because other people volunteered to do so instead.

1 Comment

Shlomi Fish

Here is an ORM that works with Firebird

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About Shlomi Fish

user-pic An Israeli software developer, essayist, and writer, and an enthusiast of open/free software and cultural works. I've been working with Perl since 1996.