Welcome to the Perl Toolchain Summit 2023

This post is adapted from my notes and recollection of the welcome speech I gave on the morning of Thursday April 27, 2023, just before the initial stand-up.


This post is brought to you by Booking.com, the Diamond sponsor for the Perl Toolchain Summit 2023.

Booking.com is proud to sponsor the 2023 Perl Toolchain Summit as Perl continues to be a vital piece of our technology stack. We continue to rely on the Perl platform and tooling to serve millions of customers every day, helping them experience the world. Other than our interest in the evolution and modernization of the platform and tooling, the PTS is also a great opportunity to connect with the larger community and share learnings about how other companies and projects are tackling the challenges of working with Perl at scale (talking about both in systems and teams scalability), and how Perl fits an ever-changing and diverse technological landscape in other organizations.

You can learn more about booking at the end of this article.

Welcome to the Perl Toolchain Summit 2023!

Can you believe it's been four years since Marlow? Back in March 2020, Neil and I followed anxiously the development of the COVID-19 infection. To be brutally honest, we exhaled a sigh of relief when the world forced us to cancel PTS 2020! We were definitely not ready.

2020, 2021, 2022 went by, and we really wanted the next PTS to happen. In September 2022, we knew we didn't have the bandwidth to organize it, so we looked for volunteers. In January we had none.

So, against my best judgement, I decided to have another Perl Toolchain Summit in Lyon (after having confirmed with Laurent and Neil that they would support me as much as they could). This is probably the worst under-organized PTS ever, but we're here!

I think it's someone's first PTS. Can we have a show of hands? [3-4 people raised their hand] Who attended 5 PTS? [a bunch more raised their hands] 10 PTS? [several people lowered their hands] All of them? A round of applause for Merijn!

So, we're a pretty stable bunch. PTS is not going to solve this, but I wonder: how can we suck in new blood in the Perl community, so that the PTS crowd doesn't shrink after we have all retired (except Leon)? (Yeah, retirement is a big topic in France at the moment...)

We might sometimes be a bit discouraged or worried about the decline of Perl; however, there are some who believe that what we're doing here is important: our sponsors!

Our first Bronze sponsor was Renée Bäcker of perl-services.de. Oetiker+Partner is a regular sponsor, as well as OpenCage. Gábor Szabó of Perl Maven ran a Perl training recently and pledged to give all the proceedings of that training to the PTS. MaxMind,Fastly and Procura covered the travel and accommodation of their employes who attend the PTS.

Our Silver sponsors include Peter Sergeant's Perl Careers, and cPanel, who are both regular sponsor of the PTS.

Our Gold sponsors are Grant Street Group, Deriv, and Fastmail.

And finally our Diamond sponsor (covering about half of our budget) is Booking.com.

As you can see, we managed to get enough sponsoring to cover travel, food and accommodation for everyone who needs it (talk to Laurent to discuss the details). We had so much sponsoring in fact, that we'll have not one, but two conference dinners. We'll split the group for Thursday's dinner between a traditional bouchon Lyonnais and a fancy vegetarian restaurant.

To be clear, the first thing I knew when I decided to organize this summit was where the conference dinner would be. (We'll pass in the ranks this morning to ask you some menu-related questions. Please, please reply!)

Since I'm doing announcements... Most of our respective countries have given up on their mask mandates and other COVID-19 protections. However, we know that the virus hasn't gone away. Like Perl, we've all aged, and on average, this group of people is in the risk group. So, following our COVID policy, we'll have a room with mandatory masks, and one with optional masks. Both will have CO~2~ detectors, and we can open the windows. During meetings and discussions in the lobby, if someone asks everyone to wear a mask, please respect their wish. We trust you all to be pretty good at self-organising.

Julien and Emmanuel are not the only "first time" happening at this PSC. A lot has happened since 2019: Perl 6 became Raku. We tried to have a Perl 7, but that didn't work out. The attempt actually led to the creation of the Perl Rules of Governance, the Core Team and the Perl Steering Council. This is the first PTS after the creation of the PSC. And it's also the first time the whole PSC meets in real life. (Maybe this could become a tradition of the PTS to invite the current PSC?)

Conveniently, Rik brought us "PSC caps", so that, during discussions, we can make it clear when we're "wearing our PSC hats" or not...

Yesterday, after coming back from the pre-conference dinner, a handful of us stayed in the lobby for more chat and drinks. In the mostly empty lobby, one somewhat drunk guy tried to join our conversation. After we tried the nerd approach of ignoring him away (didn't work), Ingy engaged with him. The guy started asking questions about who were were and what we were doing, and didn't really get our answers (besides the fact that computers were involved). One question that stuck with me was "what is your goal?".

I'll use his deep question to close this speech, and to segue into our first stand-up. Thank you.

About Booking.com


Founded in 1996 in Amsterdam, Booking.com has grown from a small Dutch startup to one of the world's leading digital travel companies. Part of Booking Holdings Inc. (NASDAQ: BKNG), Booking.com's mission is to make it easier for everyone to experience the world.

Booking.com is available in 43 languages and offers more than 28 million total reported accommodation listings, including over 6.6 million listings alone of homes, apartments and other unique places to stay. No matter where you want to go or what you want to do, Booking.com makes it easy and backs it all up with 24/7 customer support.

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