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.

What I Presented

This trip was especially memorable because it was my first major conference since I joined the Mojolicious core team a few years ago. I was able to spend a lot my spare time talking with Mojolicious users and even a few interested potential users.

This year, rather than a single State of the Velociraptor (ie Perl 5), a collection of lightning talks were given which told the state of several important Perl 5 projects. I was asked to give one of the State of the Velociraptor lightning talks, updating the greater Perl community on the state of Mojolicious. It was an interesting thing because, since the Mojolicious 6.0 release, it has been relatively quiet on the Mojo front, which is a new thing for us.

I also gave a talk on my newest module Test::Mojo::Role::Phantom which lets you test client-side javascript behavior in your web app. Now lest you fear that this only helps you if you wrote your application in Mojolicious, never fear, when used with Test::Mojo::Role::PSGI, you can even use it to test the client-side behaviors of your apps written in other frameworks! In fact, you can even just use that role without Phantom in order to use the brilliant Test::Mojo to test your server-side behavior.

Unfortunately the captured-from-stream videos of those talks are not very watchable, but the word is that recorded versions should be available at some point. I also intend to write a blog post on those new testing modules soon too.

What I Saw

There were some very cool presentations that I was lucky enough to attend. Two very “hardware” talks stick out in the front of my mind. Michael Conrad (nerdvana) showed how he is using Perl and OpenGL to render a graphical instrument panel for his DeLorean! Then John Whitney presented “Perl via Paper Metal Ink and Oil” in which he showed off two teletype machines that he was using as terminals to a Linux box! Imagine programming Perl without curly braces (which teletypes did not have!); I even got to send myself an email from one of them!

On more code-based Perl5 presentations:

  • bulk88 terrified us all with what Perl-C bindings would look like without XS
  • Graham Ollis (plicease) showed off FFI::Platypus
  • Chad Granum (Exodist) demoed his eagerly awaited (by me at least) new internals for Test::More
  • Rik told us what was new in Perl 5.22
  • and many more

I would have liked to have seen Stevan Little’s next iteration of p5mop presented, (I watched the video and it finally looks like a p5mop that I want to contribute to!) but I was seeing the sublime Tim Bunce think about thinking (also worth watching!).

Other less-codey talks included:

  • VM Brasseur teaching us how to learn from failure
  • Larry and Rik reminiscing
  • Stephen Scaffidi (hercynium) performing Perl 5 Pigs (could be the highlight of the week really)

Finally I also made a point to see several Perl 6 talks. Some of you might know that I’ve not been a huge supporter of Perl 6, mostly due to name/version issues that need not be discussed here. That said, since MojoConf 2014 where Jonathan Worthington gave a talk on the asynchronous features of p6 and since Larry announced a release date(ish) for p6 I’ve been getting curious. These included Bruce Gray (Util) and Curtis Poe (Ovid) and others. While I still can’t say that I could write a large application in it, I think I’m starting to get the broad concepts!

Note that I only linked to a few youtube videos, because I was sure that they were good quality. The videos are available at https://www.youtube.com/user/yapcna/videos but until the recorded version are uploaded YMMV.

Meals, Game Night and The Thursday “Hackathon”

Each day I had lovely lunches and dinners with old friends and new, discussing everything from Mojo to FFI to Alien and beyond. Tuesday night, following the banquet, there was a Game Night, at which I played in a large game of Fluxx (noted in Barefoot’s wrap-up post) which was quite a laugh; I even got to play a little guitar with with a very cool Austin Perl Monger named Joe.

One thing I wanted to specifically share, to make note at the community feeling. On Thursday there was a Perl 6 hackathon which I planned on attending. Then in the morning I discovered that Exodist had “an hour or so” to hack on Test::More with me, so I sat with him to do that. Quickly a few others stopped by, then a few more and a few more. While very little code was written, by the end our table included many Perl luminaries and hackers alike, all talking about everything and anything. This lasted until I gave a lift to a few people to the airport and I went off to visit a friend north of SLC, at least 3pm.

It was a throughly enjoyable experience, even if I didn’t hack on Perl 6 at all or even Test::More very much.

In Conclusion

I hope it isn’t another three years until I can attend another YAPC. If you haven’t attended one yet, you really should! When you do, come find me in the halls and tell me how you use Perl!

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About Joel Berger

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