FOSDEM, second report - the talks!


At the second day of FOSDEM, the Dancer core crew pretty time took over the Perl dev room! We are 4 developers, and we gave 5 talks: SPORE (by Franck Cuny), "Code, release, market" (by Alexis Sukrieh), Curses::Toolkit (by Damien Krotkine), Moose (Sawyer X) and Dancer (Sawyer X). Somehow, all those talks mentioned Dancer, whether it was by the speaker noting the projects he works on, or by using it as an example in the talk (like Alexis did). The amount of noise and buzz we created around Dancer was very positive!

There were a lot of good talks in the Perl dev room (such as DTrace, XML::Compile, Packaging Perl), but I'll try to cover just a few:

Gabor Szabo (szabgab) gave two very good talks, one on Perl 6 and one on Padre, the Perl IDE, ya know. I think they were very well received. Considering the Perl 6 talk was the first talk that day, early morning (I asked Sukria on the way, "when's the last time you had Perl 6 for breakfast?"), a lot of people were there. Perl 6 is not well understood by many people, and the potential (some of which was already reached) is often missed. I think Gabor made it compelling to the audience and they were very tuned and seemed involved.

The Padre talk was a very good example of how humor gets people to listen to you. People care about having a good time, more than learning and people learn better when they have a good time, so try to mix it up! I think it also got me fueled up for my talk. Oh, and I got to meet Zeno Gantner from Padre, very nice guy!

Dams (Damien Krotkine) gave a talk about his Curses::Toolkit, which allows you to write visual CLI applications using Curses in a Gtk-like interface, which is pretty nifty. He wrote a few applications to show it off, one of which was a Twitter client he wrote in a few hours ("it took me long because I had a nasty bug", are you kidding me? :) and he actually got people to drop their jaws when he showed them how he's resizing a terminal and the windows automatically resize and titles automatically scroll, if that's what you want. It's really amazing what this guy has done using CLI only. I guess after I found out he was a Gentoo hacker, things made more sense. :)

I gave the Moose talk, and I think it went rather well. I was very hyperactive and paused only for short breaths. People really enjoyed themselves and overall I think it went very well. Got the room of 80 people to fill up. Pretty good, eh?

Later I gave the Dancer talk, and the crowd went nuts. If 80 people filling up the room, taking all seats, is impressive, image what 100 people sitting and standing everywhere looks like! Pretty much all my jokes landed (which is hard because my jokes are lame), and people had a very good time! I was really thrilled that I felt comfortable enough to give both talks for such a big crowd, successfully, with a lot of confidence. I think the reason is definitely the company I was with. Being with the Dancer team was tremendous to my self esteem and made me feel very open and relaxed.

Next talk was Franck Cuny's SPORE talk. This guy designed (and wrote!) a framework for creating a client to any REST API with a simple configuration, using the astounding power of Moose's meta-class. He started with the history of SPORE, how he came up with it, and gave examples on how to write your own client using Net::HTTP::Spore. Seriously kickass! I wish people would understand how incredibly useful it is. No need to write your own code anymore. I'll try it out for MetaCPAN::API (don't worry, a post is still pending).

Last, but definitely not least, was a talk by Alexis Sukrieh (sukria) about how to write and maintain your software, giving lessons he learned from Dancer and other projects. He started by comparing "code" and "software": software is a hell of a lot more than code. Coding is the easy part. He goes on to explain what tools you have, how to treat your users, how to market your software, and giving a lot of interesting advice. I learned quite a lot from Sukria over the time while working with him on Dancer, and this talk was an amalgamation of these lessons.

I've checked twitter for some comments on the talks. I don't have a twitter, but I just went to the site, and gone over some history, so don't consider this as an exhaustive list of all tweets relating to the talks. I do believe there are more that I missed:

  • "Attending the first of the modern perl squad talks : SawyerX and #moose ! #fosdem #perl"
  • "#dancer and #spore follow in afternoon :) #fosdem #perl #modernperlsquad"
  • "Config management devroom overflows; Perl/Moose, then. #FOSDEM"
  • "in less than 20 minutes the #modernperlsquad is going to invade the perl devroom! Get ready! #FOSDEM"
  • "Very few people in the perl dev room use catalyst. Interesting. #fosdem"
  • "The best feature of #perl #dancer is @sawyerX =)"
  • "Dancer talk in the perl room has started very well. Very lively speaker."
  • "Less code, more dance #perl #dancer"
  • "Moose talk now in the perl devroom, by @PerlDancer's core-developer SawyerX. Go Sawyer Go!"
  • "Best speakers so far: Andy Wingo and the #perldancer guy. #fosdem"
  • "@franckcuny presenting SPORE at #fosdem: how lazyness makes better software"
  • "Go @franckcuny ! Go ! #spore #fosdem #modernperlsquad @linkfluence"
  • "Learning about Moose #fosdem"
  • "Interesting talk about Dancer at #fosdem #perl ... early tests failed; time to rtfm"
  • #modernperlsquad on stage ! (moose)
  • 19 minutes later, I can now test my script as if the whole shebang was there. <3 you, #Dancer.

You should checkout Sukria's review over here!

There is more, but I'll leave that to upcoming posts.
See you soon!





It was a pleasure to meet you. I enjoyed your Dancer talk. Thanks again for the interest you showed on my little projet, hacking cable's citations with the power of Perl :-)
I'll try to integrate that into the core code.

I hope you'll come back next year to Brussels !

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