YAPC::Europe 2011

I'm already back in Vienna from yet another wonderful YAPC::Europe in the not less wonderful city of Riga. As usual, the YAPC was interesting, exhausting and fun.

As I gave three talks, I did not attend too many talks myself, because I needed some time to finish / polish my slides etc. One of the best innovations of this year's YAPC were the speaker rooms: Two rooms reserved for speakers to work on their slides (including proper chairs and tables and a stable WLAN connection) and/or practice their presentation. Frankfurt, please copy that idea!

The best talk (of those I've seen) was Leo Lapworths Plack basics - website best practices. Even though I know quite a lot of the material he presented (we switched to Plack about 5 months ago and also wrote some custom middleware), his presentation was very clear and informative. I especially liked how he included screenshots of browser windows right inside his slides.

This is a much better technique than just switching to another window and showing something in an actual browser. Which qualifies as a "live demo" and goes wrong much more often than not - as demonstrated a few times during this YAPC. Even Damian Conway switched to a terminal to show us that some code compiled and did what he said he did - which is IMO totally useless, because it proofs nothing, but just interrupts the flow of the presentation.

I'm of course sitting in a glasshouse here, because at least during one talk I also did a short live demo, but I made very sure that everything worked, and that everything was just one or two keystrokes away. That's why we have something like a terminal history, so you just do ARROW-UP/ENTER to start a server or something. I usually try to include everything (code, output of scripts, browser screenshots) right into my slides. This is also the only way you can do your presentation off another computer (e.g. if your broke / was stolen / can't connect to the projector). Ah, but I digress...

I had a very productive meeting with pjcj where we tried to squash a very annoying warning in Devel::Cover when used on code using recent versions of Moose. After a bit of searching we found the problem and pjcj implemented a first raw fix. This should fix RT68389.

On Thursday (the day after YAPC) we (in total 6 Perl hackers) rented bicycles (or brought them with them - Echt!) and cycled ~ 25km to Jurmalla, i.e. the beach. Very nice trip, very nice beach - I even got to wade knee-deep in the sea, yay! While drinking a strange assortment of drinks at the beach, we met another Perl hacker - what a coincidence! After a delicious lunch at a seaside restaurant we cycled back, were hit by a rainstorm and had to rush it a bit because one of us had to catch a flight (I hope it worked out...)

Here are the links to the slides of my talks:

If you've been in one of those talks, I'd appreciate any feedback either via a comment below or via the YAPC feedback survey.