DC-Baltimore Perl Workshop 2012

Last Saturday I attended my first-ever Perl event in the USA, the 2012 DC-Baltimore Perl Workshop, which was conveniently scheduled to happen right in the middle of our 3 week holidays in New York and right after our 2 day meta-holiday in Cape May (nice village, we got to see dolphins in the wild, and I ate a spider-sandwich (ok, it was fried soft shell crab, but it looked just like a spider)).

On my way to Baltimore I was picked up by rGeoffrey and Walt in Philadelphia, and we had a nice drive through several states to the pre-workshop meeting, which was delicious and had cider. The hotel offered rather big rooms, which resulted in a hotel room party featuring lots of Perl and non-Perl talking and rather strange, semi-homebrewn whiskey-like beverages (provided by genehack, who will probably want to kick me for calling whatever the correct identification of his drinks is "whiskey") - and Cherry Coke!

The proper workshop happened on Saturday (starting rather early, but it also was a long evening..). There were two tracks, but I spend all my time in the "Awesome"-Track:

  • David Mertens talked about PDL::Graphics::Prima and the nice data visualizations you can do with it (and PDL)
  • apeiron showed us his Moose-based tool to handle RPG fights
  • philip hood presented various ways to display 3D graphics (wow, there are actual plans for the Death Star somewhere on the internet..)
  • patch wins the price for best talk with his Fundamental Unicode. It's a clear and understandable introduction into Unicode, UTF-[8/16/32] etc. But maybe it only seemed clear and understandable to me, because I finally understood Unicode after approximately 5 years of messing with it...
  • next up was my talk on App::TimeTracker and how it's implemented using lots of Moose. I hope it was understandable and enjoyable. Here you get my slides
  • Lunch consisted of tasty sandwiches and lots of salad. Nice and healthy. I also discovered a rather disturbing sign above the urinals.
  • belden started the afternoon by reminding us of the fun things you can do when you put coderefs into @INC. In his case that was reporting which modules where used.
  • waltman then demystified pack and unpack, and while his talk was very informative, I still don't know if it's possible to unpack a fixed width but UTF-8-encoded data structure
  • The last proper talk was an introduction to Sass by Stephan Belcher, where Sass is some sort of templating tool for CSS.
  • rGeoffrey hosted the Lightning Talks next, where I did two talks in one slot, talking really fast and doing not one, but two live demos. I showed the website for App::TimeTracker and App::ArchiveDevelCover
  • The official part of the workshop ended with stevan's Keynote (or Footnote, as he preferred to call it) about Future Perl. I do hope that Perl 5.22 will look like in his visions.

Before dinner there were some interesting discussions on the parking lot regarding Perl-themed vanity plates and rod logic (using primitive tools). Dinner itself happened at an Italian restaurant, so there was lots of pizza and some noodles. Afterwards there was yet another hotel room after party, which again was fun (even though we resisted the urge to sharpie 💩 on the forehead of the guy who fell asleep...)

I enjoyed the DC-Baltimore Perl Workshop a lot, because besides hearing interesting Perl talks and meeting lots of cool and friendly people, I also learned a lot about American culture (from sports over the wicked imperial "scale" to kids TV programs, and a lot of other stuff).

Thanks a lot to the organizers who set up a great workshop, to the sponsors (CargoTel, CCBC, Booking.com" and RefWorks COS), the speakers and attendees. Special thanks to rGeoffry, waltman, dha and Philip Hood, who were kind enough to give me rides to and from the hotel, the venue, Philadelphia and New York.