Blather Software and Programming

Snake in a crib

From a recent article titled “Python is eating the world“:

Python may never have existed at all had the popular programming languages in the late ’80s been better, with one of van Rossum’s motivations for creating Python being the incompatibility of the Perl scripting language with the Amoeba distributed computing system he was working on at CWI. “The lucky thing for Python is that Perl was unportable to Amoeba,” he says. “If it had been possible to port Perl to Amoeba, I would have never have thought of starting my own language.”

Pitch for a science fiction short story:
Knowing the perfect inflection point for altering the timeline to prevent Perl’s doom, our heroes enlist Damian Conway, who manages to construct a working Time Machine in five terse lines of Perl 6. Unfortunately(?), his code is not supported on any existing implementation, because of concurrency problems…


Bright kids keep messing with Granddad’s junk (but it’s still cluttering up our lawn)

My response to the Perl 5/6 FAR (Frequently Aired Rant) – latest example here – reposted from a comment.

Every once in a while, like when meeting a non-Perl programmer in person, or hearing another “Perl is Dead!” screed in the echo chamber (they are as rare outside the echo chamber as “Sun is hot!” rants, and for the same reason – nobody cares about restating common wisdom), a Perl person will wonder “why the heck don’t we get granddad to move that big pile of junk he’s been tinkering with off our front lawn, so the neighbors will stop thinking our house is an abandoned shack in the garbage dump?”

“I mean sure, it gives granddad something to do, and maybe once in a while he’ll get a bright kid to wander in and get excited. But really, once those kids mess around a bit with some loose gears, they get this compulsion to take the whole thing apart again, then gradually lose interest and wander off, leaving even more of a mess.”

“And granddad won’t let us clear it all up, says it’s his baby. Won’t feel right taking it away from him, after all, he put up this house and he’ll make all kinds of fuss.”

So the Perl person throws a fit, and his or her brethren say “right on!” or “let’s move!” or “let granddad move!” For some reason, numbers keep getting mentioned.

Then we all sigh and go back into the house to do our work. We ignore granddad and his big science project. We follow our neighbors and even talk to them on the street, and everything’s fine until we bring up where we live and they go “Someone still lives in that place? I thought it was abandoned”.

And we start again with “granddad’s blasted science project” and “get him off our lawn”.

Until we move.

Blather Software and Programming

Things I learned at YAPC::EU

Things I learned at YAPC::EU (a far from complete list, others may have a better one):

  • The tower is still leaning (I was sure they’d have fixed it by now).
  • DBD::Oracle might have improved since we installed it.
  • Beer is a wonderful social lubricant.
  • … and so is superb Chocolate (as Tim Bunce and Alison Randal can attest).
  • While name-dropping is fun, many of the awesome and friendly people I met just use Perl in their day job, or fiddle with perl as a hobby, or just hang out in the community.
  • PIMC.
  • I look a bit like Todd Rundgren.

Room under the roof

Am now in YAPC::Europe, arrived in the hotel at noon, walked to the con hotel (without map, based on memory of the route from google maps – street-view FTW, dumb luck and a helpful local), enjoying WiFi and listening to the audible part of a Perl6 mind-meld.

When looking for a hotel here, I got this in response to a query:

The only single room available it’s under the roof, with the sink inside, the toilet outside the door and the shower down the stairs

Blather Software and Programming

Sudden Plans

So apparently I decided I’m going to Pisa next week: YAPC::EU 2010.