OSDC2006 – Day one

Thursday, December 7th, 2006 at 1:35 am

(I am typing this as I wait for the next train back to Glen Waverley from Flinders Street. Unfortunately I missed the previous train by seconds as I decided to continue on with the group I was travelling with instead of changing at Richmond. Over half an hour of waiting…)

Anyway … today was the first day of OSDC 2006 with the following highlights:

  • The opening keynote, Free software – A look back, a look ahead, by Randall Schwartz was a great start and included a run down of the various open source licences and examples of how Randall and others have been able to make a living from them. Despite them being ‘free’.
  • cog’s first talk of the day, Perl White Magic, ran through some of the many command line switches and special variables that can be used to reduce the size of Perl scripts, in particular when writing one liners on the command line.
  • In contrast to his first talk, cog’s second talk on obfuscation and golfing was the opposite of his earlier talk – how command line switches, special variables and other syntactic magic of Perl can be used for evil.
  • Paul Fenwick gave us a rundown of the new features available in Perl 5.10 5.9.4. It is interesting to see Perl 6 features being incorporated. Jokes were made that by the time that Perl 6 comes out the features will already be available and in use.
  • Adam Kennedy decided to buck the trend and give a talk on how things do not always go to plan. After reflecting that conference talks are (almost) always about new or succesful projects there is not exposure to the failures he went on to decribe a number of common pitfalls that are experienced.
  • The final talk from cog covered ninety modules from the Acme namespace in twenty minutes (it should have taken thirty so he will look for some more to describe). What was scary about this was that some of them (for example one to allow C style comments) may now be useful to members of the audience. It was interesting to note that many of the mentioned modules were from Australian authors such as Damian , Paul and Adam.
  • Above all of this was Damian’s rendition of The Da Vinci Codebase. This is a magnificent parody of The Da Vinci Code with the main protagonist, Dr Damian Conway and expert on symbology in computer languagess, supported by a variety of characters in Paris, Texas unravelling the clues that lead to the villan, the DMCA.

Although not part of the formal program, and facilitated by alcohol, were a variety of interesting discussions. On in particular led to the proposal of Acme::Playmate::Object. An extension of the Acme::Playmate module which allows you to obtain the vital statistics of Playboy playmates with Data::Vitals which is a class build for a modelling website that represents the vital statistics of fashion models and allows easy conversion between metric and imperial. The expectation is that Adam will have Acme::Playmate::Object (the objectification of playmates) ready to present as a lightning talk tomorrow.

See also:

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