Things I learned at the European Perl Conference 2016 in Cluj

Thomas Klausner
Aug 26, 2016 · 4 min read

My original plan to cycle to Cluj to attend The European Perl Conference aka YAPC::Europe was foiled by the Hungarian and Romanian railways, who make it next to impossible to take a bike on a train. So, instead, I put myself on a train to Cluj (and will do the cycling next week, to Innsbruck for the Alpine Perl Workshop)

I did two talks

Conference Driven Development

I also released a new module, API::Medium. If all works out, it should make this blog post also appear automatically on Cultured Perl

Here’s the list of things I learned

or rather, remembered to write down…

  • Borders suck! Especially if you cross them at 03:00 while on a sleeper train, where two sets of police (Hungarian, then 30min later, Romanian) don’t care much about the “sleeper” part.
  • Perfect album for standing next to an open window on a slow train at 4:00, crawling through Romania: Whitney: Light Upon the Lake.
  • If you find a jug of apple juice next to a bunch of shot glasses, it’s probably not apple juice.
  • Tiled flat-screens don’t work well with text heavy slides.
  • “The conference previously known as YAPC” is an even better name than “The Perl Conference”. (Ovid)
  • Replacing .rb with .pm is not enough to port a Ruby app to Perl. Some hacking is actually required. (Diego)
  • It’s not a proper live demo if you don’t have to reboot to connect to your VPN to run it. (Mirosolav)
  • Acyclic behavior leads to a quicker lunch. (domm)
  • Interesting theory: Running (or general training) too hard will not “train” your brain (even if you listen to scientific podcast while training), but running a bit less hard might.
  • A lot speakers still don’t know how to choose a readable color scheme for their slides. Hint: Lots of contrast! Black on white has proven quite useful since the invention of the printing press…
  • xrandr — output eDP-1 — scale-from 1920x1080 — output HDMI-2 — same-as eDP-1 — mode 1920x1080i — rate 25 to connect to the screen wall and see the same output on your screen.
  • Having a nice clicker is pointless, if you leave it at home.
  • But you are guaranteed to find somebody who will lend you one.
  • Laser pointers don’t work on the screen wall. Unless you use a real powerful laser, but I guess the screens would not like this…
  • You are old when you can laugh at in-jokes dating from 2003. Siesta!
  • Having fake slides to bring up the page count for a lightning talk so we think the speaker will never make it in time, but then he ends on time on slide 15/27: brilliant! (Geoffrey)
  • Google is not a search, but an association engine. (Nigel)
  • Perl people still cannot queue for food because they are too friendly.
  • It is possible to get Perl hackers to dance, given good music — though I guess the free booze also helped.
  • There is a WAI to make web sites accessible. (Job)
  • Good design is POUR design (Perceivable, Operable, Understandable, Robust) so make POUR decisions. (Job)
  • “kill 9” might be a good way to restart nginx, but Nine is such a nice guy, so don’t do that.
  • REST = Reinvented Every Single Time, because the spec says: do what you want! (Lee)
  • Go for Perl, Programmers! (Perleone, referencing this talk)
  • Go puts the load of getting the right dependencies on the developer, while Perl (etc) puts it on developers AND users. (Sue)
  • Postgres range types are even better than from/to fields (Ilmari, during my Postgres talk)
  • If you can’t test it, measure id or turn it on and off, don’t refactor it (Lance)
  • It’s nice to play Tiefe Taschen again at this YAPC (after play-testing the beta-version last year in Granada)
  • After waiting 2h for food, just leave and go to KFC.
  • Lot of cars in Cluj, and the traffic lights take ages to switch.
  • Nice side effect of live streams: I can skip the not-so-good hotel breakfast, take a walk through Cluj, visit the street market, buy some delicious cake and eat that cake back in the hotel watching Larry talk about Japanese / Chinese characters.
  • apparently the kanji symbol for “shit” consists of “asshole” + “rice” (Larry)
  • Documentation pattern: Don’t document when writing code, but when trying to figure out what it does 6 months later. (ben, hallway track)
  • “minion” might be a word better suited to the 21st century than “slave”. (attendees comment during Geoffry’s talk)
  • When you spend most of Friday on Conference Drive Development, you will not learn a lot.
  • Besides that, it makes no sense to use one of the many generic REST clients on CPAN, because none of them work like you want them to. It’s much easier to just use HTTP::Tiny directly.
  • If you go to your boss and ask for some money to donate to Open Source / Perl project, you might simply get it! (Nine, in a lightning announcement)
  • After three days of meat-based diet (which, BTW, was delicious — Cluj had really nice catering!), a vegetarian restaurant is a welcome change.
  • Approximately half the audience has no module on CPAN (and should upload one), while the other half have a module on CPAN, but no Perl 6 module. So we all have a lot of code to port. (Nadim)
  • Even if you know nothing, the presentation can still take ∞ (Eric)
  • If you don’t bring a camera, you cannot add any images to your blog post, but you can at least provide a link to lots of pictures on twitter
  • Lightning talk with a choir! (Job)
  • App::opan looks like something I need to check out (mst)

As usual, thanks to the orgas, the speakers, the attendees, and of course the sponsors!

See you all next year in Amsterdam!

Originally posted on domm.plix.at.

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Thomas Klausner

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