The Joe Effect

I know I’m fully scarred now. As I sit in a discussion by a six-apart employee talking about “Building an Object Relational Driver that Doesn’t Suck”:http://oscal.quxx.info/talk/view/196 Ben is teaching his concepts using a conceptual recipe storage database, with comments/etc.

After knowing “Joe”:http://blog.josephhall.com and seeing the start of his “openrecipeformat”:http://openrecipeformat.org/ , I find myself wanting to scream. yes his model is technically right, it doesn’t come near to what would really be wanted.

Of course, it is a trivial design just to get the point across, but I am scarred! 🙂

Brain Bender of the Day

Audrey Tang gave an extremely interesting presentation today that turned up being a description of several amazing modules she has been working on and pushing into the Jifty framework. I had a lot of trouble describing all the things to Harley and James, so I just wanted to link to her blog, entry where she has her slides. They will explain far better than I can.

“Audrey’s RHOX Presentation”:http://pugs.blogs.com/pugs/2006/07/rhox_slides_las.html

Things to take away:

* RHOX is a great new acronym
* CPAN _the gathering_
** I want that game 🙂
* Great declarative tools are in Perl5 now
* Perl6 modules are more than just basic tools now, very advanced stuff
* Mini Languages are much easier now
* Audrey can freak out even seasoned Perl developers
** ex. bless( $obj => 0); (think about that now…)
* XML::All
* Object::Declare
* Scalar::Defer
* Turn cookies into Inodes, and split your compressed, encrypted session data and keep it on the client
** easy way to not be limited by 4k blocks

Tuesday Night

Tuesday night is always a fun night at OSCON, and this year looked at setting new expectations for the future. The evening started off with the Presentation of the Google Open Source Recognition awards, which gave some nice money and trophies to important, yet unrecognized members of the open source world.

Following this, Larry Wall gave the annual “State of the Onion” speech, which I’m sure will be posted on “Perl.com”:http://www.perl.com before too long. His speech this year was themed on the family, and how Perl was like a child that was just maturing out of the teenage years. While much of the speech was humorous as always, he made very valid points as to how Perl has been changing, especially as she enters the Real adult world in terms of her peers and parenting. He had a very interesting graph as to the development of the Perl6 language, and made specific points as to the state of Perl6, including just how many test cases it now passes, and how much of it will be workable by Christmas, actually right along the expected timeline (amazing).

Following Larry, the “Perl Mongers”:http://pm.org gave out their White Camel awards, the first of which going to the creator of “Perlcast”:http://www.perlcast.com

After the White Camels, Kathy Sierra of “Passionate Users”:http://headrush.typepad.com/ presented on *Creating Passionate Users*. While slightly edgy 😉 her presentation had many great points about what makes any project/community/etc be more than just “not suck”. She talked about the importance of making your users have a true passion, and what that would do for them, and you. I’m quite interested in ==reading the book she mentioned== now. A coworker had just finished that and highly recommended it. Also, the best image of the night goes to “Cognitive Seduction”:http://headrush.typepad.com/photos/uncategorized/mouseonshoulder.jpg

Finalizing the night, “Damian Conway”:http://damian.conway.org gave his “Davinci Codebase” presentation. This extremely well written presentation was a humorous display that took the davinci code, and integrated more geek puns and jokes than you can imagine. The really tricky part is how he got some of the strange math and cryptography examples to work so well together, such as the reverse crypted text, that was readable, but when crypted, gave other phrases, then once again could be read in a different direction. or the prime number when ‘unzipped’ turned into said crypted text. gah, it was scary.

Embracing And Extending RT – Tuesday PM

“Jesse Vincent”:http://www.fsck.com/ of “Best Practical”:http://bestpractical.com along with “Robert Spier”:http://use.perl.org/~Robrt/journal/ of some little company called “Google”:http://www.google.com Presented on Extending and Embracing RT. So what is “RT”:http://bestpractical.com/rt/ ? Well you could follow the link, but that would be too easy.

RT is Request Tracker, a “Ticketing System”. A generic way to file a notification into a queue, and then manage it inside your corporate workflow. How you use a ticketing system varies greatly on your company, and what you need. RT is designed to be flexible enough to meet those needs.

I didn’t need to take too many notes outside of the slides, but that was largely because the slides explained things very well, and I have also ==read the RT book== , and use the program.

The slides gave a lot of extra information on tools and methodology to directly work with the insides of RT, both for using it’s api’s for interfacing with the data, as well as customizing the code itself.

One of the main things I pulled from this was assurances on certain features my job has been most interested in, and a knowledge that upgrading our older internal version will really give a lot of very wanted toys to certain people.

Charting and graphing is now built in, instead of needing the Statistics plugin, or your own tools (still easily available though). The entire interface has been redone, and is now XHTML strict + CSS *yay*, the default homepage is a user customizable page, with droplets.

RT is a system that now more than ever I heartily recommend for organizations who need to manage queues, tickets, requests, and any other name that applies to this basic management concept. It’s amazing power, plentiful features, and ease of extensibility lend itself to small and large organization alike. And of course, it knocks the socks off that lame “Bugzilla”:http://www.bugzilla.org product 🙂
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Advanced DBI – Tuesday Morning OSCON

Tuesday morning I attended “Tim Bunce’s”:http://search.cpan.org/~timb/ Presentation on Advanced DBI (Slides Coming Soon). I attended this “presentation”:http://search.cpan.org/~timb/DBI_AdvancedTalk_2004/ several years ago, and wanted to see the updated version.

Tim Bunce is the creator of DBI, the Perl Database Interface, and a great source to tell you what you need to know about DBI. I’m appending my notes to the slides here, that might pull some of my perspective to them.

The biggest highlights of the presentation to me:

* Enhanced Debug modes
** now can provide coderef’s for dispatching at debug and error levels
** Easy ENV vars to turn on debugging
** Easy to enhance
* Enhanced Profiling
** Multiple levels for great verbosity
* swap_inner_handle
** this method is a “Brain Transplant Voodoo” method
** Will allow some magic that we want to do with automated handling for read-only slaves, and write masters (See this space later for logic when we figure it out)

Oscon Monday wrap-up

I’d better catch up. On Monday afternoon I was signed up for “MJD’s”:http://www.plover.com/ Higher Order Perl class. This was a very useful class, but wound up being stuff I’ve already heard/read. During the break I jumped over and caught the last amazing half of Damians’ amazing Vim class. This one had some great tools I hadn’t seen before, and is just another reason that your company should look at hiring him in for training. Even if your company doesn’t even want to think about Perl, that was one of the most useful presentation’s I’ve seen.

As for MJD’s class. I really must say the content was extremely good, and his style of presentation is very nice, but it was exactly stuff I’d seen before, and what I’d read in his most excellent Higher Order Perl book. If you want to really change your view of what Perl is, or if you are a Lisp/Scheme/other functional programmer and want to see how Perl can work for you, check this book out.

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