London Perl Workshop 2017

This year I have been able to attend the London Perl Workshop.

These are my impressions:

The organization

The organizers have done a spectacular job, everything was impeccable: the place, the schedule, the coffee breaks, the community bakes, the pre and post meetings, etc. So I would like say thank you again to everybody involved: the organizers, the volunteers, the speakers and the sponsors. It was perfect, really!

The talks

Those were the talks I attended that I found remarkable:

  • Web automation with WWW::Mechanize::Chrome by Corion: It seems Mozilla has decided to limit what Firefox add-ons can do making some of them, as the MozRepl used to control Firefox from the outside, unworkable and that has broken WWW::Mechanize::Firefox (also from Corion and which I have been happily using for a long time). Fortunately, Corion has stepped up again and created WWW::Mechanize::Chrome replacing the Firefox dependency by Chrome (or Chromium). The talk went into the fine details of using the module showing the audience its full potential and I found it pretty interesting. Thanks Corion!

  • Devel::MAT updated by Paul Evans: The author showed us the recent improvements he has done on Devel::Mat, a Perl module for memory usage tracing and debugging. I was impressed! The care Paul has taken to make it friendly and useful to others. Next time I have to debug some memory related problem I know where to look. Thanks Paul!

  • GraphQL in Perl: The Story So Far by Ed J: GraphQL seems to be the future for Web Services and Ed J showed us how his module GraphQL can be used to support it from Perl. Again, that project looks like a big effort, both conceptually and at the implementation level and it looks quite promising!

  • An introduction to Rust by Mark Sta Ana: This was an interesting talk that started which a very brief introduction to Rust and ended showing us how to call Rust code from Perl. It just reminded me that I must go into learning Rust in deep.

  • Debian Tips and Tricks‎ by Lacey Powers: I have been using Debian (and some of its derivatives) for more than two decades and still I didn’t know about most of the tricks showed by Lacey (and they were for solving common problems). So, thanks Lacey!

My talk

I gave my own talk about Win32::Packer, a module for packing Perl applications for Windows. I went directly for a live demo, leaving enough time for Q&A afterwards, something I have already successfully tried at the Barcelona Perl&Friends workshop a couple of weeks before. I was not sure how easy would be for me to do it using my rusty English, but at the end I believe everything went well, there were lots of questions and several attendees approached me later to say they have liked it.

Getting my talks to be more interactive is something I have consistently being doing lately. Instead of following a stack of slides monotonously as I used to do, now, I try to include links to web pages which I follow freely, show and/or edit code and run it live, and also let the attendees ask questions and influence what I am talking about. I known it is much riskier, and that it may not work well for every subject or talk, but so far, it has been positive for me and I think people enjoys my talks better that way.

In summary

It was a great event, with interesting talks and I really enjoyed it!

Again, thanks to all who make it happen!!!

Written on November 29, 2017