The bear dances: LCA Miniconfs Day 1 Afternoon

Even before the presentation, useful tidbits came flying out. Damien and an audience member had a discussion about practical aspects of presentations (ie. looking at code and things during the presentation). Damien pointed out that he structures his presentations around the assumption that people have nothing, and that the audience doesn’t really want to be interactively compiling and examing code and whatnot. As it happens, I’m hiding up the back anyway, trying not to be noisy with my keyboard. I’m actually back here because that’s where the powerpoint is, but I guess it’s all for the best.

I don’t think I can do justice to this talk. So trust me, it’s fascinating. He’s given it before and gets rave reviews. ^_^

It’s certainly an amazing and useful and complements my recent reading of the Perl 6 Synopses, (I’m only half-way through 2, as I was reading them during a series of outages at work, which solved itself right as I got into the swing of it…

OK, one thing that is so glorious I have to write it:

my $π = 355/113;

And that’s not even the coolest thing. Well, I think it’s cool, ASCII people will think I’m dumb (To whom I say “«»”, “¥” and with a bit of luck “≅” although that is currently only ~~ and in fact is rendered differently in different fonts. For me, by hand it’s two ~s on top of each other…), but there’s just so much good good stuff here.

Actually, the coolest thing might be that the Quantum::Superpositions module (by Damien Conway, as it happens) is part of the basic perl6 syntax. He’s calling them “Junctions” or “Junctive Operators” now.

Side note: The men’s toilets near Burns 4,5,6,7 appear to be designed such that, no matter how carefully you aim, you reflect your urine back onto your own shoes. I highly recommend a look… Women might want to knock first or something, and possibly also visit the urinals in the Link area to get an idea of what you’re comparing to.

OK, 10 minutes before the (scheduled) end, the coolest neat thing appears!


compiles but does not run. That’s actualy its job. It came up in the “roles” discussion. Roles are like “interfaces” in Java, but more.

I guess the final summary is that perl6 is all the DWIM of perl5, plus more, plus real Object-Oriented, plus Aspect-Oriented, plus a real and good VM, plus literate programming, plus functional programming… But wait, there’s more! And no XS!

And in good news, a very very very provisional release suggestion is in the next twelve to eighteen months. ^_^ Want it sooner? What perl6 needs: Money for the people they’ve got to put more time into it (including hiring Damian to train perl), developers to put time into it, and people to champion the cause in their organisations… Hmm. Isn’t that the Debian wish-list? (And the Ubuntu got-list…)

Gonna be a hell of a keynote on Friday.

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