Further reports from YAPC::Europe

Thanks to those who’ve been uploading photos to Flickr and tagging them with yapceu07. Here’s one by Sébastien Aperghis-Tramoni of Leon Brocard and his pet camel:

acmecamel.jpg

Dave Cantrell reports on each day’s activities: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday.

The conference dinner at a Heuriger on the outskirts of Vienna was great. The orga-punks had hired a small fleet of buses to get us there and back, and one of the sponsors laid on a great buffet. The local wine was pretty damned fine too, and then the evening de-generated into Schnapps, with toasts to Her Majesty, to her splendid navy, and to The Village People.

BinGOs has made available the slides he used for the POE Hackathon: introduction and main slide set. [ Ed: these links are timing out for me right now, but I hope they’ll come good soon. ]

osfameron has uploaded his “Big Bad Wolf” slides — all about debugging web applications — to slideshare:

http://s3.amazonaws.com/slideshare/ssplayer.swf?id=100712&doc=bigbadwolf2378

Smylers spoke at YAPC::Europe about How to talk at a Perl conference for beginners.

If you’ve recently created some amazing software that you’re eager to evangelize then that’s an obvious thing to talk about. But what if you haven’t? That’s OK — there’s lots of good stuff you can talk about that’s produced by others who aren’t at the conference, or don’t have time to create presentations about it, or are so close to the project that they can’t relate to beginners, or …

If you’d like to present at YAPC next year, or any other Perl conference, his guide should get you started.

And finally, domm has been posting links to further videos of YAPC::Europe on YouTube. We showed you the pre-conference dinner in our previous post, but now videos of Tuesday and Wednesday are also available. I really like the second one:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bUXSml6O_48&w=425&h=353]

YAPC::Europe slides available: Moose and Web::Scraper

A couple of sets of slides available from YAPC::Europe presentations given over the last couple of days:

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http://s3.amazonaws.com/slideshare/ssplayer.swf?id=99618&doc=webscraper1372

If you’re presenting at YAPC::Europe and putting your slides online, tag them yapceu07 and/or tell us about it in a comment or an email.

News from YAPC::Europe

A quick round-up of news and links from Vienna, where the community-run YAPC::Europe conference is currently in progress.

domm reports on the pre-conference dinner with video:

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4gXSXBiXVb4&w=425&h=353]

maks gives his take on day one:

The talks are on going, schedule got some last minute updates. Cog gave us a fun keynote on how to socialize in order to get most out of a YAPC. Larry Wall gave his current vision on scripting languages. Matt Trout had a full audience for an enthusiatic talk about the community around DBIx::Class. Hackathons are ongoing and domm is preparing videos of the welcome night. The Selenium talk by Barbie got high prise. gwolf did a very good presentation about the challenges of the Debian Perl group. So the first day looks like a win and we are happy to see how it will go on.. 🙂

Rija has been live-blogging each day: Tuesday and Wednesday are up so far.

A few people on Flickr have been tagging their photos with yapceu07 — if anyone else is uploading photos, please do the same! Here’s one by Andy Armstrong of Mark Jason Dominus, author of Higher-Order Perl:

mjd.jpg

And finally, next year’s YAPC::EU will be in Copenhagen. jonasbn reports the news on use.perl.org.

Bid on one-month perlbuzz.com ad package at YAPC::Europe auction

If you’re looking for attention for your business, your open source project, your Perl Mongers group, or just want to buy space on the front of perlbuzz.com, now’s your chance.

Perlbuzz.com has donated a special ad package to be auctioned off at the Perl Foundation auction at YAPC::EU. The winner of the auction will get an ad placed on the front page of Perlbuzz.com for one month in the far right column, just below the “About Perlbuzz” box, linking to the URL of his or her choice. In addition, we’ll also include a feature article about your business/project/group/whatever.

This isn’t just for businesses! Maybe the
Catalyst team wants to tell everyone it’s better than Jifty. Perhaps the London Perl Mongers want to spread a little orange around the web. Put up an LOLcat if you want. The choice is up to you.

The auction takes place in Vienna on Thursday, August 30th at 16:15 local time (UTC +2). Not in Vienna? You can still bid via IRC, in channel #yapc on MagNET (irc.perl.org). Get there early and let your intentions be known so you don’t miss out.

Join the fun, help support the Perl Foundation, and get your image and story in front of the readership of Perl’s newest news source.

(Disclaimer: The winner will have to provide the 160×240 ad, and of course perlbuzz.com reserves the right not to link to or display something offensive, illegal or otherwise inappropriate for the site.)

search.cpan.org makes improvements in searching

search.cpan.org, which for many people is the CPAN, has added a crucial little enhancement. The star ratings given to distributions at cpanratings.perl.org now appear on the search results. This makes it easy to tell at a glance which modules may best serve your needs.

Say you want a module to work with Excel spreadsheets. Now, when you search on “Excel”, the star ratings in the results give the searcher starting points.

Thanks to Graham Barr for making this change.

Perl’s Artistic License comes under legal scrutiny

There’s very little case law around Open Source software licenses, but this week we’ve seen an interesting case involving the Artistic License, under which Perl is distributed.

The blog Law and Life: Silicon Valley has a discussion of the case:

The decision makes two important points: (1) the Artistic License is a contract and (2) the failure to include the copyright notices was not a “restriction” on the scope of the license. The first point is important because the Free Software Foundation and some lawyers have taken the position that open source licenses are not contracts. They have good reasons for wishing to avoid some contract formalities, but this position has complicated discussions about the enforceability and remedies for open source licenses.

The second point is very important because it deals with remedies. Generally, the remedy for contract violations under US law is damages, not “injunctive relief” (which means that the court order a party to cease their violation). On the other hand, copyright infringement generally includes a presumption that injunctive relief is appropriate. Thus, the question of whether the violation of a license is a contract violiation or copyright infringement (it can be both) is very important, because licensors would prefer to obtain an injunction prohibiting the breach of the license.

As pointed out in the article linked above, this decision in relation to the Artistic License doesn’t apply to other licenses. This will no doubt have some bearing on how Perl chooses to use the Artistic 2.0 license.

An article on use Perl asks:

  • Could the same thing happen under the Artistic 2.0 or Will further revisions to the Artistic license be required?
  • Should adoption of Artistic 2.0 wait until Perl 5.10?

However, as a District Court case, this decision only applies in California — admittedly a very influential place in the tech world, but we can still hope that this decision, which many see as a bad one, will be overturned in a higher court.

Further reading:

Pittsburgh Perl Workshop offers day-long introductory class

For those wanting to get a jump-start on their Perl skills, the Pittsburgh Perl Workshop 2007 will offer a day-long class, “From Zero To Perl”, taught by Daniel Klein. I’m glad to see PPW providing content for beginners, since conference content tends to expert-level material. Now you can drag along your non-Perl-using co-workers when you head out to Pittsburgh for October 13th-14th, 2007.

Statistical views of open source projects on ohloh.net

ohloh.net is a social networking site built around open source projects. People give kudos to each other, and there’s some sort of ranking system such that I’m #277 of 29,000 users, which shows that their ranking system is fueled by psychedelics.

ohloh has some cool analyses for the projects, since they analyze the public source repositories of the projects they track. For instance, here’s the codebase size for Parrot

There are also great tools to look at who’s committed to projects. Take a look at the list of committers to the Parrot project. This is a great use of sparklines to reveal the history of the project through the amount of code committed to the project.

See how Leopold Tösch works like crazy for years on Parrot, then disappears.
My Parrot contributions started out modest, and then I lost interest for a year, then came back a year later.
Compare that to my Perl 5 contributions which are more sporadic, but over a longer period of time.

I’ve never seen analyses like these done before. If there are others, please let me know in the comments.

How to get listed on CPAN Watch

(Note: A permanent page about this is here.)
I’ve been filtering the full CPAN uploads feed for a few days now and posting the highlights to our CPAN Watch blog. I thought I’d take this opportunity to publicise a few tips on how to get your module listed on CPAN watch.
### Do…
* Include a Changes file. It can be named Changes, CHANGES, ChangeLog, or anything of the kind, just as long as it exists.
* Document the changes for each release. I can’t tell what’s changed if you don’t tell me.
* Put your change log in reverse chronological order. This makes it easy to see the most recent change.
* Give me an easy headline by listing the most significant changes first.
* Be specific. Don’t just say “bugfixes”, tell me which bugs in particular.
### Don’t…
* Make me go to an external website or Subversion repository to find out what’s changed.
* Refer to “improvements”, “new features”, or “bugfixes” without explaining what they are.
* Leave your Changes file completely empty. (Yes, I’ve seen this!)
* Release a list of your Subversion commit messages as a change log.
If you follow these guidelines, I’ll read your change log and try to determine whether your release is “significant”. This is a bit of a fuzzy judgment, but here are some of the guidelines I use:
### Significant
* New features added
* Major bugfixes
* Breaking backward compatibility
* Many changes grouped together, even if each is individually small
* First release of a major module in some time
* New release of something that looks to be of broad interest and usefulness
### Insignificant
* Documentation/packaging/test changes
* Internals-only changes, refactoring, etc.
* Small changes (eg. one small bug fixed)
* Developer releases
* Unauthorized releases
I hope this will help clarify what criteria I use for CPAN Watch. Not surprisingly, these are the same sorts of things potential users of your module look for as well. As time permits, I’ll be automating some of this process, so it will be increasingly important for distributions to document their changes in a way I can pick up programatically.

“Beginning Perl” turned into a wiki

Simon Cozens has been mostly absent from the Perl community since he’s gone off to mission work in Japan, but he writes in to tell us:

I’ve begun the process of putting my (very) old book Beginning Perl,
first edition, into a wiki to allow it to be updated, corrected and
annotated: http://books.simon-cozens.org/index.php/Beginning_Perl It’s a very rough data dump at the moment and needs a lot of gardening,
but hopefully it’s still a useful resource.

Thanks to Simon for making this available to the community.