Thursday, 6 August 2009

YAPC::EU::2009 Lisbon

I'm back from the European Perl conference in Lisbon.
Man, that was fun. Lisboa is a great city, with plenty of tourist sights to see before the conference itself. I was staying in Hotel Alif, the main conference hotel, along with many other Perlmongers. The metro system was good and easy to use (wish I could say the same about London ;-) and it was simple getting to the conference venue at the Faculty of Sciences, Lisbon University.

The standard of talks this year was very high and I attended more than usual. In particular, I wanted to hear more about Moose the meta-object protocol based extension to Perl 5.

Moose in Perl 5.10 brings in the best language features of Perl 6, Common Lisp, Smalltalk, Java, Ruby etc. while still being compatible with older Perl 5 code such as the huge library at CPAN.
It lets you handle in a simple, powerful and intuitive way:
  • classes
  • data members and accessors
  • method parameter signatures and type-checking (no more @_ unrolling)
  • roles
  • traits
  • mix-ins
Giving shorter, easier-to-read and more expressive code that is much easier to maintain.

Moose's core features are now stable and production-ready and any self-respecting Perl 5 programmer should consider switching to using it as soon as possible.

Piers Cawley told us about how he moved from Perl to Ruby then was lured back to Perl by the cutting-edge language features that have been added to Perl 5. The joy of it was apparently enough to make him sing! Either that or is was the sight of beautiful teutonic youths ;-)

Yuval Kogman filled in the details of using Moose and some MooseX modules and is running a long best practices Moose training session today in the post-conference training slot.

Paul Fenwick of Perl Training Australia gave us a good run through of modern Perl programming using Moose and autobox with some interesting asides on autodie, PAR::Repository for automatic deployment and updating of applications, and application speed profiling using Devel::NYTProf.

To get you started with Moose I can recommend the Moose book by Dave Rolsky and Stevan Little.

Well done to the organisers, and I look forward to next year's event in Pisa, Italy.

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