YAPC Europe in Kiev
August 24, 2013
This year's YAPC (Yet Another Perl Conference) Europe was held in Kiev, Ukraine on August 12-14. There was a full schedule of three tracks of interesting talks at the conference, spread over three days.
I spoke just after lunch on the first day. My talk was Adventures in Perl Packaging, on our experience at End Point building a custom-compiled perl RPM for RHEL/CentOS, and many hundreds of CPAN modules into RPMs in a custom Yum repository. I also touched on similarities in Debian, alternative ways of getting custom perl & CPAN using perlbrew, plenv, and Carton (akin to Ruby's rvm, rbenv, and bundler), and others' efforts at packaging Perl modules in RPMs. I had several good follow-up conversations later about this and have some plans about how we may do things better in RHEL/CentOS 7.
Larry Wall, creator of Perl (and also patch!), was at this conference, and it was fun to talk with him and his wife Gloria again. Larry pretty definitively settled one question: In recent months an idea has been floated that the next version of Perl 5 might simply be renamed to Perl 7 to skip over the seemingly endlessly under construction Perl 6. That would solve an annoying marketing problem, in that Perl 5 continues to grow and improve but its younger incomplete sibling Perl 6 still isn't usable in most production situations, so Perl can seem to be stalled. Anyway, Larry said no to that and said Perl 6 simply needs to keep moving.
Many of the talks were interesting. A few that stood out to me were:
- Benchmarking is REALLY hard by Peter Rabbitson
- Replacing Module::Build by Leon Timmermans
- why timezones are difficult by Zefram
- Growing a Perl team (and the whole Perl community too!) by Alex Balhatchet
At the end of each day was about an hour of lightning talks (max. 5 minutes each). As always, these were enjoyable and interesting and the rapid pace kept everyone's interest and prevented any one topic from dragging on too long.
The social event on the night after the second day was a river cruise, which was a fun setting to get to know more people and see a bit more of Kiev at the same time. The photo to the right is of Andrei Shitov (who headed up the conference) and me, and on the left one of his co-workers. Andrei and the rest of the volunteers from YAPC Russia did a great job making the conference well-run and very affordable.
The conference venue was the Ukraine House convention center which was spacious and interesting and centrally located to the Khreshchatyk street that has many hotels, monuments, and people about at all times of day and night.
The choice of Kiev was a big draw for me and a lot of other attendees, and it's a beautiful city that was a lot of fun to explore outside of the conference. Between metro, bus, and walking, it was easy to get around the city.
Next year's YAPC Europe will be held in Sofia, Bulgaria, so if you're interested, start making plans now!