YAPC::Europe 2013 in Kiev

YAPC::Europe 2013 “Future Perl”

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Week minus 48

16/09/12 17:09 by Andrey Shitov (‎ash‎)

This week we publish an interview with one of the YAPC::Europe 2013 organisers, that was recorded for the recent Yet Another Perl Podcast on 13 September.

Dear listeners, this is the second issue of the second season of Yet Another Perl Podcast, the podcast about Perl in Russian. Here today are myself, Alexander aka Afiskon Alexeev, Dmitry Degtyarev and our today's guest, Perl's rock star Vyacheslav vti Tikhanovskiy. This issue is basically a chat with him.

-- What does it mean, a non-religious developer, as it is stated on your blog?

-- Before answering this question, let me say that a rock star is an exaggeration. As for the non-religious, there're two meanings here. First, I'm non-religious literary, second, Perl is not a religion for me, I can easily use any other programming language or any utilities, be it in Perl or not.

-- But you still think of yourself as of Perl developer, right?

-- Mostly yes, that's right. It is mainly Perl, but as I said, it is possible to go outside.

-- How far did you go outside already, what do you know that you can use with ease?

-- Confess, do you write in PHP?

-- No, I don't use PHP and even never tried. There are no tasks for PHP at hand.

-- What else do you use?

-- It is mainly C, low-level programming. JavaScript, of course. And I write lots of bash scripts.

-- What's on your desktop? Linux?

-- Yes, Ubuntu.

-- Despite the fact that you are a mac user, aren't you?

-- Yes.

-- An interesting choice. Why, if you can explain?

-- I'm used to Linux at my work, it was not comfortable enough to constantly set up an environment, and I installed Ubuntu, that is how it was.

-- Tell us please, what influenced you and what made you choose Perl when you were considering the languages to use. Or you don't think that you already did the choice?

-- There were no any selection of the language. There was a task, I don't remember exactly what that was. And it began in Perl, I did no choice.

-- How long do you program in Perl consciously?

-- I don't remember exactly. Since the institute, maybe since 2004 or 2005.

-- You are a productive programmer and create a few public projects a year.

-- The projects I do in my spare time, yes, I can call them productive.

-- How many projects in Perl are there in a year, did you ever count?

-- It's difficult to say. A random task comes, and there's no solution on CPAN. Indeed, it's a rare case but it leads to a new module or a site. I can't give you an exact number.

-- One of your recent projects that we saw is perltuts.com. What caused you to make it, what did you lack, why? How did the idea come?

-- I wanted to look at Ruby, they've got a site, RubyMonk, there're online lessons there, which you can quickly pass and lean Ruby basics. I thought it could be done in Perl too. And here it comes.

-- How many tutorials are there on Perltuts today?

-- Four or five, I believe.

-- So a newbie in Perl visits a site, and in future there will be a set of tasks to help with learning the language, right?

-- In theory, yes.

-- Interactive online tutorial.

-- Yes, indeed, this is the goal.

-- How can I add a lesson there? It there code on githib?

-- You can download every lesson and read it offline. The only value the site adds is that you can run a code sample there. You can easily download a POD file, examine its structure and create your own tutorial. You can't upload it at the moment, but you can ask me to do that. There is no site code on github yet, I was going to publish it, but had no time yet. To write a tutorial you don't need any code. Just make a simple POD and that's it.

-- OK, let's move on to the most interesting question. Tell us about the YAPC::Europe. What's on in 2013, there should be something very important, right?

-- Yes. It was announced during the last conference in Frankfurt that the next conference will be held in Kiev, and we work hard on it and would also like to see all the programmers from the CIS countries who was not able to come to the conference in Europe before because of different reasons. It is a unique opportunity to meet and see the famous Perl programmers, that's why we are very impatient. I hope everything will be great.

-- Is it right that the preparations are already in process? If so, how do they look like? Do you call the hotels and tell that you want to make a conference?

-- Sure. Before the bid for the city is published, we always need to find a few potential venues. There are a number of conditions and restrictions. Behind the venue stands the general city infrastructure which is considered, the cost of getting there, sightseeing areas etc., etc.

-- Who are the organisers of the conference?

-- Of course, it's Andrew Shitov who organise everything, Yaroslav Korshak and me, and also Anatoly Sharifulin who joined us recently. Thus there are four of us.

-- As the organisers, do you search for the venue, right? Look for sponsors?

-- Yes, everyone is doing what he can.

-- And the most intriguing: tell those who don't read your blog, who will come there?

-- We contacted (well, Andrew did) Larry Wall, Damian Conway and Matt S. Trout. I guess there's no need to explain who they are. And they preliminary agreed and look forward to coming to Kiev, thus we expect their plans won't change.

-- Did you also contact Sebastian Riedel?

-- No, we did not. As far as I remember from the past, he's strongly against attending any Perl events, so I even don't know if it's worth to invite him. Maybe someone will do that.

-- Back to your projects, in particular web projects, it's interesting to note that most of them are built with Dancer. Why Dancer and not Mojolicious which is so popular now?

-- In the past, my projects were based on Mojolicious, now on Dancer. Well, not everything, maybe a couple of them. This is because the projects are not difficult, and I need them to be stable and long-living.

-- As a framework, is it enough for you?

-- In commercial projects I use other frameworks, for sure, but for simple sites Dancer is just right.

-- What do you use in commercial projects?

-- There are custom frameworks with their application specifics suitable for particular tasks. There's nothing single and common at the moment. Every project uses some repeated basic functional but every one has its features.

-- Did you ever notice which function in your Perl code is most frequent?

-- A function? I don't use functions, I use methods only. Maybe it's a constructor :-)

-- What do you think of dependencies in Perl code? I mean, CPAN modules.

-- It's useful of course but again I'm not a fanatic here. If some narrow task is solved with a particular module with good history, why not save time and force. I only agree.

-- Can you recall which module was the first that you installed from CPAN?

-- No, it's difficult to remember. Template::Toolkit maybe.

-- So, still web?

-- Yes.

-- You are mostly a web programmer, aren't you?

-- Yes, mostly I am.

-- BTW, your blog appears to be in English. Why is it so?

-- Probably because the audience is bigger. It's a fact that there are more writings in English about Perl. Thus more chances to get a feedback.

-- So English is not a self-goal for you?

-- No, it is more like a method for getting bigger audience.

(Dmitry) -- Back to the CPAN. Is there a module that you as a developer use everywhere? Not counting Dancer, of course.

(Afiskon) -- I can name at least two. They are Try::Tiny and Carp.

(vti) -- I used Try::Tiny until I've read a discussion somewhere that it was slow, and now I use bare eval, and eval or do. It localises the variable with an error, and no problems usually arise. Try::Tiny doesn't solve the problem. To catch an exception you still need to write ifs, test isa class etc. There is also a nice module Error::Simple but unfortunately it is not maintained for a long time and nobody recommends to use it. But it offers the most handy interface for exceptions. No ifs, just a catch block, just name the classes and immediately get the block where you can handle an exception.

-- There is a language, called Perl 6, which is very very good for working with exceptions. As well with classes. I tried it, I liked it and even created three modules already. Did you try Perl 6 and what do you think about it?

-- I am positive about it. It is nice when something is developing and when a new language influences other languages and the industry in whole but it is not for use yet, there're no advantages yet.

-- We talked earlier to Andrew Shitov, who said that Perl 6 probably has no future [Did I say that?? -- Ash.] and it has done its job bringing new and useful ideas back to Perl 5. Do you think that the language has its future?

-- I also think it is not for use in production now but it's still possible to be a successful if not in production but in influence on Perl 5, other languages and other platforms. There are lots of positive things in those aspects. Thus it may be a bare academic languages, nothing dangerous in it.

-- Well, I think we've asked everything we wanted to today. Do you wish to tell something to our listeners?

-- I would like to invite everybody to the YAPC::Europe in Kiev in August. Try to find an opportunity to come. I think, there will be lot of fun and usefulness there.

-- It's almost in a year, isn't it?

-- Yes 49 weeks.

-- The countdown has started.

-- Right.

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