Thursday, July 28, 2011

Perl World

:: from July 3-5, 2011 ::

Jeff Zucker is here, my old friend and associate from CUE days (that was Center for Urban Education). We sat around the table in the foyer of the ballroom, catching up.

I'm walking the talk of the totem toter, diving deep into Perl culture coming from snake charming (a related brand of geekery). The totem spent the whole convention at the Perl Foundation booth, nuzzling with the camel. An inflatable globe also got into the act, perhaps signifying world domination (yet again, yawn).

Apropos of this theme, Trish hosted a Perl versus Python debate on the convention TV station, if we might call it that. Is Netflix a TV company or an Internet company?

We've been talking about, the domain name.

The debate was most friendly. Steve thanked Perl culture for helping to get this O'Reilly circus off the ground in the first place. OSCON is an outgrowth of the Perl conference. In coming to State of the Onion, I'm in some sense at the core. I may not stay for lightning talks though.

Staff is over on Hawthorne welcoming a new mentor. I'm eager to meet him too. My schedule took me back to 97214 for Food Not Bombs duty, adjutant to officer Walker (Blue House has offices).

Once David showed up, I was sure she had enough help, so bowed out, having helped with those coconuts, washing and sterilizing serving utensils, sharing some Quaker lore with our kitchen mates.

Earlier, at the Expo, after yet another excellent Google lunch, Scott sidled up to me yakking about Simple Gifts, as frequently cited by Copland in that famous symphony of his.

He's interested in the Quaker angle as well.

Trish was emceeing the televised debate with Chairman Steve and Peter. They took turns counting from 10 to 1, showing slides, going through their respective languages' best features, each somewhat teasing the other, a good-natured rivalry.

"Learn both" was Trish's advice, as a PHP coder.

You can see me on the video towards the middle, during the crowd shot: a hunchy gray big guy with the green PSF snake, which I was in the process of transporting back to its hovel on the Max and bus, given the booth fest was to end. At the booth fest: lots more talk with Computers for Kids (hand-me-downs, not spanking new OLPC stuff), and DemocracyLab. Open source TV production.

State of the Onion: mixed with lightning talks this year. I'm learning a lot listening to all this. I should go look for a bus soon.