[San-Diego-pm] Meeting Recap

Chris Grau chris at chrisgrau.com
Wed Apr 16 17:38:23 PDT 2008

=head1 NAME

SanDiego::Meeting::Social - social gathering of the San Diego Perl Mongers

=head1 DATE

Monday, April 14, 2008, 19:00 - 21:00


This is a simple meeting recap, conveniently written in pod so everyone
can read it in whatever format they prefer.  If you lack an appropriate
formatter, well, you can always write one.  As an added bonus, if you're
using a decent MUA *cough*Mutt*cough*, a formatter is only a few
keystrokes away:

    macro pager ,pd "<pipe-message>pod2text<enter>"


For the second month in a row, we had an excellent turn-out that
included a first-time attendee, our very own world traveler, a
long-distance commuter, and someone who just made it to the end of the

Once everyone was seated comfortably around the tables, we introduced
ourselves.  If any of the details of the introduction are incorrect,
respond to the list with an insult, a correction, or both.


=item * Bob

Head Monger, Fearless Leader, Job Seeker.

=item * Al

A system administrator with eight years of Perl experience, and the
group's token Python programmer.

=item * Chris

The web guy.  Now you know who to send complaints to.

=item * Jonathan

In his excitement, drove all the way down from Irvine.  A professional
Perl developer of two years.

=item * Jared

First-time attendee, using Perl since impressionable age of 11!  The
emotional scarring led him to take a hiatus as a bartender.  He's
discovered there is much to re-learn.

=item * Pat

A Perl coder of a couple of years.  Sat at the other end of the table,
so I didn't catch any more of his introduction.

=item * Gautam

Second meeting and regular of the IRC channel.  Also sat at the other
end of the table, so I missed his introduction.

=item * Mark

Has been tinkering with Perl since 1985 (wasn't Perl released in 1987?).
However, Perl has only been a serious obsession since 2000.

=item * George

Has been stuck using Perl since the Great Depression.  Came to it from
C.  Could be worse... it wasn't C++.

=item * Joel

Long time Perl coder.  Always with one foot in, never both.  He brought
tangerines to share with the group.

=item * Cathy

Showed up shortly after the loudspeaker announced Panera's closure.  But
she showed up!



=head2 New Meeting Date

For as long as anyone can remember, the San Diego Perl Mongers have held
their monthly meeting on the second Monday of the month.  This is how it
has always been, and many thought this is how it would always be.

Beginning on 15 May 2008, the San Diego Perl Mongers will meet on the
third Thursday of the month.  The time, 19:00, will remain the same.
The place, Panera Bread, will remain the same, unless another venue is
chosen for a technical presentation.

=head2 Perl Mongers T-shirts

Bob still has four extra-large shirts left.  They are $10 each.  Contact
him if you'd like one.

=head1 TOPICS

=head2 Job Interview Experiences

As the meeting got started, people shared their job interview tales and
frustrations.  Have you ever been under qualified?  Over qualified?  Too
expensive?  Share with the group!  And, if you have a job opening, share
those with the group, too!

=head2 Shiny CPAN Modules

Jonathan joined us from the far reaches of Irvine to share with us his
vision of a world in which Perl is ubiquitous.  A world in which
children learn to program Perl before they can even walk.  Have you ever
needed a CPAN module?  Have you ever known what you wanted, but didn't
know which CPAN module to use?  Have you ever known which CPAN module
you needed, but couldn't figure out how to use it?

Apparently, so has Jonathan (and I'd be lying if you said I hadn't).  He
wants to create a web site where people can contribute code examples for
the best-of-breed CPAN modules.

Al asked if it wouldn't be better to do this on CPAN itself, to take
advantage of the search and annotation capabilities, and to keep it in
one place.

Gautam asked if this is the niche Perl101.org was created to fill.
Jonathan admitted that he had not heard of this web site.  So here it


=head2 Installing CPAN Modules Locally

Joel would like a step-by-step guide to installing CPAN modules on web
hosts in the cgi-bin directory.  This is a revisiting of a topic from a
couple of years ago.  The last time, he finally gave up and wrote his
own captcha module.

Al recommended PAR::Dist (L<http://search.cpan.org/dist/PAR-Dist/>), and
Gautam warned that it depends on META.yml being available in the various
distributions being packaged.

=head2 JSON

Jonathan asked if anyone was using JSON.  Al commented that it's pretty
nice, especially if you just want to pass data as a component without
generating a whole web page.  JSON also allows the programmer to switch
seamlessly between Perl to Javascript, as the data structures are passed
between the two languages.

=head2 Javascript

Speaking of Javascript, Joel asked if anyone was using it.  The current
issue of the I<The Perl Review> (L<http://theperlreview.com/>) contains
a language use graph that ranks Javascript as quite popular in projects.
This is likely due to the tendency to off-load processing to the client
computer under the guise of making web applications more responsive.

Again, speaking of Javascript, Gautam mentioned the Javascript
(L<http://search.cpan.org/dist/JavaScript/>) module for Perl.  Just
because it's last release date is 1 April doesn't mean it's a joke.
It's real!

=head2 Web Browsers

Anytime Javascript is brought up, the discussion inevitably leads into
Firefox, Internet Explorer, and web standards.  This doesn't need much
coverage, as everyone has had this conversation countless times.
However, there was mention of Internet Explorer 7 and it's benefits.  Or
maybe it was detriments.  Honestly, I didn't really pay attention,
because I never use Windows.

=head2 Parallel Processing

Jonathan asked the group's opinion on parallel processing with Perl?  Is
it possible?  Is anyone doing it?  Al does, though he keeps it simple
with ssh keys and POE (L<http://search.cpan.org/dist/POE/>).  There was
talk of other threading modules, as well as the tried and true fork()
call on Unix and Linux platforms.

It was generally agreed upon that, when junctions
(L<http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perl_6#Junctions>) are implemented by
parallelizing the task, Perl 6 would take over the world and no other
languages will be used.  Ever.

=head2 Catalyst

Jonathan asked (I'm going to keep inviting him to meetings, because he
stimulates so many discussions) if anyone is using Catalyst and what
they thought about it?  Jared pointed out what everyone else was
thinking, but too afraid to say: it has a steep learning curve.
However, it looks like it's very useful and worth learning.

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