Thu, 11 May 2017
This year the Perl QA Hackathon has been rebranded as the Perl Toolchain Summit on the advice of the marketing team. This is the tenth year that the event has been held and, after missing the first few due to scheduling conflicts with my (then young) children's birthdays, I suppose I have now become something of a regular. This year the event is being held in sunny^W rainy Lyon - a shortish train and car (thanks Lee) ride for me.
The Perl Toolchain Summit (hereafter PTS) has become the most important Perl event of the year for me. It's a chance to get together in one room (two actually) as many of the people as possible who work on the Perl infrastructure. This is not the perl core, but the entire toolchain that fits around the core - primarily focussed on CPAN, the archive of Perl modules. CPAN was one of the first such archives, and the infrastructure around it - especially with regard to CPAN Testers and the MetaCPAN architecture, is generally regarded as without peer.
PTS brings together about 35 Perl developers from around the globe to work on this infrastructure together, and to thrash out the sort of problem in which five or six people can sit together and find a good solution which might otherwise have taken months of discussion to reach.
These discussions often mean that people leave with longer TODO lists than when they arrive, which is probably as it should be. But apart from the discussions, there's also a lot of hacking work that takes place, and it's remarkably efficient, when working on code that uses someone else's module, to be able to lean over and ask them a specific question about that module.
In short, if you or your company cares about Perl, you should probably care about PTS.
PTS started on Wednesday afternoon for me. On the train I was able to merge a pull request for Devel::Cover that I had been putting off for too long. I carried on merging pull requests on Thursday, the first full day of the PTS, and fixed various problems and closed a number of tickets. Then I released Devel::Cover 1.25.
In the evening we had a joint meal at an Ethiopian restaurant, sponsored by cPanel (thanks!) and Lyon almost beat Ajax by enough to get to the Europa League final, but just missed out.
Looking forward to day 2 being as productive.
Many thanks to all the sponsors without whom this event would simply not be possible: