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Perls and Rubys

Okay, I'm back at the hotel now. Perhaps it's jet lag, perhaps I'm just stuck in my ways, but I just didn't grok the Ruby talk this morning. Large parts of the language seem very cool (I like being able to run methods on integers like 3.times { print "Ho!" }, and I like being able to add methods to individual objects at runtime), other parts just flew over my head. Granted I was busy hacking on some Mono code, so this is probably my fault. I'll have to come back to this in the future.

Despite my attempts at learning Ruby, it's been a Perl-ish day so far. I got the Max line (Portland-ese for light rail) to the conference centre this morning with Damian Conway, and we chatted about his new book, Perl Best Practices. I had read in the press release that there are exactly 256 guidelines for writing better code, and it turns out that was entirely co-incidental - he even wanted to add just one more to avoid the number being a power of two, but his editor said he wanted to wrap the book up. He also said that the book came out of a Best Practices talk he did, and - most interesting of all - that about half the content is still important even if you don't program in Perl. I'm very much looking forward to reading it when a review copy comes through.

Then, back at the hotel, I bump into Larry Wall in the lobby, tapping away at his laptop. It turns out he's working on his speech for tomorrow night (the infamous "State of the Onion" talk).

Me: Try doing it on screensavers (this was the topic of his talk last year)
Him: I think I should go for something original. This year I'm doing it on pictures my daughter made for a game.
Me: That doesn't sound much to do with Perl...
Him: Oh, I'll make it fit!

Larry's a really chilled out guy; I hope to get an interview with him while I'm here for a future edition of LXF.

Joby, the photographer, has indeed arrived, and is indeed staying much closer to the hotel than I am. D'oh! We've arranged to meet up at 1:30 and start getting some important shots taken.


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