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OSCON Day 2, Part 2: Improving Error Reporting

July 24th, 2009 Posted in Conferences, Perl, PHP

(Or, “This is a lot easier to do when I’ve had more sleep the night before.”)

The highlight of the second day, for most if not all in the Perl community, was Larry Wall’s annual “State of the Onion” talk. Larry’s talks are not the kind you can easily summarize with a handful of quickly typed/scribbled notes. The basic gist of it, though, could be summarized as focusing on improving the quality and timeliness of error reporting in Perl 6 and the Parrot grammar/parsing engine. As is usually the case with Larry’s talks, it provided a good deal of food for thought in areas above and beyond the examples that were shown.

As to the rest of the day, for me, it was largely PHP-tastic. The first session I attended was Patrick Michaud’s talk on building compilers with the Parrot Compiler Tools. This session cleared up a lot of questions I had, and I hope to find the bandwidth to explore these tools some over the next few months. The other three sessions I got to were all PHP; one on building distributed systems with PHP (that actually focused more on proper configuration, care and feeding of memcached), one on PHP best practices (which was doubly-interesting in that the pair giving the presentation have been doing it for years, and in their slides they showed how the impression of “best practices” has evolved as PHP itself has), and finished the day with a session on the PHP Xdebug extension. I found this one the most interesting, as I am still such a novice with PHP.

In addition to the above, and as I mentioned in my previous post, I took a leap of faith and did my first-ever lightning talk. These are talks limited (STRICTLY!) to 5 minutes each. You can go back to the previous post for the links to the topic I spoke on, and you can peruse my slides here. (The slides are done using the fantastic S5 system by Eric Meyer. Took me about 3 minutes to get the feel for it and start focusing on actual slides-content.)

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