Monday, 27 December 2010

A 2010 filled with Perls

2010 is almost over, and I figured it's time for a retrospective of yet another awesome year for the Perl programming language and its worldwide communities. I tried making this list as complete as possible, but it's of course my own point of view, so feel free to add anything you feel I've missed on the comments below, or in your own blog post.

So, without further ado, here are (my) highlights of the Perl world in 2010!


The year started with Perl Oasis, the traditional conference in Florida, USA, in a full day packed with great talks!

The Bulgarian Perl Workshop in Sofia also had some very nice practical talks about modern Perl topics.

Viacheslav Tykhanovskyi released Text::Haml, a Perl renderer for the increasingly popular Haml templates born in the Ruby/Rails world. The popularity is spreading fast, and there are already views for it in Catalyst, Mojolicious and Dancer.


Frozen Perl, a three-day event in Minnesota, USA, this year also had two Perl classes and a hackathon. Very nice!

On the other side of the world, the Perlburg Workshop in Yekaterinburg, Russia, was also packed with talks on several modern Perl topics.

The first version of perlbrew was released! What an amazing tool by Kang-min Liu, letting you manage several different perl installations in your home dir. Feels like forever, right?

How about cpanm, yet another incredible miyagawa-ware, proving to be an excellent lightweight alternative for installing Perl modules. It also made its debut to CPAN in February, and now you can even do curl -L | perl - $MODULE. Soo sexy!

Tools like these two and local::lib make us wonder how did we live before them :-)

In fact, speaking of Miyagawa, man was he on fire or what this month?! February also marked the release of Starman, a high-performance preforking PSGI/Plack web server. It fits so nicely it's now used in production everywhere.

Last but most certainly not least, David Mitchell submitted a grant proposal to The Perl Foundation, to fix bugs in core Perl 5. It was a huge success, and over the year he worked for more than 500 hours and closed 127(!!) tickets.


The Perl 6 Hackathon in Copenhagen, Denmark, raised a lot of awareness around Perl 6, showed practical examples and offered a hands-on experience to all attendants.

Perl also made a huge appearance in Germany at CeBIT, the world's largest computer expo, showcasing modern Perl solutions like Moose, Catalyst and DBIx::Class to over 8000 individual developers and companies from all around the globe, not to mention products such as Foswiki, and OTRS. Nice marketing, Perl::Staff! :-)

Moose 1.0 was released to the world! Now, I know Moose has been stable and production ready for a few years now, being the de-facto way to create and manipulate objects in modern Perl, and the only reason 1.0 was released was because they ran out of two-digit numbers. Either way, it looks nice and might make some enterprise people subconsciously more comfortable using it ;-)

March is the month of the first Equinox of the year, and the São Paulo Perl Mongers in Brazil celebrated the date with a calendar of Perl articles in portuguese, contributed by developers all over the country, just like the traditional advent calendars in december.


Perl 5 release 12 was finally out of the oven! And what a great improvement it was, with default strictness, Unicode overhaul, Y2038 compliance, pluggable keywords, and much more!

The Perl QA Hackathon in Vienna, Austria, gathered around 30 people in 3 full days of intense (and happy!) hacking, culminating in several improvements on the already great Quality Assurance tools for Perl, including Devel::Cover, Test::Smoke and Test::Harness.

Bugzilla 3.6 was released, offering exciting new features for users and administrators, including migration tools, a simple "Browse" interface, lots of usability improvements and drop-in extensions.

Josheph Hall and brian d foy did it again, and the second edition of Effective Perl Programming is better than ever, showing real problems and real solutions, just like the companion website. What are you waiting for, go get it now!

The unbelievably fast Text::Xslate templating system by Goro Fuji was released on an unsuspecting world. It's up to 158X faster (!!) than everyone's favorite Template::Toolkit, and provides a compatibility layer letting you use TT2's syntax and virtual methods if you want. Also, there are already views available for your Catalyst, Mojolicious and Dancer web apps.


DevConf, a major conference in Russia gathering over a thousand professional web developers, had a full track just for Perl!. And of course, the Russian Perl Community was amazing as usual and provided several nice talks for DevConf::Perl.


Wow, this month was filled with Perl conferences! Portuguese Perl Workshop, German Perl Workshop, Belgian Perl Workshop, each of them filled with nice talks and courses.

YAPC::Russia this year happened in Kiev together with Perl Mova, the Ukrainian Perl Workshop, and was another huge success.

And speaking of huge successes, June is not over until after YAPC::NA. The greatest Perl conference in the Americas happened for a full week in Ohio, USA, and had over 130 talks!


Following the mid-year sprint of Perl events, we also had the São Paulo Perl Workshop in Brazil, and the Warsaw Perl Workshop in Poland.

Rakudo Star was released! It's a useful - and usable! - implementation of the Perl 6 language specification.

Goro Fuji released the first version of Text::Clevery, a Text::Xslate subclass allowing developers using PHP's Smarty template syntax.

Gabriel Weinberg released DuckDuckGo's community website. I already wrote a bit about the amazing (and amazingly fast) DuckDuckGo search engine, and if you never used it, now is the perfect time. But beware: you might never return to Google search. I know I haven't ;-)

July also marked the second birthday of Padre, the Perl IDE. For a whole weekend, Padre developers, users, friends and well-wishers joined a huge party and hackathon.

FISL 11, the largest opensource event in Latin America, gathered over 7000 developers, enthusiasts and companies in Porto Alegre, Brazil. We had a very busy Perl stand there, and made a contest on the conference's big screen of an arcade zombie game developed live during the conference using SDL Perl. It was lots of fun!


YAPC::EU, "The Renaissance of Perl", joined Perl developers from all over the world in Pisa, Italy, with over 100 amazing talks and 14 tracks! They even had a cooking contest after the conference =P


JT Smith and crew released Lacuna Expanse, a highly addictive free massive multiplayer online (MMO) deep space empire strategy simulator (phew!) written in Modern Perl. It also has a public API, and people even hacked a new client for automated tasks. If you haven't played it yet, do it. Now. It's even integrated to Facebook, so if you have an account there, you don't even need to create a login.

Speaking of games, SDL Manual was started by Kartik Thakore in yet another grant by The Perl Foundation. It's not done yet, but it's the first real documentation of the new API, and already contains tons of code examples and complete game tutorials in Perl.


This month we had not one, but two other YAPCs!

The ever great YAPC::Asia in Tokyo went along for 3 days filled with the most awesome talks, and broke a new record: over 500 attendants!! How cool is that?!

On the other side of the world, YAPC::Brazil made its second appearance as a standalone conference in the beautiful city of Fortaleza, with around 100 of people attending online and on-site.

The Facebook SDK distribution was revived by Torsten Raudssus, giving a better overview on how to dive into the Facebook platform using the long existing modules to access the Facebook API via Graph or REST. Many Perl developers are active in social networks (writing robots for Twitter is a real breeze with modern Perl), so if you missed it now is the perfect time to get on board ;)


The Blekko search engine was released, offering a neat /slashtag syntax that lets you get the most relevant results in a heartbeat. It's great to see so many new companies relying on modern Perl for their core businesses. Give it a try, and slash the web!

Following the events calendar, the Austrian Perl Workshop opened november with a 2-day conference filled with great talks.

There was also Nordic Perl Workshop, organized by the Icelandic Society For Digital Freedoms in Reykjavik. It's the first time the NPW is held in Iceland, proving that volcanic eruptions may shut down an entire continent's airspace, but the camels will just keep strolling like it's a morning fog ;-)

With the second Equinox of the year, the São Paulo Perl Mongers arranged another sprint of modern Perl articles in portuguese, written by the entire Brazilian community.

Finally, after a lot of expectation from the worldwide Perl community, chromatic's Modern Perl book was finally out! As far as I can tell it's the best reference for modern Perl coding today, and an excellent read. I honestly think it's an amazing learning and reference material, and might prove insightful even to the most seasoned programmer. So go buy it now!


The always amazing London Perl Workshop happened on the 4th and proved once again to be an enormous success, including a talk by Spiros Denaxas about how Perl was used in medical research and epidemiology to help cure coronary heart disease.

On the 18th - Perl's birthday! - there was the Sixth Russian Perl Workshop, Saint Perl 2, in the lovely St. Petersburg, also filled with talks in Russian and English for all audiences, for free.

Perlbal::Manual, a complete manual for the highly used Perlbal reverse proxy and load balancer, was published by Bruno Martins and José Castro. Yay!

Mojolicious 1.0 was finally released, and it really makes web development fun - specially Mojolicious::Lite!

Speaking of fun lite web frameworks, the Dancer Advent Calendar made its debut this year, with several articles teaching you how to do things with Dancer, from testing and managing database connections to creating a tiny blog!

All other already traditional Perl, Perl6, Catalyst, RJBS's, and JPerl Advent Calendars are most definitively praise-worthy and were responsible for over 300(!!) new articles on Perl and its modules, with tons of awesome tips and cookbooks this month only! In fact, the Japanese Perl community is so freaking amazing they had 8 (that's right, EIGHT) tracks on their Advent Calendar, so JPerl alone was responsible for 200 articles this month. すごい!!

Wow, so much in just a year! I can't even begin to imagine all the wonderful things that are going to pop up in 2011!

See you there :-)


  1. Hi garu,

    I *really* enjoyed this post. A nice christmas present.


  2. Thanks, it was a lot of fun digging these up, and made me even more excited about 2011 =)

  3. Hey Garu, excellent round-up of the year and helps me in writing my next presentation on why I love my community - thanks :)

  4. Pity everyone forgets about the great efforts made by the CPAN Testers this year :(

  5. Hey Barbie, that's a good point, didn't you guys smash through an awesome milestone in December?*

    *10,000,000 tests I believe

  6. Hey, I am glad you liked my talk. I have put the slides here:

    Hopefully, the video will be uploaded somewhere at some point :)

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