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larry wall talk

heard larry wall, creator and benevolent dictator for life of the perl programming language, speak today.

glad i went.  the first 15 minutes or so was a bizarre stream-of-consciousness race through about 100 1-word slides.  it was both profound and absurd, both celebration and diatribe.  equally fun was seeing MIT in its finest geek culture glory: in a room of approximately 100 programmers, there were maybe 15 women, 30 ponytails, 1 female ponytail, and a clear correlation between beards and BMIs.

real jewels of the talk:

  • hearing someone trained in linguistics describe their philosophy to computer language design.  (noticed how he referred to variables as “nouns” and methods as “verbs.”)
  • learning that hashes in perl are preceded with the “%” sigil, because the 2 dots in the percentage character are supposed to represent the key and value in a hash.
  • hearing “we want perl 6 to be the martha stewart of languages — it’ll do everything everything better than any other language (except get incarcerated).”

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3 Responses to “larry wall talk”

  1. on 05 May 2009 at 10:01 am AndrewL

    omg, I love perl, I do almost all of my work in perl. I create relational databases with anon hash and array references. I’m alittle jealous, but not that much, it must have smelled wonderful in there. =P

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