Philip Newton (pne) wrote,
Philip Newton

There and back again, part 3

Thursday, 24 July

I decided not to get out so early this day; taking the 8:16 bus would be enough. I learned yesterday's lesson and arrived a bit earlier, only to find that today, the bus was a minute or two late :p. Still, I got to the conference on time and had to walk a bit less.

In the morning, I listened to some talks on XML, which is something I'm currently getting familiar with for work.

For lunch, I went to the Tuileries. I didn't want to change at Châtelet, which seemed the obvious place, because I remembered from coming back from Notre-Dame that Châtelet's a huge station and that you sometimes have to walk for ages through a labyrinth of tunnels to get to where you want to be. Instead, I changed at Hôtel de Ville; this meaned I had to use a different station close to the CNAM where I hadn't been before.

It was rather nice, sitting on a bench, half in the shade, eating some croissants. (Except for the lady on a chair nearby who tried to make me feed the "poor, hungry birds".)

On the way back, I decided to try my luck with Châtelet anyway. It turned out that the connection between the two metro lines I needed was fairly short, and the metro line I then took had the advantage that its staircase was rather close to the exit closest to the CNAM. So that was good.

After lunch, Richard Clamp gave his talk on Siesta, a mailing list manager written in Perl. Because of the Mexican theme, several had come dressed in sombreros (as had Richard as well) and had glasses in front of them. Greg McCarroll explained that it had seemed like a good idea, the other day in the pub, to play a little drinking game. They'd pick an uncommon word, and every time that word was used during the presentation, all of those participating in the game would drink a Tequila slammer (including the presentator). The uncommon word they had chosen was "siesta". So this promised to be entertaining as well as informative. (A bag of nachos and a jar of guacamole dip also went around the entire audience to add to the Mexican flavour.)

After that came a talk on managing firewall configurations and then it was my turn. Richard had said that if I had <link> tags linking my pages, I could use his little Ericsson mobile phone to control the presentation. That seemed rather nifty since I could stand elsewhere and didn't have to remain by the laptop. (I believe it worked via Bluetooth somehow.)

I did have those tags, but apparently in another letter case than the scripts expected, and Richard couldn't get that reconfigured quickly, so I ended up using the mouse after all, which wasn't too bad.

I was surprised that a fair number of people asked interesting questions or contributed information (especially Elizabeth Mattijsen, who mentioned that threads->yield didn't do anything under Linux).

After the talk, a couple of people came to me to ask me whether I would release the code so that they could have a look at it since they were interested in ithreads and/or sockets: Steffen "Mr. Date::Calc" Beyer and the presentator before me (Bill Gertz). That was interesting, too.

I also liked Jos's talk 20 Things You May Not Know About Perl, even though I had heard of many of the modules and concepts he explained. But it was, nevertheless, an interesting collection.

In the evening, I wanted to pop back to the hotel to buy some water for the following day before heading back for the speakers' dinner. (I had originally planned to re-fill the water bottles I had bought for that day, but the tap water in the hotel tasted rather strongly of chlorine.) However, there were very long queues in front of the cash registers that evening, for some reason (there hadn't been around the same time on the previous day), and I stood in a queue for nearly 20 minutes. By the time had brought the bottles back to the hotel room and gone to the bus stop, it was 20:08 and the dinner was to start at 20:30. When there was still not bus at 20:20, I decided I was going to be quite a bit too late and decided to simply go back to the hotel and go to bed early that night as well. Still, a bit of a pity that I couldn't make it to the dinner.

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