25 Years of Perl

Abigail abigail at abigail.be
Tue Nov 20 10:27:09 GMT 2012

On Mon, Nov 19, 2012 at 05:29:29PM +0000, Dave Cross wrote:
> At the LPW on Saturday I'm giving a talk entitled "25 Years of Perl".
> I have the structure of the talk, and I have worked out most of the  
> things that I want to cover. But I wanted to make sure that I didn't  
> miss anything important.
> So I thought I'd turn to the london.pm hivemind. What parts of Perl's  
> history do you think are important. I'm particularly interested in two  
> areas.
> 1/ Technical
> What CPAN modules deserve to be mentioned as part of Perl's history?  
> Which Perl infrastructure projects are (or were) important? Are there  
> any other technical things that need to be covered?

While not a CPAN module, Matt's script archive needs to be mentioned.
Althought it contained a lot of bad code, it certainly contributed to
the notion that Perl was *the* web language.

> 2/ Community
> What community initiatives should I cover? Can I mention TPI without  
> giving some people nightmares? How much detail can I cover about Perl  
> Mongers? Which conferences deserve a mention? Does anyone remember how  
> and when YAS became TPF?

Conferences that need mentioning: TPC, German Perl Workshop (first Perl
conference outside of TPC), YAPC, OSCON. And, considering where
you're going to give the presentation: LPW. 2000 may be an interesting
year: at YAPC::NA 19100, we saw the birth of YAS, the Perl 6 movement
started at TPC 2000, and the first non-NA YAPC was held in London.

> It's slightly unfortunate that I've only been involved with Perl for  
> about 60% of its lifetime. So anything you can share from the first ten 
> years or so of Perl's existence would be *really* appreciated.

I started using Perl in 1995, when the main focus on the community was
on Usenet. At that time, it was just comp.lang.perl; the split into 
multiple groups was either late 1995, or early 1996. I first joined a
Perl IRC channel in 1997, but I don't know when that channel started.
But it was this channel that made YAPC happen (well, it was Kevin that
did the work, but if it wasn't for the IRC channel, there would not have
been demand, or participants for the first YAPC).

I would love to hear your presentation, unfortunally, I couldn't get a
trip to LPW funded.


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