YAPC::Europe 2015: Something dies in your soul when a friend is leaving.

The European Perl conference of this year is over.


During the week from 31-Aug-2015 to 5-Sep-2015, Granada has been hosting the YAPC::Europe 2015; a Perl conference in which GeNeura Team has been one of the main organizers. Along these days, more than 250 professionals, most of them Perl developers, have been talking, listening, discussing, laughing, singing (at least Larry Wall did it), offering employment opportunities, and sharing drinks and tapas around a single main topic: Perl.

It is never easy to organize a conference, and YAPC has a singularity: is  probably-the-cheapest-international-conference (regarding the prices for delegates) I’ve ever been. Anyone having a talk accepted (except for lightning talks) received a free registration which included all the goodies (bag and T-Shirt, among others), and tickets for pre-conference dinner, lunches and gala dinner. There were also some courses organized under the scope of the conference, but registration was separate. Having all of this in mind, YAPC Europe wouldn’t be possible without the sponsors. For this reason, first of all, let us thank  all the companies and people that have supported this event (you can see all of them at http://act.yapc.eu/ye2015/our_sponsors.html): nothing could have been written about this conference without their generosity.

The venue for YAPC::Europe 2015 has been the Faculty of Sciences of the University of Granada. For this reason, the conference started with the pre-conference dinner, where all of us shared a some bits (in fact, a good amount of) pizzas seated on the grass of the venue’s backyard. Thus, from the very first moment, we realized that YAPC is mainly designed to keep people, the community, in touch. More than sharing knowledge (although it is shared), showing solutions (and they were shown), or talking about “one’s book”, YAPC allows you shaking the hands that wrote the CPAN module that saved your project a few months ago, or seeing the smile of that costumer whose business mainly depends of Perl’s good (unique?) programming features.

During the three days the conference lasted, plenary talks took place both at first and last hours. Thus, the central hours were dedicated to parallel sessions with talk lasting 20 or 50 minutes, with a small gap between them, so that people can move from room to room attending to their favorites talks. It’s rather difficult, if not impossible , to make a summary of all of them, so, both the schedule and list of accepted talks will be available for a long time, just in case anyone is interested.

Last day was probably the big day. Larry Wall was talking about Perl 6… Well, and also about lot of things related to Tolkien’s books and their similarities with Perl 5 and Perl 6. Larry invited us to the party, i.e., the upcoming release of Perl 6, that will be available in Christmas (in fact, this was not the first time he pronounced this sentence… but it’s the first time that he indicates the exact year for those “Christmas”, and is 2015!!!). We’ll never would be able to thank him enough for being with us in Granada, and will never forget him… as well as their hats.

Together with Larry’s talk, probably lightning talks have been the most important discovery in this conference. Far away from extremely, perfectly, and strictly organized and exposed speeches, lightning are 5-minutes length talks that give the opportunity to show new CPAN modules (or also preventing people for spending their time writting modules for solved problems, i.e., CGI.pm ) , your analysis of the use of a given module, the importance of making web analytics… and, most of all, of being in contact with Japanase developers (sorry, fast developers). Lightning talks are dynamic, illustrative, interactive, fun, necessary… essential!!!!

Finally, as this YAPC::Europe was devoted to art and engineering, let us say “good bye” to the attendees with two songs. First one is a typical Andalusian song, that could be translated into “Something dies in your soul when a friend is leaving”. But, as far as I’ve could seen, probably the best song that reflects what programming in Perl means is Joe Cocker’s “With A Little Help From My Friends” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_wG6Cgmgn5U)… Maybe Frodo Baggins and the Fellowship of the Ring would fully agree with me… maybe not.

BTW, YAPC::Europe 2015 is done; so is this entry. (Some other thing I learned in a lightning talk – see http://www.brepettis.com/blog/2009/3/3/the-cult-of-done-manifesto.html)

Optimizando algoritmos de optimización

Llevamos programando algoritmos evolutivos desde que casi echamos los dientes en la universidad, y sin embargo la preocupación y la investigación va más por el camino de cambiar el algoritmo, y no cambiar la implementación, y eso que tanto los lenguajes como las librerías como las prácticas de programación han cambiado enormemente en estos años. En este artículo, que se va a presentar en el congreso de Metaheurísticas, Algoritmos Evolutivos y Bioinspirados que se integra dentro del CEDI que se está celebrando en Valencia, tratamos de hacer precisamente eso: abordar un algoritmo evolutivo (hecho en Perl desde el punto de vista de la programación, y demostrar que las mejoras en tiempo de ejecución que se pueden obtener alcanzan, en ocasiones, varios órdenes de magnitud.
El trabajo se titula

Optimizando la implementación de algoritmos evolutivos. JJ Merelo, Pedro Castillo, Juan Luís Jiménez Laredo and María Isabel García Arenas

Tenéis la presentación

Y también el código cuyas mejoras podéis visualizar a través de las diferencias entre las versiones de fichero que te permite hacer Launchpad