Episode 187: Domain Driven Yak Symmathesy with Jessica Kerr

The Agile Revolution Podcast


Tony and Craig are at YOW! Conference in Brisbane and chat to Jessica Kerr, software developer, consultant and symmathecist (look it up or listen to the podcast) and apart from our first live podcast sneeze they talk about:

  • YOW! 2018 keynote “The Origins of Opera and the Future of Programming
  • YOW! 2018 talk “Shaving the Golden Yak
  • Great teams make great people – if you want to become great as a developer, focus on the team
  • You can’t document what is obvious to you – whenever you say the word obviously, replace it with “I cant explain it, but…”
  • Yak shaving – all the tasks that you do that get in the way of your work
  • If you are an agile person but you wish agile had more code in it – go to the Domain Driven Design community
  • We need to embrace complexity…

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Episode 186: Managing the Unmanageable with Ron Lichty

The Agile Revolution Podcast

Craig fires some questions at Ron Lichty, co-author of “Managing the Unmanageable” and the “Study of Product Team Performance“:

  • Author of machine Language programming books “Programming the Apple IIGS in Assembly Language” and “Programming the 65816
  • Managing the Finder team at Apple – hired for stellar C++ coding ability and customer empathy
  • Software development is a team sport – including QA, a dedicated product manager / product owner and designers
  • After Dark and Flying Toasters at Berkeley Systems
  • “Managing the Unmnageable” is 9 chapters and around 300 rules of thumb and nuggets of wisdom (the creamy centre), the tools used to manage software development teams plus the authors own insights
  • There were very few books (7 at the time) on managing software developers (unlike project management and agile)
  • Fred Brooks – “The Mythical Man-Month
  • Situational Leadership – opens your…

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Episode 180: Extreme Programming & 3X Explained with Kent Beck

The Agile Revolution Podcast

Craig and Tony are at YOW! Conference in Brisbane and have a rockstar moment and catchup with Kent Beck, the creator of Extreme Programming, the pioneer of xUnit and author of numerous books including “Extreme Programming Explained” and “Test Driven Development“:

  • Extreme Programming (XP) was born at Chrysler by letting go of conventional wisdom and pushing practices to eleven
  • Software development is a social process, not a sum of individuals process
  • Nobody cares about certificates, we care about competence
  • It’s time for a renaissance and reboot of XP – this time it needs to be inclusive and no barriers to entry
  • We know how to make a difference – it starts with execution and continues to empathy
  • Big tent agility can become an excuse not to tackle hard problems
  • “Not thinking about all the legs on the stool leaves you sitting on the ground”…

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Episode 171 – Beyond Legacy Code with David Bernstein

The Agile Revolution Podcast

Craig is at Agile 2017 in Orlando, Florida and speaks with David Bernstein, author of “Beyond Legacy Code“, and they chat about agile technical practices:

  • Agile does have something to with software development
  • Agile 2017 talk “Create Software Quality
  • The real value of Agile is in the technical practices so we can build iteratively, but still very few people practice them
  • The future is already here, but it is not very well evenly distributed – the same applies to Agile
  • Companies are being consumed by their technical debt and they don’t even recognise it
  • What is always cheaper in the virtual domain is building quality
  • Continuous Integration makes the most painful thing in software development (integration) our greatest asset – this in turn gives us feedback
  • We don’t necessarily know there is a better way to do things – but there is a better way to…

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Episode 161: State of Agile in Singapore with Stanly Lau

The Agile Revolution Podcast

Craig is at YOW! Singapore and catches up with Stanly Lau, organiser of the Agile Singapore conference and the Agile Singapore meetup:

  • Bas Vodde was one of the early advocates for Agile in Singapore
  • The state of Agile in Singapore has progressed from “doing a standup” in 2010 to now many companies thinking about how they develop software better
  • A lack of knowledge in design principles by new software developers seems to affect how they tackle problems
  • The art of being able to sit down and pair in a team is an art that is being lost in the Agile community
  • You can learn a lot about a team by looking at their codebase
  • Good agile development practices require know-how and habit – does not come by nature

TheAgileRevolution-161 (26 minutes)

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Episode 151: Software Craftsmanship with “Uncle Bob” Martin

The Agile Revolution Podcast

Craig and Tony are at YOW! Conference and are honoured to sit down with Robert C. Martin (aka Uncle Bob), signatory to the Manifesto for Agile Software Development and author of numerous books including “Clean Code“, “The Clean Coder” and “Clean Architecture” and they discuss:

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The Themes Behind AATC2017

agile-logo-4c-allianceLearn about the Agile Alliance Technical Conference 2017 themes we used to organize our speaker search for the event in Boston, April 19-21, 2017: Core Technical Practices, Team Technical Practices, and Technical Practices at the Organizational Level.

Source: The Themes Behind AATC2017



Agile Australia 2011 Day 2 Review

Agile Australia 2011Day 2 at Agile Australia 2011 and another jam packed day. Here are my notes from the sessions I attended.

Keynote – Elevating the Agile Community of Thinkers 

Jean Tabaka presented this keynote, barefoot, and her slides are available here.

From Agile Australia 2011
  • A Community of Thinkers” – drafted by Liz Keogh, Jean Tabaka and Eric Willeke
  • need to apply energy to learning rather than frustration – need to subscribe to the art of the possible
  • it is no longer acceptable in the 21st century to administer in the business, we need to create and provide innovative communities
  • fearful that in the agile community that we are in conflict mode but rather we should seeking enquiry and insights and learning from each other, such as we do in an daily standup
  • to be the best we can be every day, we need to inspire insights from the entire team – the definition of a good daily standup
  • Patrick Lencioni’s “The Five Dysfunctions of a Team” also apply to community
  • “vulnerability can create great workplaces and innovation” (Dr. Brene Brown)
  • our greatest wisdom is every insight in the room and is only as good as the quietest voice in the room – we have to lower the bar
  • in a command and control environment we lose wisdom and lower their IQs
  • in global teams you need to invite their wisdom in anyway possible – secret to distributed teams
  • Kathy Sierra – magic for Creating Passionate Users
  • drop outs give up when they believe they suck
  • amateurs learn how to do it and then become complacent
  • experts – keep pushing themselves to find a better way
  • in agile need to believe past both the “this sucks” and the “kick ass” threshold
  • we need active participants in our communities, rather than passive participants
  • Linchpin (Seth Godin) – being a genius self, being part of community means hard work
  • Principles of Product Development Flow (Donald Reinertsen) – this and Linchpin are Jean’s most dog-eared books
  • empathy mapping (gogamestorm.com) – look at your community and what are they thinking, hearing, saying, doing, seeing
  • use a wall of appreciation as well as a wall of break up letters to improve community and move past blockers
  • writing love letters to agile – interesting…
  • to be a linchpin your message needs to be accessible (charm), need to create talent around your message and have perseverance
  • “Drive” (Dan Pink) – autonomy (able to bring your genius self to work), mastery and purpose (a big hairy goal) – you will be creative
  • need to design a life and not a plan – how can we grow and be emergent in what we do, plans stagnate and stagnation kills
  • “Preferred Futuring” (Lawrence Lippitt) – create concrete wishes on where we want to be, need to bring this more into our workplaces
  • need to move – tell -> sell -> test -> consult to co-creation
  • find your mentor, or become that person
  • think like a genius – creating models of what might be true
  • example of Rally using lino to organize an open space – awesome
  • Jean not wearing shoes in this keynote is going out of your comfort zone – onedaywithoutshoes.com

Panel – Software Engineering is a Dead Craft

I was honoured to be given the opportunity to moderate this panel, consisting of Martin Fowler, Kane Mar and Paul King. My opening comments were as follows:

Software Engineering is defined by the IEEE is the application of a systematic, disciplined, quantifiable approach to the development, operation, and maintenance of software, that is, the application of engineering to software.

This led me to then get a definitive definition of engineering, which is loosely defined by a number of the leading engineering councils worldwide as being the discipline of acquiring and applying scientific knowledge, mathematics and ingenuity to design and build solutions that safely improve the lives of people.

Software engineering as a term has been around since the early 1960s, and, as Rob Thomsett pointed out in his keynote yesterday, was popularized when NATO hosted a conference to address the problems of software development. In there report, they particularly point out that the phrase software engineering was deliberately chosen to be provocative. So for the last 50 years, practitioners everywhere have been debating software engineering, from the software crisis that made developing software into a career, through to Fred Brooks coining the No Silver Bullet argument that no individual technology would make a 10 fold improvement in productivity in 10 years, through object oriented programming and the rise of XP and agile.

So what is software engineering. Is it an engineering practice that is dead? Is it a craft or an art form? Or is it both dead and a craft?

Martin Fowler is the Chief Scientist at Thoughtworks, author of many books on software development and a signatory to the agile manifesto.

Kane Mar is the President of Scrumology, and has been a developer and coach in the software industry for 20 years.

Paul King is the Director of ASERT and has been developing, training and contributing to the software development field for nearly 20 years, and is an active contributor to a number of open source projects including, most notably, Groovy.

My questions started as follows:

Martin – when you do any Google search on software engineering, every second link seems to point back to your website and any number of articles you have written on this subject over a number of years. You indicated your position is that the engineering metaphor has done our profession damage…

Kane – you listed your point of view on the topic is that the paradigm has come and gone and that perhaps software should be viewed as an ecosystem…

Paul – your viewpoint is listed as probably a little more conservative and that continuous learning is important…

The time flew by and I did not get to take anywhere near the number of questions I would have liked from the audience. The highlight was a question from the audience from Phil Abernathy who asked the panel if perhaps we should term what comes out of a number of projects as “crapmanship”.

Agile and Enterprise Architecture are not Mutually Exclusive

I had the pleasure of introducing Rebecca Parsons from ThoughtWorks, her slides (in all their Comic Sans MS glory) are available here.

From Agile Australia 2011
  • architects need to depress their ego and pair on critical stories and calm their concerns
  • some architects believe their job is to stifle any innovation in the development team, but they a disappointed that the team is not innovating
  • the IDE of enterprise architects has been PowerPoint for years
  • developers must code in a box, architects must worry about a bigger box
  • it is hard for enterprise architects to talk to every developer, so documents from high are standing operating procedure, unfortunately they get ignored because the context is hidden
  • use stories for technical requirements – architect communicates his requirements via a technical story and the development team responds with this is what it is going to take – ensures that the value is articulated
  • need architects to articulate their requirements based on acceptance tests
  • harvest components and talk in the community – ask who was the last person to integrate with this component and talk to them
  • development team should be focussed on delivery of their project, agile is the engine and architects need to use this engine

The Speed to Cool: Valuing Testing and Quality in Agile Teams

The session I presented got a good turnout, and plenty of questions afterwards as well as some follow-up emails.  The slides are available in a separate post as well as here.

From Agile Australia 2011

Rolling Out ‘Agile principles’ in a Global Organisation – A Continuous Journey

I introduced Sascha Ragtschaa from Computershare, his slides are available here.

From Agile Australia 2011

A Rogue’s Take on the 4 ‘C’s: Culture Change Costs Currency

I had the pleasure of both introducing and being a live prop (the dragon representing the (large) organisation) in this presentation by my good friend and colleague Renee Troughton from Suncorp. Her slides are available here.

From Agile Australia 2011
From Agile Australia 2011

Keynote – Software development in the 21st Century

Martin Fowler delivered his now famous 3 short keynotes.

From Agile Australia 2011

Non-Determinism and Testing

  • non-determinism – intermittent fails, we don’t know if something is going to succeed or fail – also called a useless test
  • non-deterministic tests infect the whole system – need to quarantine these tests to stop them bringing down the while suite – often caused by interference between tests
  • you can track dependencies or you can use isolation (preferred method)
  • tests should clean up after themselves and leave the world the way they found it but other tests rely on this happening (and hard to track failures when they occur) or start all tests with a clean slate (but it can take a long time)
  • asynchrony – can use a bare sleep but you never know how long to sleep for, could use a polling loop or a callback
  • remote services – don’t talk to them as part of the test, use a test double

Value of Software Design

  • this was a repeat session from last year where Martin did his famous Uncle Bob Martin rant. A highlight for me was in his example he used Nigel Dalton as good code example and me as a bad code example.

Agile Manifesto: 10 years later

  • we know the approach works and we need to use it more and find the boundaries
  • XP was the dominant strain at the time – has appeal of its values and principles as well as its practices like test driven development, etc…
  • many of the original people are unhappy – the core ideas have not moved as fast as the hype (semantic diffusion) and the rollout process is very long running
  • if you say you don’t care about agile you are saying you are happy with flipping the principles back again
  • do not treat stories as one-way traffic, the value is in conversation
  • as software developers we need to ask ourselves if we are making the world a better place
  • mundane work and the little things often make the world a better place

Conference Retrospective

I led a conference retrospective after the post-conference drinks. For those who stuck around, we had a good discussion on what was good and what we could do better next year.

What Was Great

From Agile Australia 2011
From Agile Australia 2011

How Can We Improve

From Agile Australia 2011
From Agile Australia 2011

New Ideas

From Agile Australia 2011
From Agile Australia 2011

Other Stuff

There have been some other wrap-up and retrospectives written about the conference including:

Also, a couple of mentions for some of my other friends and colleagues who presented on day 2 but due to my other commitments I could not attend their sessions.

Jonathan Coleman, Steve Jenkins and Phil Abernathy all did lightning talks which were all well received.

Nicholas Muldoon from Atlassian delivered a talk called “Be The Change You Seek”, his slides are available here.

Paul King (who I have presented with many times previously) delivered a workshop called “Leveraging Emerging Technologies in Agile Teams”, his slides are available here.

OSDC 2009 Day 2 Wrapup

Day 2 of the OSDC conference, one talk delivered today with Paul King on Using Groovy for Testing. The following are my notes from the sessions that I attended.

Keynote: Simplicity

Marty Pauley delivered the keynote, my notes are as follows:

  • good code is easy to read, beautiful (aesthetically pleasing), useful
  • evil code is difficult to read, ugly, but it is still useful (otherwise you would have no code!) because unfortunately it is still in use
  • good code should be fast, concise, advanced, maintainable
  • “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” – Leonardo Da Vinci
  • comments are an indicator that you’re code is crap, documentation and comments are not the same (documentation is useful), ironic that some languages put documentation in comments (eg. JavaDoc)
  • always out your scripts in a module, makes it easy to read (the comment was made in relation to Perl) and makes it easier to test (one script that calls one module, that can then call other modules)
  • Google is good example of simple (as compared to Excite and Yahoo! at the time) – search engines started complicated and became simple
  • Example of simple first is that Americans used the Space Pen in space (highly engineered pen that would work on all surfaces and work in space), but when they asked the Russians what they used, it was a pencil
  • “Java was designed for stupid people! – was designed because it was deemed to hard to write code in C”
  • look outside your current toolset, we all have problems in common

How to get Rails Web Applications Accepted in Industry

Harley Mackenzie presented this talk, my notes are as follows:

  • why Ruby? – expressive language, object oriented as everything is an object in Ruby (lends itself to good, readable, maintainable code), dynamic allows to delviver scripts quickly and maintainable
  • hard to find Ruby people? – many recruiters do not understand the roles they are recruiting for, Chuck Jones (of Warner Brothers cartoon fame) looked for artists knowing he could train them to animate, the same goes for quality developers
  • open source – lower initial cost, source will never disappear as will always be around in some way, don’t emphasise the FREE but the FREEDOM, dynamic languages you always have the source (not compiled)
  • efficient – productivity important to industry
  • elegant – write easy, maintainable code
  • reliable – “testing to oblivion approach”, everything has tests, commercial environments do not value testing, all say it is a good idea but will not pay for it
  • expressive – easy to understand what the code is doing
  • why is Rails not adopted? – management are risk averse (don’t want to go outside the Microsoft norm), corporate IT motivated by fear and uncertainity (like to do things the way they are always done), loss of control (don’t understand and don’t like when you know about things they don’t), outsourced IT providers (only in it to make a buck so resistance to change)
  • solutions and adapt (know what you can change and what you can’t)
  • demonstrate – give them a VM (“take the puppy home for the weekend), find the champion
  • cloud solutions – if you can’t deal with anorganisation and their infrastructure, bypass it (use Amazon or similar)
  • draw the line – sometimes you have to walk away than comprimise (figure out where the line is), usually can deal with server operating system, web server and database but not the language it can be written in

Open Source Web Apps in Azure

Jorke Odolphi delivered this session, my notes are as follows:

  • software as a service (SaaS) – multi-tenant, pay as you go
  • platform as a service (PaaS) – applicationn frameworks, languages
  • infrastructure as a service (IaaS) – pay as you go, scale (like Amazon EC2, GoGrid)
  • Windows Azure is an operating system in the cloud, where you run applications, designed to scale
  • lots of servers sitting in shipping containers (2,000 servers per container, 7 hours to get up and running after delivered) with VM’s running Windows (called the Fabric)
  • components – web role (front end facing, static content, ASP.NET 3.5, WCF, Fast CGI applications such as Perl, http(s) inbound), worker role (like a Windows service), storage (blobs, tables and queues)
  • running PHP in Azure – Eclipse tooling available (WindowsAzure4E)
  • MySQL in Azure – run as a worker role (configure ports and storage)
  • Tomcat running in the Azzure Cloud (http://oss.cloudapp.net/)
  • No environment yet in Australia, but Singapore coming soon, pricing

Desktop Applications for Web Developers

Ben Balbo presented this session, my notes are as follows:

  • cloud issues – network outages, working offline, server outage, application failure affects everyone, access/ownership of data, dependence on third party to fix bugs
  • Google Desktop Gadgets, Adobe Air, Windows 7 – just HTML, all the information stored in the gadget or via a web service
  • Mozilla Raindrop – Mozilla’s reaction to Google Wave, pre-alpa, a local web service
  • WordPress + Google Gears
  • iPhone applications
  • XUL – XML User Interface language from Mozilla, load any interface around Firefox (use Firefox as a framework)

Using Groovy for Testing

Presentation I gave with Paul King, and was an interesting experience on how to break down a 3 hour presentation to a 30 minute talk (which we started about 20 minutes prior to the talk commencing)!

Business, Law, Open Source

Brendan Scott presented this talk and these are my notes from the session:

  • each decision you make limits your subsequent decisions
  • Starting a business has effect on how easy it be to sell down the track (setting up within a corporate vehicle) – selling of shares make this easy as the legal person transfers. Most businesses are setup where the owner owns all the assets and personally signs up to all the contracts such as phones where their name is on the contract (makes it hard to transfer later on)
  • stay away from partnership (and the use of the word partner)
  • Pov Ray had pre-open source licencing, wanted to sue someone who was bundling it and selling it – needed copyright ownership to sue but had to go and find all of the contributors first
  • code consents in case somebody takes code and uses it in breach – keep records of who, what, when
  • IP Ownership – once you have transferred rights, it is very difficult to recover these rights, you need to get legal advice early
  • dispute resolution – usually because people not speaking to each others, lawyer can help you identify issues, send the nasty letters, courts look favourably if you have tried to sort out the issue
  • negotiations – lawyers familiar with the lines of argument
  • legal arcana – knowing the legal secrets and finding holes in contracts, etc…
  • copyright – owned by employee unless agreed otherwise
  • don’t lie about your products and services (Part V 52 Trade Practices Act)
  • Part V, Dvision 2 Trade Practices Act – don’t exclude warranties, limit recourse to repair or replace, it is illegal to exclude warranties

Lightning Talks

An extended session of lightning talks. here are the notes:

Make my PHP 66 Times Faster

  • slow code read in a really big library everytime it is run
  • idea is to make a socket call and run off the server, loading only once

Something About Cars

  • entertaining comparison of programming languages to cars

The Coming Programming Language Crisis

  • entertaining look at new programming langauges, recruiting for the Australian LOLCODE Developers network! (see http://lolcode.com/)

OSDC – Open Source Developers Club

  • parent organisation for the conference
  • like meetings (found about every third session, people attend a session that is not their usual language)

Hosting Web Sites In The Cloud

  • created Grocery Choice, wanted something that had scale initially but assumed would not need it going forward
  • Amazon EC2 – virtual machine farm, upload your VM to the cloud (takes about 3 hours)
  • using commercial, licenced server so limited to CPU’s that coule be run
  • can move your instance onto a larger virtual machine
  • pay as you go, for what you use

Geography, Databases & Government


Phoebe’s Netbook

  • Phoebe is 4, has an original eePC
  • the distribution is very easy for children
  • TuxPaint and other programs in Linux that are good for kids

GMT (Generic Mapping Tools)

  • set of command line tools
  • pscoast – will show a map, can then map cyclones as they move down the coast

Byte code optimisation using Promise

Open Source Licencing vs Microsoft


  • starting a business with no money
  • do something disruptive – is a potential client trying to solve a problem that your product addresses
  • low-end disruption – easier way of doing something that already exists (eg. MySQL vs Oracle)
  • new-market disruption

Handy Python Functions

  • if building libraries, pleause use doc tags!


  • open source SMS gateway
  • written in Ruby
  • will be released shortly


  • written in Python using pygame
  • open source, GPL
  • team based, strategy game

Google Wave Bots

  • Wikifiy
  • Piratify
  • Flippy

OSDC 2009 Day 1 Wrapup

OSDC 2009 Australia is being held in Brisbane this year at the Bardon Conference Centre, and I was lucky enough to get 3 speaking slots (2 shared with Paul King). Day 1 was full of interesting talks, my notes are summarised below.

Understanding Volunteers

Karen Pauley delivered the day one keynote. My notes as follows:

  • recommended book by Charles Handy (Understanding Organizations)
  • organisation for mutual support (eg. Tokyo Linux Users Group, Sydney Perl Mongers) – consist entirely of volunteers who have a shared interest, don’t like to be managed, but a group needs some management (it’s like herding cats), anybody can join
  • organisation to provide a service (eg. The Perl Foundation) – requires structure to handle queries, cannot just join if you want you, expectations of communication and responsiveness and regular releases
  • campaigning organisation (eg. Enlightened Perl Organisation) – camapigns aren’t managed they are led, usually fail when the organiser gets bored
  • motivations – in open source we like to reinvent things
  • fun should be self evident, we volunteer to enjoy ourselves
  • lack of respect can stop the fun, need to treat each other well, need to apologize (and not follow it with a but…)
  • anger – “I know you’re all volunteers but…”, feedback can offend volunteers, in many cases people don’t mean to offend, in some cultures you write directly, tone down the rage and pause before replying
  • learnings – want a creative learning environment, learning and using something new is fun
  • as per Maslow, one of our key needs is to belong
  • belong with people who think the same way
  • impressions – decide very quickly our perception of people (4 seconds) – in person we judge looks, on the internet we judge the way we type
  • our first impression of people on the internet could be an email, IRC or a twitter – we make judgements of people based on 140 characters
  • the online life is real, so be yourself
  • everybody has a voice, make your communities fun

Joopal and Drumla: Not Your Usual Mashup

Sam Moffatt presented this brief talk about Joomla! integrated into Drupal (Drumla)

Introducing Django – Calling All Web Developers with Deadlines

Akash Mehta delivered this talk, my notes are as follows:

  • Django is a web framework to build websites quickly
  • used by a lot of newspaper / news / media sites (see DjangoSites.org for a full list)
  • a Python framework – extremely powerful high level scripting language, do a lot with less code
  • a python web application framework – excels at data driven web applications
  • a python full-stack web application framework – if using Django you are using the full system, not portable, mature, been around 5+ years
  • batteries included – functionality you need comes out of the box
  • Django has good support for internationalisation
  • DRY -> DRY (OAE) – Don’t Repeat Yourself (Or Anybody Else)
  • views do not usually have URL’s mapped to them, custom URL mapping takes care of this
  • not a serious business framework (see djangopony!)
  • good documentation – starts with a comprehensive tutorial, documentation then splits into functioanlity / what you want to achieve, stored in Subversion, there is an online version of the book which is also published by APress and available on Safari
  • automatic administration – not a scaffolding, end-to-end solution for managing production data, lots of useful widgets
  • available applications – search (Haystack is the current favourite), blogs (plenty available on github), security and administration built-in
  • views take advantage of decorators in python, such as @login_required
  • templates – template inheritence and blocks
  • URL config – no automatic mapping, create your own URL’s, can use regular expressions, usually mapped to views

Perl6 Now

Scott Penrose delivered this talk, my notes are as follows. Talk will be made available online.

  • when is Perl 6 available – now, language specification
  • looks like Perl
  • biggest problem with Perl is when you have @array you need $array to access it
  • More information at http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Category:Perl_6 and http://github.com/perl6/perl6-examples
  • Pugs – not very active, but a good reference application, written in Haskell
  • SMOP / Mildew – library parsers
  • Sprixel / Elf – implementations
  • Rakudo – run time engine, implementation of Perl 6 that runs on Parrot
  • full version should be available next year
  • performance – slower, Parrot keeps changing, performance increasing month on month
  • CPAN – not currently available but coming
  • 42 modules available now via github, mainly web and database
  • IDE – Vim syntax highlighting and Padre
  • debug – Larry Wall – “why do you need a debugger, just print line”, no interactive debugger yet
  • fun langauage to write in – can write code shorter and faster, execute faster is coming

oFono – Open Source Telephony

Denis Kenzior delivered this talk on oFono, my notes are as follows:

  • many devices and modems to talk to – all talk vendor specific protocols
  • existing projects – FSO, only considering smartphones, assumed AT modems, API not well constructed, implemeted in Python and too slow, does not support multiple modems
  • existing projects – Qtopia, end of life, did not support D-Bus
  • learnt from these projects – GSM is hard, huge and boring, everything exposed in the API but very little used or available
  • GSM is hard – massive amount of specifications (call handling (in, waiting, multi-party) sevices such as call waiting and number exposure, SMS), vendor specifics (enhanced SMS, smart messaging, WAP), storage (number, calls, SIM)
  • GSM is really hard – backwards compatibility (most of the specification still around from 1G), every bit counts, bugs in all of the different vendor hardware that needs to be worked around
  • oFono targets all devices, target all distributions, minimal dependencies, modular, UI easy to customise / replace
  • don’t use SIM for contacts / SMS – limited to number of contacts / messages – simplified the design
  • device detection – udev, modemconf
  • plugins – read / write to SIM, send / process SMS, Call / SMS history, D-Bus interfaces such as carrier logos
  • atom – implement specific functionality eg. dial, hangup, merge, switch, invokes operation on an atom driver
  • currently supports – network registration, make and receive calls, SMS, cell broadcast, GPRS, all supplementary services
  • handful of modems and devices supported
  • Phonesim– simulates most AT modems, make / receive calls, SMS, MWI, cell broadcast, network registration, supplementary services – good for development simulation
  • API – consistent, minimal, easy
  • takes care of magic strings (MMI, those *xxx strings), read / write from SIM, service provider display (MVNO, files on the SIM)
  • oFono plugins for BlueZ – hands free & audio management
  • oFono plugins for ConnMan – 3G network management
  • oFono currently has no CDMA support
  • unique because can support mutiple devices at once

State of Play: PHP in 2009

Akash Mehta delivered this talk, my notes are as follows:

  • 1995 – PHP/FI, 2000 – PHP 4.0 (very successful), 2006 – PHP 5.1.2 , 2009 – PHP 5.1.3 (developed and released at same time PHP 6 being discussed, so many features back ported)
  • language extensions
  • 450 user groups, 1200 members in San Francisco group!, 100 in Brisbane active
  • Microsoft and Zend – awful on IIS, they are working on it apparently
  • used in dynamic applications, social networks (Facebook), business applications (FLOW3)
  • IDE’s – Eclipse – PDT, PHPEclipse, Zend, NetBeans PHP, JetBrains working on PHP editor (Web IDE)
  • SVN still dominant, github growing in popularity following in the footsteps of Rails
  • server – Apache losing ground, growing in popularity lighttpd and nginx
  • phpDocumentor for automatic documentation
  • Phing and Capistrano for build and deployment
  • Project Zero is PHP on JVM
  • Xdebug is popular for debugging, DBG is also reliable
  • CakePHP – Rails for PHP, Mozilla Addons was the big thing but recently dropped for Django
  • CodeIgniter – strong following, low barrier to entry
  • Symfony – popular, strong following, high barrier to entry, hard to use with existing code
  • Zend – full stack approach

Git Me Up

Nigel Rausch delivered this talk on Git, here are my notes:

  • adopted quickly in Rails community
  • distributed version control
  • centralised – CVS, SVN
  • distributed – Bazaar, Git, Mercurial
  • Git created by Linus Torvalds, developed for Linux kernel patch control as replacement for BitKeeper (was one patch every 6 seconds, now 6 patches per second), so needed to be fast
  • effcient in management of files – entire repository for Linux kernel is only 40% bigger than the kernel on its own
  • commit locally to your machine – have full copy of all history – can commit at anytime, can always look back at history
  • simple branching and easy merging
  • support multiple remote servers
  • SVN is simpler to use, single point of truth all the time, central control, until recently better tools
  • git init – creates a hidden directory .git, which has config and history, use to start a repo
  • git clone <repo> – clone an existing repo to start a new repo
  • git add <file> – add to repo
  • git commit -m “message” – commit to local repo
  • git has about 150 commands, plus all their options
  • git branch – master is there by default
  • git checkout – checkout a branch
  • git log – commit log history
  • git merge <branch> – merge two branches and create a new commit
  • git remote add origin <repo> – this happens automatically if you cloned
  • git push origin master – origin is server we are pushing to (by default called origin), master is branch
  • git pull origin master – fetch and merge from remote repository, pull is a fetch and merge, a fetch will just get and leave in a pseudo repo
  • Mac installs with GitK which is ugly. GitX is a better bet, TortoiseGit for Windows
  • git svn clone – will create a bi-directional git repo of your SVN repository, commit locally and push back to SVN, at a later poiint you can change your origin to a Git repo
  • rebase, or work on a branch and merge to master locally so you don’t have all of the little commits
  • initial high learning curve, supports commit often, gaining support, IDE support growing
  • binary files saved and compressed in repo

Lightning Talks

A bunch of 5 minutes lightning talks, here are the brief notes from the session:


  • low level virtual machine
  • risk based assembly language with annotations
  • clang – convert C and C++ to LLVM
  • adopted by Apple


  • GUI programming in Python, wxPython is ugly, PyQt4 meh
  • idea – with gui.x (where x is column, frame) – clean
  • still things to do, code not yet released

Visualising Geo-Data

  • government 2.0 taskforce
  • big csv file about sighting of frogs in South Australia
  • frogspotter – every dot, different species, different colours, then a cluster library
  • the data aggregator – drill down on the data
  • frog census

Connectr Social Network

  • currently Twitter with 650 lines of Python, wish to take on Facebook!
  • current social networks have issues with privacy, incentives for hosts are wrong for users
  • no business model, not hosted on server, runs over xmpp


  • Linux Conf Australasia 2010, to held in Wellington


  • linear programming project, sponsored by GNU (hosted project)
  • applicable to lots of things – scheduling, rostering, optimising sports drafts
  • CPLEX is commercial alternative
  • MathProg is the language that comes with it, describes the program in a math like language
  • active community
  • bindings to scripting languages


  • used for conference books and name tags
  • pdf:toc to generate table of contents from every heading
  • sponsor logos are image tags, use CSS zoom property
  • div tag used for indenting
  • margins in centremetres, told CSS book was A5
  • absolute positioing (OK for print, not for web)
  • scripts will be published
  • similar to Latex, but simple and uses same HTML as web

iPhone Hacking

  • to get SMS out – if not encrypted they are stored on your system by iTunes
  • they are GUID.mddata files which you can access using a database client
  • bambapilla – exports conversation to XML, formats nicely as XSL in browser

Hacking OSX apps with Python

  • objective C is a lie, its just C
  • when you don’t have the source but want to change a behaviour – swizzling

Patents Rock

  • protects inventors and ideas, thoughts and ideas
  • patent voliations – side to side swinging on a swing, licking a postage stamp, inducing cats with a laser light
  • software opatents suck

Haml & Sass

  • Haml – takes HTML and makes it simple and short – implementation for Ruby
  • Sass – takes CSS and makes it simple