2007-12-13 23:50 in /tech
Last night I gave a talk to the Portland Perl Mongers with the somewhat awkward title “Erlang: The Perl of Functional Languages — POE: The Erlang of Perl”. Basically, unlike most other functional languages, when I first started writing programs in Erlang, it felt a lot like Perl: no grumpy compiler, very flexible, quick to prototype in, didn’t get in my way, and had some really powerful features baked into the language. So, I’d been thinking a little bit about an “Intro to Erlang” talk aimed at Perl programmers (or other dynamic language programmers). Also, I’d been thinking that it would be interesting to reimplement some of my Erlang programs in POE, as the concurrency models are pretty similar and I wanted to compare the elegance in Perl compared to Erlang. So, when the organizer of the group asked me if I could talk about POE, I used it as an excuse to do a couple side-by-side implementations and build a talk around them.
The slides and supporting code are available here.
I felt like the talk went reasonably well, although for a bit I was afraid it might not happen. I got there about 15 minutes early, then spent the next hour trying to get the projection system working. My laptop was convinced it had an external display connected, but nothing came out of the projector. Finally, we found the right Free Geek employee who said the magic words “Oh, yeah, I think that projector’s broken” and “I think there’s another one over in this room...”. I trimmed a little bit, glossed over a couple details, and we managed to make it through without cutting into the after-talk pub time too much. So, in the end, a success.