What Every Perl Programmer Should Know: tips, tricks, and common knowledge

For the April meeting, G. Wade Johnson lead the first in a two-part discussion entitled What Every Perl Programmer Should Know: tips, tricks, and common knowledge. The idea from the presentation came from a book for another language I read called C++ Common Knowledge. That book got started a chain of thought about what we as Perl programmers should all know.

This presentation was very different from many of the others because of a change in presentation technology and focus. I wanted this to be more of a discussion than a lecture. The PerlPoint presentations used in the past have the same problem as their PowerPoint equivalents, linear presentation style. This form of presentation does not lend itself to discussion and almost discourages tangential topics.

Instead, I used TiddlyWiki to store the material I wanted to cover. I also added more content than I expected to cover to allow tailoring the discussion to junior or more senior Perl programmers, depending on who was there.

As the discussion progressed, we ended up adding examples and more content to the wiki. The result was a much more interactive session and better content than I started with. The resulting presentation is available on the attached page.

There are a few things that may not be obvious on viewing this Wiki. The left hand menu is a list of topics I had planned to cover. Underneath that are links to lists of topics covered by the named tags. The apr tag lists all of the pages we covered at the April meeting. The right-hand side contains admin functions and a set of tabs that give other organization of the content. Finally, if you use the save link as feature of your browser on the link above, you will get a single HTML page that contains the entire presentation. When opened as a file in the browser, the wiki is editable.

Near the end of the meeting we decided to do one more meeting next month on this topic to see if we can get more of the information covered.