Best Practical at YAPC NA 2016

The North American Yet Another Perl Conference (YAPC) this year was in Orlando, FL, and Best Practical was excited to be able to attend and sync up with our friends and fellow open source developers in the Perl community. Here are some highlights related to RT and some of the projects we use as part of the RT ecosystem.

Before talking about the technology, we must mention that the horrible events in Orlando came just a short time before the conference and it was a constant subtext to the all of the activities at the conference and around Orlando. The conference pulled together with donations and a silent auction to raise funds to support the One Orlando project. By the end of the conference, over $4,500 was raised to help the victims and families.

The focus of the conference, of course, is on Perl and the large repository of software on CPAN that makes RT and many other projects possible. Perl 5 itself continues to evolve with new stable versions every year. Perl 5.24 is now available with an extensive set of updates and improvements. Ricardo Signes stepped down as the Perl pumpkin (the person who manages Perl releases) and Sawyer X now takes over to keep the releases running smoothly.

The Perl community has always had a strong focus on testing and RT's automated testing infrastructure enables us to keep RT stable while continuing to add new features and improve the product. Test2 is a major update to the core modules Test::Simple and Test::More that support nearly all of Perl's testing infrastructure. In addition to adding some stability, Test2 introduces better APIs, improved reporting output, and more hooks to customize testing automation. All of this was done while maintaining backward compatibility to avoid breaking current tests. You can see more in Chad Granum's talk.

MetaCPAN, a website for finding modules available on CPAN, was first released as an alternative to in 2010. The team supporting MetaCPAN is working on a major new update that is currently available in beta mode. As one of the main sources of RT extensions, it's great to see improvements with more metadata making it even easier to find RT extensions and other Perl modules to enhance RT.

Since this last Christmas turned out to be the one for the release of Perl 6, there were plenty of talks on the new language. We're not ready to re-write RT in Perl 6 just yet, but it's great to see the evolution of the language. And the Perl 5 team is always eager to pull in new ideas, so we may see some Perl 6 features ported back to Perl 5 in the future.

The YAPC video team did a fantastic job recording the processing video of the talks this year and you can find nearly all of the talks posted online. It's great to see the Perl community as excited and vibrant as ever, and we're happy to be a part of it!


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