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Sex *and* Violence: Technical and Social Lessons


In June 2000, Larry Wall announced a new four-month Open Source development effort: the reinvention of Perl. In this keynote Larry's evil henchman, Damian Conway, will unfold the twisting and sordid tale of what happened over the next six years of the project, highlighting the sexy new language that has (very nearly now) been created, the extreme violence that was sometimes necessary to make it happen, and the dozen or so harsh-but-invaluable lessons that the development team learned along the way.

Damian Conway

Damian Conway is known as the "Mad Scientist of Perl". He holds a Ph.D. in Computer Science and recently ceased to be an honorary Associate Professorship with the School of Computer Science and Software Engineering at Monash University, Melbourne, Australia.

A popular speaker and trainer, he is also the author of many infamous modules including: Parse::RecDescent (parsing without lexing), Lingua::EN::Inflect (English transformations without a dictionary), Lingua::Romana::Perligata (Perl programming without English), Class::Multimethods (polymorphism without objects), Quantum::Superpositions (quantum computing without tears), and Coy (error messages without karma). A three-time winner of the Perl Conference's Larry Wall Award, Damian is now banned from future competition and instead has the conference's Best Technical Paper named after him.

He is a former columnist for The Perl Journal, and author of the books Object Oriented Perl and Perl Best Practices.

Damian is heavily implicated in the design of Perl 6, where his job is to tempt Larry with evil ideas, and to explain Larrys apocalyptic visions.

He also runs an international IT training company - Thoughtstream - which provides programmer training from beginner to masterclass level throughout Europe, North America, and Australasia.

He lists his technical interests as: programming language design, teaching programming, object orientation, software engineering, natural language generation, synthetic language generation, emergent systems, declarative programming, morphing, human-computer interaction, geometric modelling, the psychophysics of perception, nanoscale simulation, and parsing.

He lists his personal interests as: reading, fitness, cinema, and Total World Domination.

In his spare time, he travels barefoot across the U.S. - teaching, playing his flute, having alopecic flashbacks, preaching pacifist philosophy, and generally beating the tar out of bad guys with his deadly kung-fu skills.