YAPC-NA & Act-Voyager

2015-07-09 10:04:25 admin Perl Events Guest blog posts News 0 Comments

What else would one do when you have a whole trans-Atlantic flight and nothing interesting to watch? Yep... hours of uninterrupted coding... And so I did, flying from London to Chicago... at least that aircraft was flying... Act-Voyager was not.

Many of the mechanics still needed to be taken care of, the true engine of Act had only been designed on the drawing board and bits of it had been tested in the Act-labs.

Sunday there were quite some people around at the conference venue for the PR-challenge hackathon - and I joined them to get the engines up and running. Rob van Dam from BlueHost did set-up a VPS to host act-voyager.org where the new (temporary) front-end will be hosted. Back in France, Maddingue was busy setting up another host for the REST-api, installing Dancer2 and DBIx::Class. Time differences were playing up a bit and it was until his lunch-time, 05:00 in the morning in Salt Lake City before I went to bed... And after all that work, I was unsatisfied and had to settle for just a general report about Act during the morning lightning talk... no flashing live demo.

But the amazing thing happened, ten minutes before the lightning-talks started (I was #2 on the list) Maddingue came on-line and together with Sawyer X they managed to get the REST-api up and running - if only they didn't put in /api/ in the path of the url. So, sadly, no live demo, but at least it was out there in the community and Act-Voyager was not being consumed by 'Doomsday planet-eater'... its engines were roaring and it was ready to take off.

With the assistance of some more ingenious guys walking around, I was able to have a smart-phone friendly web-app that would show the upcoming events.... yes tooooo late to be of much use during YAPC-NA, but it was no disaster after all. It was great to hear all the feedback and the buzz going on about what Act is missing and what new features it should need:
    • Much has been discussed about migration or running two databases simultaneously during Act-Voyager development which would make it much easier to build a REST-api based upon a more flexible database-schema.
    • 'Someone' already did a first attempt to render the legacy of Act into static HTML, such that all previous websites will still be available and only the dynamic bits like 'user-profiles' will link to new general user-profile pages.
    • As a good alternative to the proprietary YouTube channels and SlideShare uploads, VMBraseur advocates using the InternetArchive, which I consider as a good option of storing the videos and the slides of the presentations.
    • Building a proper responsive frontend which is mobile first should not be hard when there are so many smart technologies available like Bootstrap, Foundation, jQuery or even Ember. But becomes even better when you meet people that have great knowledge of these and are willing to contribute to Act-Voyager.

I would like to thank all and everyone for making YAPC-NA a special time, helping here and there with little bits to get Act-Voyager making progress at a crucial moment in time. Also, I'd like to thank the people of BlueHost for sponsoring the Act-Voyager project by hosting the act-voyager.org website for a whole year.

On Thursday, while some stayed to hack on Perl6, went to Go or made their first ballet steps with Dancer2, I decided to have a look around in the Mormon pilgrimage city of Salt Lake City and climb the 1100ft high (above temple square) Ensign Peak. The adventurous trip was rewarded with a wonderful view on the valley of Salt Lake City and its famous lake. It was there, 'High on the Mountain Top' in 1847 were Brigham Young (the American Moses) drew his plans for the new promised city and the generations after him... It was there that I could look back on a couple of exciting rollercoaster days and see a bright future for Act, the Next Generation.

Captain Theo

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