Larry Wall

Creator of Perl

State of the Onion
32 minutes, 14.9mb, recorded 2005-08-02
Larry Wall
Larry Wall and his comrades have been planning Perl 6 for the past five years. As Benevolent Dictator of the People's Republic of Perl, Larry uses his characteristic humor to liken its development to the work of a community of spies. Asserting that "Perl" could have been called "Spy" instead, he speculates on how things would have turned out if it had.

Optimizing for fun, he introduces 16 characters that represent the diverse open source community in general and the Perl community in specific. Each has a distinct personality, contributing different strengths and quirks. He encourages this diversity, and gives insightful lessons useful to everyone involved in the open source movement.

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Larry Wall is a programmer, linguist, author, and is most widely acclaimed for his creation of the Perl programming language in 1987. He is the principal author of the bestseller Programming Perl, colloquially called "the Camel book."

Wall earned his bachelor's degree from Seattle Pacific University in 1976. He won the International Obfuscated C Code Contest twice and was the recipient of the first Free Software Foundation's award for the Advancement of Free Software in 1998.

Wall is known for his idiosyncratic and thought-provoking approach, as well as for his groundbreaking contributions to the culture of free software programming. He now works full time as a researcher and developer at O'Reilly Media, Inc., and serves as the Benevolent Dictator for Life of the Perl project.


This program is from the O'Reilly Open Source Convention held in Portland, Oregon August 1-5, 2005.

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