June 2012 News Archive

Fri Jun 1 00:00:00 2012

This is the shadowcat news archive for June 2012.

Community Service


           the server stack in the SC offices looks likes Vader's port-aloo.
The server stack in the SC offices looks likes Vader's port-aloo

During June and the start of July the Shadowcat Senior systems administrator, C. Jackson known as epitaph on many irc networks, will be provisioning a new server. The server is new but the services it will provide are already in existence, as this is a replacement for an existing system that has reached the end of its functional life.

The server in question has an internal designation of Agaton and it is used to support the community by providing services such as the irc deamons that run both Shadowcat's own network and Perl's irc network[1]. In fact, as is the way with several of our servers, the majority of their task is to support community projects.

Shadowcat, like many other comapnies we could easily mention in the Perl world, take seriously the need to support and promote the community. The provision of servers is just one of those ways that we undertake.

If we were to examine the cost of a server such as this, the hardware costs would come to several hundred pounds, the provisioning is a couple of weeks as the services have to be moved without causing severe disruption, the monitoring of day-to-day activities, the support of community users, the cost to Shadowcat would be a few thousand pounds of potential lost revenue and capital costs for outlay.

Of course, these costs are then balanced against the value to the community; the fact that there are benefits from promotion as marketing for the company and our services; the creation of a better base environment will have natural advantages to those who work in that system; and if you nurture any organism[2] it will have a better chance to evolve and develop.

There is also the, what we consider natural feelings, we develop and encourage here at Castle Shadowcat to be involved with, and supportative of, the broader community to which we belong. So provisioning a new server is not seen as a cost, and normally we wouldn't calculate it as such. It is more what we consider our duty as a responsible company in a revolutionary community.[3]

At some point epitaph might write a longer article for the Shadowcat blogs on the actual processes involved and the services that were moved and technical challenges involved in such. In the meantime if there are any outages or disruptions to community services as we move this system, we apologise in advance.

Notes

[1] As is the way of these things Agaton is only one of several servers we run such daemons on that allow redundancy and stability of the network.

[2] A community can be seen as a large organism, a life form with differing components that work autonomously but are still part of the same whole system.

[3] It is often seen as a negative as in some cultures the notion of revolution and revolutionary and their direct relationship to communism and socialism, especially when we are discussing communities and groups. We are using it to suggest a dramatic change to what has come before.[4]

[4] We have no argument with Communism/Marxism/Socialism as political systems but make no discussion of their validity to business/community relationships as that is out of scope for this piece.

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French Perl Workshop

Matt S. Trout will be attending the French Perl Workshop this week as a guest speaker.

Matt will be talking on both the Friday and Saturday afternoons, his first talk will be on Moo and how it is a 2/3rds (-ish) implementation of Moose on the Friday with a more philosophical/methods based talk on dual implementations on the Saturday.

As always Matt will be available in the Hallways and outside buildings in designated smoking areas for the convenient chats and at the bar providing fruitful apropos verbiage[1] in the evenings.

If you are attending, and you should, Matt hopes to meet you there.

French Perl Workshop Homepage
Moo - almost, but not quite, two thirds of Moose
Postmodern deconstructionism

[1] It's a skill that needs to be honed with the application of time, instruction, heapings of colloquial idioms, cultural artefacts, idiosyncratic observations and lashings of foamy beer.

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Mark Keating organises Send A Newbie 2012

Send a newbie banner

Once again Shadowcat Systems' Mark Keating will be organising and arranging the Send-A-Newbie Initiative(SAN) on behalf of the Enlightened Perl Organisation.

The SAN initiative is a project aimed at bringing a new person to a major Perl Conference, usually the YAPC::EU, if they have never attended a major Perl event previously. The applications are open to anyone irrespective of age or background. It is a financial award aimed at bringing the experience of a large community event to those who otherwise would be restricted financially from attending.

This is the third year that the event has been organised by Mark and this year he will be hoping to meet with the attendees and maybe organise interaction between them and other Perl personalities.

The initiative survives solely on donations from companies or individuals. The donations can be of any size and are an on-going scheme as any money remaining from one year is instantly moved to the following year.

Why not donate today, or approach Mark for details of having your logo/message on the SAN site.

Send A Newbie Homepage
Donate to the Initiative
Enlightened Perl Homepage

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Lighting up an Olympic Moment

A number of people got caught in the rain

This year the Olympics are being held in the UK and as part of that event the Olympic Torch is doing a circuit of the United Kingdom. A portion of its journey was its visit to the City of Lancaster and associated environs today and passed right by the Shadowcat Systems offices.

There were a number of people who braved the, rather horrid, June weather to see the torch pass by, thankfully those of us in the office who cared were able to watch the event from the relative warmth, and total dryness of the office.

the Olympic torch and spirit were still lit

Mark brought his zoom lens into the office and was able to snap some images of the torch as it went by. The complete set is available on Flickr and you can view them there.

This was a once in a lifetime event and although there is much to debate about the value of the whole games and related epherma it is still interesting to see a slice of history and record it.

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YAPC::NA The Tee Shirts

At YAPC::NA this year Matt and Mark will be sporting a limited run t-shirt, with only five shirts like it in existence.

The image on the shirt is a jocular composition of YAPC::Lego. This flippancy is a response to the YAPC 2012 organisers using a to-scale version of a velociraptor below a cow. Though the image they used was not that of a real Velociraptor but the Perl 5 version that is based upon the Utah Raptors, had they wished to be accurate they would have had to re-draw the image.

We at Shadowcat thought it was a funky challenge, the organisers clearly were playing with the real-world scale of a velociraptor, if not a real world representation, so we used a Lego scaled velociraptor, mini-figure and cow that Mark sourced at various Lego events to give a bold reply.

Three shirts will be available at the conference and awarded at Mark's discretion. There is also a limited run of the art cards and you can view the actual Lego pieces sourced for the image.

We know the organisers will take this whimsy in the tongue in cheek manner in which they used their take on the Perl 5 'unofficial' logo that we like to use.

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Castaway Awarded Her TPF Grant

We are delighted to hear and further announce the great news of Jess 'Castaway' Robinson being awarded her Perl Foundation grant: http://news.perlfoundation.org/2012/05/grant-application-improving-cr.html.

We at Shadowcat were aware of the grant going through, but due to several compelling reasons, particularly Mark being the marketing chair of the TPF, Matt being a strong personality in the Perl community, and Jess currently consulting with Shadowcat Systems, we felt it improper to make a comment on the application.

We knew that Jess was the right person to do this work as her love of Perl and knowledge of Android and its importance are exemplary. We, at Shadowcat, have a good understanding, and a deep respect, of how excellent her Perl skills are, so we waited (a little impatiently) for the news to be announced to the world so that we could congratulate her.

It is heartening to learn that this grant will be mentored by Tom Hukins and Renee Bäcker who are well respected in the community and have a great deal of experience between them.

Mark knew of the success of the application ahead of its announcement but waited for the official release on the Foundation blog before authorising any press releases from Shadowcat.

Once again we want to congratulate Jess and look forward to her constant updates to us on our internal staff channels and on Twitter, Facebook and the Perl Foundation blog.

Announcement
Grant Application

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Lancaster ESTA

Shadowcat Systems will be joining the local organisation dedicated to making trade a sustainable endeavour, the Lancaster Ethical Small Traders Association (ESTA).

Shadowcat Systems are unlikely to directly affect the local trade with our standard business activities, our client base is international and we do not consume much in the way of locally produced resources. However, this doesn't mean that we wouldn't benefit from a sustained local environment. It is good for any business to be in an area of sustained wealth and enterprise.

The principal reason for our involvement is a strong local community ties in with our broader goals of sustainable community endeavours. Many of the projects and organisations we are involved with are distributed communities, so it is apt to be a part of a local initiative.

There is little doubt that Shadowcat's involvement will remain passive as we are always an active participant in any organisation we are connected with.

ESTA Homepage

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Sponsored Development

As mentioned, in the general social media space, Shadowcat Systems was recently very proud to work along side Suretec (with their SureVoip platform) on some sponsored development for Perl.

Shadowcat Systems' Eden Cardim worked alongside Suretec's Gavin Henry to create an Oauth 2 framework for the Catalyst MVC. Shadowcat provided expertise and a reduced rate for paid developer time and Suretec paid for the development.

A collaboration such as this has helped to bring a needed tool to the wider community and this is not the first time we have been proud to do this with our clients. At a later point Mark Keating will be writing a longer series of thoughts on distributed sponsorship and corporate responsibility in programming communities. For now we, at Shadowcat, would like to praise all those involved and in particular thank Gavin for his continued devotion to the community and Eden for his excellent coding skills.

Surevoip Announcement
Module link on MetaCPAN
Catalyst Framework

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YAPC::NA The Tee Shirts

At YAPC::NA this year Matt and Mark will be sporting a limited run t-shirt, with only five shirts like it in existence.

The image on the shirt is a jocular composition of YAPC::Lego. This flippancy is a response to the YAPC 2012 organisers using a to-scale version of a velociraptor below a cow. Though the image they used was not that of a real Velociraptor but the Perl 5 version that is based upon the Utah Raptors, had they wished to be accurate they would have had to re-draw the image.

We at Shadowcat thought it was a funky challenge, the organisers clearly were playing with the real-world scale of a velociraptor, if not a real world representation, so we used a Lego scaled velociraptor, mini-figure and cow that Mark sourced at various Lego events to give a bold reply.

Three shirts will be available at the conference and awarded at Mark's discretion. There is also a limited run of the art cards and you can view the actual Lego pieces sourced for the image.

We know the organisers will take this whimsy in the tongue in cheek manner in which they used their take on the Perl 5 'unofficial' logo that we like to use.

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