Conferences Archives

May 10, 2007

May 10, 2007 - Call for Venue-YAPC::NA::2008

It's that time of year again--we need your bids in to host YAPC::NA in your town next summer. Most of the details for a bid are in my post from last year.

To re-iterate a few points:

  • If you plan on bidding, folks from your group should really attend YAPC::NA this year to see how things work and maybe even help out.
  • Get your bid ready early and we'll give you feedback before the due date at the YAPC BOF.
  • Venue requirements are available and bids from previous years are available in this blog. Last year all of the bids were very good, so they are a good resource.
  • Details on running a YAPC are available in the TPF project on Google code.
  • As with previous years, the bids will be made public here after the due date.

Send any questions and completed bids to the TPF conferences group: tpf-conferences (at) perl (dot) org

April 10, 2007

April 10, 2007 - Perl Events, Great and Small

There are so many Perl events around the world now that I thought I'd take a shot at categorizing how they all relate to one another. I thought this might help people thinking about attending something for the first time, people thinking about presenting something and also people thinking about organizing an event.

For people thinking about becoming more involved in the Perl community, this presents a sort of ladder of involvement. You can start small at a Perl Mongers meeting with almost no cost to yourself in dollars or time. If you like what you see, there are several more steps you can take before you ante up and fly to someplace like Vienna or Houston for the full YAPC experience.

There are a ton of brilliant people out there using Perl and I'll bet nearly all of them have something interesting to say about how they use Perl. But presenting is a skill and it can be tough to learn because you need to stand in front of people while you are learning. That's a very public learning curve and you can't write automated tests for it. Public speaking can be really hard, that's why there are organizations like Toastmasters and Dale Carnegie.

But Perl has an organizational structure to help you too. You can start by giving a small presentation at your local Perl Mongers group to people you probably know. As you work out the kinks, work up to a Workshop, then maybe a YAPC. In a few years you could find yourself traveling to other PM groups or presenting at OSCON.

There is also heavy demand for the prominent speakers in the Perl community. This strucure helps the community because it nurtures new people as they work on their presentation skills, especially when they already have the technical knowledge. You never know who could be the next Randal, brian, MJD, or Damian, but they might come from your PM group. OK, there won't be another Damian, but you get the idea.

And we always need organizers too. You say everything has been done in the Perl community and you don't know how to help out? Besides, you're not sure your Perl-foo is good enough to send in a patch for the DBI module? Well, there is no better way to support the Perl community than to host an event that brings together people who do want to do those things.

Hosting these events is just as time-consuming and important as putting things on CPAN. And as with speaking, there is a nice way to work your way up the ladder. I'm sure hosting YAPC would be a lot less intimidating if you already had a hackathon or workshop under your belt.

Read on for the types of Perl events out there and let me know if you have any additional input. In the future, I'd also like to add some details on how and when groups like TPF and YEF get involved in these events.

Perl Mongers Meetings

Perl Mongers meetings are the foundation of Perl knowledge sharing and networking.

  • Usually free, sometimes they pass a hat for donations.
  • Usually have local speakers.
  • Sometimes bring in prominent speakers for special talks.
  • Low barrier to attending and presenting.
  • Great for demoing a talk or getting your feet wet presenting.
  • Great for networking at the local level.
  • Often monthly.
  • Fairly easy to organize.
  • Size varies from a few people to tens of people.

Hackathons

This newer addition to the organized event list brings people together to share physical space while working on projects. This often allows people who usually work separately to hash some things out in person.

  • Low cost, usually paying your own room and some food. Sponsors cover some cost.
  • Many locals plus some folks travel.
  • Will usually have several prominent Perl coders present.
  • Low barrier for attending and contributing.
  • Great chance to learn about active projects and get involved by talking to some folks in person.
  • More organization since it is for several days and there are venue details.
  • Size in the 20's or 30's.

Workshops

A workshop is a fully organized and scheduled event, but is compact and often takes place over a weekend.

  • Some cost for attendance, typically very low.
  • Draws from the surrounding region (could be a large region) with some folks traveling from further away.
  • Have a mix of local presenters and prominent Perl trainers/presenters.
  • Usually one or two days.
  • Full schedule of talks, possibly two tracks.
  • Size varies from high 10s (80-ish) to over 100.
  • Great chance to learn about Perl and meet Perl people in a small setting.
  • Much more organization because you have speaker/talk details, venue details, and attendee details. More people means more issues to deal with. More money means higher stakes for mistakes.

YAPCs (OSDC)

Yet Another Perl Conferences are at the top of the Perl public event ladder on the grassroots side and they are the largest Perl events outside OSCON. Recent YAPCs from around the world have routinely drawn 400 attendees (YAPC::NA, EU, Asia, Brazil, etc.). Some YAPCs have morphed into Open Source Developer Conferences that have talks on other languages.

  • Attendance fee, but still very low cost for a full conference.
  • Draws from the larger region (country/continent) and world-wide.
  • Mostly experienced presenters with some new presenters.
  • For presenters, full conference-style presenting. Usually large rooms with possibility of a large audience. Often large screen display with PA system.
  • Usually 3 days, with training and hackathons sometimes added on.
  • Attendance varies from 150 to 400 or more.
  • Full schedule of talks, keynotes, lightning talks, BOFs. Sometimes as many as 4 tracks.
  • Extra features such as job fairs, special conference dinners, etc.
  • Great chance to soak in pure Perl talk for 3 days.
  • Oranization is full-blown. Takes 6 months to a year to fully organize. Many details to arrange for. Usually takes a full team like the local Perl Mongers group to support it. Large budget with many sponsors.

April 06, 2007

April 6, 2007 - Planet YAPC

With so many Perl events going on around the world, I often wish I could take a quick peek to see what's going on at each one. I watch the conference sites and wikis when I can and I watch use.perl, but not everyone posts info there.

I think what I really want is a planet yapc aggregator like planet perl that could pull in blogs tagged with pre-arranged tags. For example, everyone blogging YAPC::NA would use yapcna2007, etc. We could include workshops, hackathons, etc. It seems there would still some maintenance involved to add blog sites to watch and add new conferences as they come along.

Anyone else think this is a good idea? Any volunteers interested in setting up a prototype?


Got some RSS feeds in mind? If you send me an e-mail with a list of feed URls I can put something together.

contributed by nik on April 6, 2007 3:42 PM


YAPC Chicago had this last year:

http://planet.yapcchicago.org/

I'll volunteer to set up Plagger for the YAPCs this year.

contributed by Elizabeth Cortell on April 6, 2007 5:25 PM


Oh hey nik, gimme a holler at zrusilla [ who may be found at ] yahoo [ dot ] com.

contributed by Elizabeth Cortell on April 6, 2007 5:28 PM


Hey, now we could use a designer who could style up a nice Perlish theme for us. Any recommendations?

contributed by Elizabeth Cortell on April 6, 2007 10:04 PM

April 05, 2007

April 5, 2007 - YAPC::Europe::2008 Call for Venue

Just announced (see below). Note that based on our schedule, the call for venue for YAPC::NA will be coming soon as well.

With preparations for YAPC::Europe::2007 well underway in Vienna, it is time for the YAPC::Europe Venue Committee to consider suitable hosts for the 2008 conference. Any dedicated group interested in hosting YAPC::Europe::2008 should send a brief statement of intent to venue@yapceurope.org. A full and complete application should then be sent to the same address prior to the deadline for applications, which is June 30, 2007.

For more information about the requirements for hosting a conference, you may want to refer to the YAPC organisers documentation (administered by TPF) or look at the examples of previous European conferences.

Please direct any questions to venue@yapceurope.org, and a member of the committee will endeavour to respond as soon as possible. The public announcement of the location for the 2008 conference will be announced during the 2007 conference in Vienna.

April 02, 2007

April 2, 2007 - YAPC::NA Registration Open with Act

In case you haven't seen it elsewhere, registration for YAPC::NA is now open. One really cool part about this is that it takes the Act!-hosted conference site to the next point of integration, which is accepting payments through the Perl Foundation's payment site.

This fulfills a large part of my call last year for a conference system. I mentioned that Act was a start, but it wasn't open-source and it didn't integrate with the TPF payment system. Both of these have been resolved and we're off and running. Many thanks to Liz Cortell and Eric Cholet for getting this up and running!

And, now that Act is open and available, that means you can help too! If you don't like something about the Act system, contact the Act developers and offer to help. You can fix anything you find broken or add features. Not sure what to do? Check out the unofficial TODO list in the svn repository. Act development has been very active, including some work at the Euro hackathon, so watch for new features.

Finally, the best part about sharing the hosted Act site is you don't have to re-enter your personal info for each Perl event. It will save user data and make your account available for all Act-hosted events you attend.


act_developers++

They've been very helpful and quick to respond to added feature requests and questions. Registration has been going rather smoothly for those that have already paid (as far as I'm aware). Another thanks to Liz and Eric. I'm anxious to see how ACT evolves over the course of various conferences, workshops, and hackathons.

Do I smell some upcoming post-yapc hackathon action for act? :-)

contributed by Jeremy Fluhmann on April 2, 2007 9:33 PM

January 29, 2007

January 29, 2007 - Time to prepare your presentations

It's the time of year to gather up all the cool stuff you've been working on and get it ready to show everyone else. The calls are out there for several conferences right now:

Wow, that's a lot of Perl to talk about.

January 26, 2007

January 26, 2007 - A Conference Toolkit (ACT) Goes Open Source

A while ago I blogged that I really wanted a Perl-based conference toolkit that YAPCs and other conferences could use so they didn't spend time hacking on the website when they should be organizing the conference. Well, the folks who work on ACT have been working to fulfill some of the items I presented and earlier today they officially announced that it is open source with a dual GPL/Artistic license.

You can access the code via their svn repository. Now anyone can look at and hack on the ACT code. We might even see some other groups using ACT to host their conference site.

Even better, the ACT developers offer to host Perl-related conferences on their server. The nice thing about this is they can re-use user accounts and other data in the database from one conference to the next. This will be nice for people who attend more than one Perl conference each year.

Several of next year's conferences going up on the ACT server and this will be the first time YAPC::NA is hosted on the ACT site.

The final step for this year's effort is to integrate ACT with the TPF payment system, and this work is underway. Stay tuned.

Thanks to the ACT developers for their work so far!

November 05, 2006

November 5, 2006 - Nat Torkington interviewed

Perl Foundation board member, conference organizer and Perl oldbie Nat Torkington is interviewed in this article from Linux Format.


Well, i was not so happy with the interview, you can find my comments here.

contributed by sri on November 5, 2006 9:47 PM

October 06, 2006

October 6, 2006 - Moving toward a conferences toolkit (ACT)

Long-time readers might remember my plea for a conference module to allow YAPC organizers to organize rather than hack the website. Well, I'm very pleased to announce that I was able to get in touch with the YAPC Europe folks and the ACT folks and they have agreed to work on making ACT the default YAPC web site framework.

One of the main issues with ACT was that it hadn't been released. I believe the main reason was that Eric Cholet and Philippe Bruhat didn't want a bunch of servers popping up running ACT when they were willing to host. Also, we get some advantages by hosting it on one server like a history of YAPC, shared accounts for login, etc.

These all seem like good reasons to keep a central host. But I also thought it would be nice if others could use ACT and perhaps see the source and hack it a bit. So we'll do both. The ACT developers are going to work on preparing a version of the system that can be released, and we will work on hosting YAPC::NA and possibly YAPC::EU on their server (really this is their work too).

We still have some details to work out, like interfacing with the TPF payment server, but there is a plan for that too. As of right now, my hope is that YAPC::NA next year will have it's web component hosted by the ACT folks.

If you are interested in helping out, there are links to various mailing lists on the ACT home page.

I should also note that I did receive some interest from others regarding my earlier post. Specifically, Gabor Szabo offered to adapt his YAPCOM system. Although we've decided to go with ACT, I wanted to thank Gabor for offering to help.


By the way, I prefer to write it "Act", rather than "ACT". It's less an acronym than an injuction: "Act!" (and organize your conference). :-)

contributed by BooK on January 25, 2007 10:52 PM

September 01, 2006

September 1, 2006 - Houston and Vienna for YAPCs Next Year

The Perl Foundation, in conjunction with the YAPC::Europe Foundation are happy to announce Houston and Vienna as the venues for next year's North American and European YAPCs.

The votes were close again this year for YAPC::NA and we had three excellent bids from Boston, Houston, and Philadelphia.

With the evaluations complete, the Perl Foundation's Conferences Committee has selected Houston, Texas, as the venue for YAPC::NA::2007. The proposal was a joint effort from members of Houston.pm and BrazosValley.pm and was submitted by Jeremy Fluhmann. We hope for another great YAPC::NA in 2007, this time a lot further south. Congratulations to Houston! Details will be available in the coming months at the YAPC::NA website.

On the other side of the pond, Vienna faced tough competition from Lyon, France and Pisa, Italy.

The YEF committee are confident that Vienna.pm's experienced team--which was responsible for several Austrian Perl Workshops--will put together a wonderful conference. The theme for the next YAPC::Europe will be 'Social Perl'.

I think I speak for both committees when I say we encourage the runner-up candidate groups to stay involved, help this year's group, and bid again next year. The Boston group has already demonstrated the great humor and cooperation that makes the international Perl community so special. It's about a lot more than just the code.

We hope to see you in Houston and Vienna next summer!

August 28, 2006

August 28, 2006 - Announcing the Chicago Hackathon 2006, Nov 10-12

The Chicago Perl Mongers and The Perl Foundation are proud to announce the Fall 2006 Chicago Hackathon, the weekend of November 10-12, 2006 in suburban Crystal Lake, IL. It will be a round-the-clock weekend of programming on Perl-related projects with your colleagues in the open source community. Dozens of programmers from the open source community in the midwest, as well as others from around the US, will be getting together to share ideas, work on code, and move their Perl-related projects forward.

The participants set the agenda for what we'll be working on, but Perl 6 and Parrot are already on the roster of projects. Chip Salzenberg, pumpking for the Parrot project, will be on hand to help with Parrot and Perl 6. Andy Lester will also be driving some Parrot maintenance tasks, and other midwest programmers will be working on their own projects. There's sure to be something interesting for everyone!

Participation in the hackathon costs nothing. The Perl Foundation is even providing hotel rooms at a special rate if you want to spend the night. Even if you're in the area for just an hour, stop by, grab a snack or some pizza and talk with other people interested in Perl. You might contribute more than you think just by talking with other programmers.

To find out more, visit http://hackathon.info. If you'll be attending, please sign in on the Attendees wiki page, and/or email "rsvp@hackathon.info"<mailto:rsvp@hackathon.info>. You can also send questions to Andy Lester at "andy@hackathon.info"<mailto:andy@hackathon.info>

August 04, 2006

August 4, 2006 - Bids Posted

I have posted all the bids. If you seen any horrible errors in my cut-and-paste, let me know ( cbrandt a t perlfoundation.org ) or post a comment.

August 04, 2006

August 4, 2006 - YAPC::NA::2007 Boston Bid

The Boston.pm bid follows:

Update: Applied some formatting updates from Bob Clancy to address cut-off columns on some tables.

  • "NAME"<#name>
  • "SYNOPSIS"<#synopsis>
  • "CRITERIA"<#criteria>
    • "Estimated Costs"<#estimated_costs>
      • "Site 1: Northeastern University"<#site_1__northeastern_university>
        • "Introduction"<#introduction>
        • "Meeting Room Costs"<#meeting_room_costs>
        • "Banquet Costs"<#banquet_costs>
        • "Possible University Staff Costs"<#possible_university_staff_costs>
        • "A/V costs"<#a_v_costs>
        • "Speaker Costs"<#speaker_costs>
        • "Other Costs"<#other_costs>
      • "Site 2: Massachusetts Institute of Technology"<#site_2__massachusetts_institute_of_technology>
    • "Readily Accessible Location"<#readily_accessible_location>
    • "Public Transportation"<#public_transportation>
    • "Facilities"<#facilities>
      • "Northeastern University"<#northeastern_university>
      • "MIT"<#mit>
    • "Internet Access"<#internet_access>
    • "New Location"<#new_location>
    • "Affordable Dorms and Hotels"<#affordable_dorms_and_hotels>
    • "Quality of Host Committee"<#quality_of_host_committee>
    • "Tourist Activities"<#tourist_activities>
  • "AUTHORS"<#authors>

NAME

YAPC::NA 2007 Proposal - Boston, MA


SYNOPSIS

Boston is offering two possible venues for YAPC::NA::2007. In this proposal, we are using some of our research from our bid last
year, and have added an excellent new venue. Our new venue selection
is Northeastern University (NU). We have the support of a professor
and a Dean from the College of Computer and Information Sciences at NU.

We also have found support at MIT (like last year), but not yet at the same level as we currently have at Northeastern University.

No matter which venue we end up using, we plan to introduce a new ``Perl for Bioinformatics'' track.

We will continue seeking for additional participation from each university, as well as expanding the conference planning team for
the bioinformatics track among other academic institutions and
biotech companies in our area.

We feel bioinformatics is an area the Perl Foundation should begin focusing on. We need to work hand-in-hand with bioinformaticists
as a method of 1) promoting Perl, and 2) learning how Perl may
need to adapt as computational needs change in the 21st century.

The traditional needs for the YAPC::NA conference still exist. Boston and Cambridge have a high concentration of academic institutions
and is an area where we need to promote Perl among academics and
the influential computing scientists of tomorrow. Boston is also
an area with a concentrated and entrepeneurial high-tech industry.
Many startups make heavy use of Perl and open source software.
We have to provide an economical, high-content, qualiity Perl
conference in this area to keep Perl in the minds of those creating
these emerging opportunities, in medicine, academic research, and
tomorrow's high-tech companies. Boston is one of the few areas in
the country where all these forces intersect.


CRITERIA

Going through the criteria from http://yapc.org/yapc-crit.txt.

Estimated Costs

We are confident we can run at $100/head. Estimates below amortize fixed costs across an audience of between 250 and 400 people. In
practice, we expect to exceed 250 people, and we are treating 400
as the upper bound of what our facilities can handle.

Site 1: Northeastern University

Northeastern is offering rates better than what we had last year for U-Mass-Boston while offering more flexibility in the rooms we
will use. They are definitely a good value, and with support of a
Dean and a Professor, we qualify for their internal rates.
Northeastern will also allow us to write up a formal justification
for lower rates, which we will investigate doing. If the boston.pm
proposal comes in at a significant;y higher per-person cost than
competing cities, we can use this as an argument in the formal
justification we submit to Northeastern University. (We plan on
doing this at the request of The Perl Foundation, after they
compare our bid with others, and before they make a final decision
on which city is chosen.) Since YAS and The Perl Foundation are
non-profits, and we have support of a dean at Northeastern
University, we believe we will stand a good chance at getting
competitive facility rates. Another idea we are considering in the
reduced cost justification, is to give some percentage of what we
save back to the academic community in the form of scholarships to
the conference.

We have spoken with the conference planning staff at NU, about how we would structure a conference based on min and max numbers of 250
and 400 attendees. Bascially we would design a contract planning
for the higher number, with a clause to renegotiate to a lower
number at a projected future date. Below is a best-effort
estimate using established rates and our experience in submitting
a bid for the second time. Actual plans for speific dates and
specific rooms cannot occur until we have an indication that we are
close to winning the bid.

Introduction

The main costs in doing a conference are:


    Estimated meeting room Costs for 250 attendees        $12910.00
    Estimated meeting room Costs for 400 attendees        $17950.00


    Estimated Banquet Costs for 250 attendees              $8750.00
    Estimated Banquet Costs for 400 attendees             $14000.00


    Estimated University staff Costs                          $0.00
    Estimated A/V Costs                                     $360.00
    Estimated speaker Costs                                     TBD
    Estimated Signage Costs                                 $160.00


    Total Estimated Costs for 250 attendees  (88.72 ea.)  $22180.00


    Total Estimated Costs for 400 attendees  (81.175 ea.) $32470.00

The per-person price above is shown in parenthesis before the right-most column of the table above. If we charge $100 per person
as conference admission, we should be able to afford the conference
with a small margin of profit for The Perl Foundation. Costs that
we can probably further reduce are room costs and banquet costs.
We priced the banquet in the midpoint of the expected range. We
can reduce this to the lower end of the expected range. As
mentioned earlier, we can request lower room rates if competing
bids show that this is warranted. The above does not include any
continental breakfast or boxed lunches. The costs for these are as
follows:


    Continental breakfast    $5-6 per person
    Boxed Lunch              $10-12 per person

We can probably do without the continental breakfast, and sell tickets for boxed lunches as part of the registration package.

At NU, A/V facilities are included in the cost of the rooms. Classrooms average about $70/hr for a 40-50 person room. There
are similarly-priced rooms in the Curry Student Center which
houses two areas that could be used for the conference, The prices
for these rooms are:


VENUE                 SQ FT  L x W              THEATER  CLASSROOM   BANQUET RECEPTION
CSC      Ballroom          4,018  82'10&amp;quot; x 49'11&amp;quot;  300     150       200      325
CSC      West Addition     7,726  100'2&amp;quot; x 77'10&amp;quot;  350     n/a       300      500
CSC      Indoor Quad      11,314  139'4&amp;quot; x 79'     n/a     n/a       n/a      400
CSC      McLeod Suite      2,341  66' 9&amp;quot; x 35'     150     120       120      170
CSC          318             790  35' 1&amp;quot; x 22'5&amp;quot;    50      40        40       50
CSC          320             776  35' 1&amp;quot; x 22'11&amp;quot;   50      40        40       50
CSC          322             798  35' 3&amp;quot; x 22'6&amp;quot;    50      40        40       50

Meeting Room Costs

Assuming we book the Ballroom (4 hours on one day), plus for 3 days, we use the McLeod Suite (as 2-3 classrooms), and also use two
additional classrooms, our room costs for the conference would come
out to:


    McLeod Suite per hour (entire suite)
        $150.00/hr x 8 hrs X 3 days                        $4800.00
    Other Classrooms (for 130 additional people)
        (4 rooms @ 70/hr x 24h)                            $6720.00
                                                              or
    Other Classrooms (for 280 additional people)
        (7 rooms @ 70/hr x 24h)                           $11760.00
    Ballroom for 4 hours                                    $550.00
    Terminal Room and Staff area
        (lockable and alarmed, $35/hr x 24 h4)              $840.00
                                                           --------
    Total Estimated meeting room Costs                    $12910.00
                                                              or
                                                          $17950.00

Banquet Costs

The Northeastern University Conference staff estimates that the banquet costs (including room) should run between $25 - $45 per
plate. Our estimates from last years planning/research bear this
out. We will choose the midpoint for our estimate:


    Total Estimated Banquet Costs
        (at $35/plate x 250 people)                        $8750.00
                                                              or
    Total Estimated Banquet Costs
        (at $35/plate x 400 people)                       $14000.00

Possible University Staff Costs

If we have the conference on a Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, University staff will be present and it will not cost us extra.
During the summers, NU gives their staff a day off on Fridays. If
alcohol were to be served, there would be additional costs such as
a police detail, but we not be doing that anyway in order to keep
the cost down. Other costs such as janitorial are already
included in the price of the room.


    Total Estimated University staff Costs                    $0.00

A/V costs

We expect our A/V costs to the University to be zero, but the university has a Media Studio (used by students). We may want to
hire some students to help with the media. In doing so, those
students will have access to the A/V-media equipment of the Media
Studio, and they will be able to use this equipment for free on our
behalf. Assuming we hire these students for 9 hours per day times
4 rooms, at $10/hr, the cost would be $360.00 for A/V.


    Total Estimated A/V Costs                               $360.00

Speaker Costs

Speaker costs are relatively constant for a given conference from year to year (after adjusting for inflation). Rather than include
a wrong guess, we will just ask The Perl Foundation to use
historical costs and deduct such costs from the difference of our
other costs and the conference price. There should be plenty of
wiggle-room in our budget for this item.


    Total Estimated speaker Costs                               TBD

Other Costs

Northeastern University has a sign shop which can produce signage for us at a reasonable rate. Indoor signs are $24/sign, and
outdoor (waterproof) signs are $40-$50 per sign. We may be able to
find ways to lower this cost, but for the purposes of estimation,
we will include one eternal and 5 internal signs as a
representative cost.


    Total Estimated Signage Costs                           $160.00

Site 2: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

We are in discussion with a couple of MIT faculty/affiliates. MIT would be a great location for YAPC. But we do not yet
have enough information to form a budget for this
site possibility. (We were thinking we had another month to
get this information in the bid,) We'll offer a good-faith
promise to continue persuing MIT upon request of The Perl
Foundation (and before any other contract would be signed).

Readily Accessible Location

Logan airport is served by almost every major US airline. (The exception, Southwest, serves two nearby airports: Manchester, NH
and Providence, RI.) There is good coverage of international
airlines.

For east-coasters, Amtrak provides service. For much of the rest of the country, Amtrak pretends to provide service.

For the car-bound, it is easily possible to drive into Boston. Parking is pricey, but available.

Public Transportation

Boston has one of the better public transportation systems in the US. The MBTA, http://www.mbta.com, (``the T'' for short)
provides subway and bus service throughout eastern Massachusetts.

All of the sites we are considering have one or more subway lines within a 5 minute or less walk from the conference/dorm locations.
The airport and train stations have good connections to the subway.
There are also T-busses running directly through each campus, and
a T-bus station at Northeastern University.

Facilities

Northeastern University

Northeastern University has two major areas on campus where we could hold the conference. The most likely place is in the Curry
Student Center (hereafter referred to as ``CSC'') which was
explicitly designed for this purpose. The CSC has a ballroom,
another area capable of seating 150 or dividable into three
50-seat classrooms, plus another 40-seat classroom. There is also
an area downstairs that can be set up for our dinner, and we have
the option of holding the dinner off-site. There are also
classrooms in buildings adjacent to the CSC and these are all
connected underground via a tunnel system. A/V facilities are
provided.

MIT

MIT will not commit at this time to what facilities would be available in summer 2007. The most likely scenario would be to
hold plenary sessions in one of the lecture halls (there are at
least five candidates that can hold over 300) and tracks in small
lecture halls or large classrooms. There will probably be a bit of
walking from one room to the other, depending on exactly what is
available to us.

The rooms we would use have A/V and internet connections. Most are air-conditioned, or in buildings with heavy thermal mass that stay
cool on their own.

The student center has a large space that can easily accommodate the banquet. We also have the possibility of holding the banquet
at a corporate site in Kendall Square, adjacent to campus.

MIT has a variety of interesting displays on campus, plus the MIT Museum. It is a short walk to the Boston Science Museum. The
Kendall Square restaurant district is a short walk, and the Central
Square restaurant/club district is a bit further.

Internet Access

MIT has free wi-fi access everywhere on the campus. Northeastern has internet access everywhere but not wi-fi everywhere. They
are not as restrictive as U-Mass was regarding us providing our
own wi-fi access, for example in the terminal room. During our
conversations with the NU conference staff, we did not discuss
whether wi-fi exists in the classrooms. We should be able to
get wi-fi where it is currently available without any cost.
In the dorms, there will be wired and wi-fi access. Not sure
which are in which dorms, but we'll get wi-fi if/where we can.
If we know ahead of time that there will be dorms without
wi-fi access we will alert some Perl Mongers who will be
attending to bring some wi-fi routers.

New Location

Yes.

Affordable Dorms and Hotels

For the Northeastern University site, we can use NU dorms during the summer. They have single dorms at $55/day, and doubles at
$42/person per day. They also have apartments with 2 and 3 single
bedrooms, which rent out at $130 and $195 per apartment per day,
with the option of adding additional people (up to 5 total) in
each apartment. As an example: putting 4 in a double apartment,
or 5 in a triple apartment, the cost would $47.50 or $51 per
person/day. This averages out to around $50 with early-birds
sharing a double getting the best rate,

If we need to, we can arrange for overflow housing using Lesley College dorms if we choose MIT as the venue, or Simmons College if
we choose Northeastern University as the venue, Both MIT and
Lesley are on the MBTA red-line, an both Northeastern and Simmons
are on the green-line. Each are only a few stops away on a single
train with no changing trains. Last year's rates for each of these
alternate housing choices ranged between $45-60 per person per
night. Beyond this, there are Boston area hotels, which are
pricey, but there should be plenty of capacity for last minute
registrants. If need be, some boston.pm members can keep some
people in our homes/apartments.

Quality of Host Committee

Uri Guttman has been Socialist Czar for the last 4 YAPCs. Our committee has about 5-7 members who have been working on the YAPC
proposals. We have learned how to distribute the work and call for
additional volunteers as the workload gets heavier our outside the
capacity of any current volunteer. Boston.pm has over 50 members
and is very active with monthly technical meetings and regular
social meetings. We will be drawing on our members for help in
running YAPC. We will also attempt to find volunteers from outside
of boston.pm with computational biology experience to help with
the bioinformatics track. We have several leads already, but we do
not want to solicit this support before winning the bid. Our team
is also smart enough to research past YAPC's and to seek advice
from past organizers as a way to learn how to make YAPC better.

Tourist Activities

Boston is famous for its tea parties, and for its shots heard around the world. Boston used to be :-) home to the World
Champions in baseball, for a sufficiently narrow definition of the
world. Eastern Massachusetts is geek heaven, as measured by the
``Historic Universities per Square Mile'' index. MIT and Harvard
start the list, and the runners-up are not too shabby either.

Tourism name-dropping is easy in Boston: Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Kennebunk, Providence, White Mountains, etc.
For those who have more time on their hands, many excellent
locations are available within a two-hour drive of Boston.

Upon winning this bid, we will enlist volunteers to build links for tourism ideas on our wiki page, so that potential conference-goers
can plan an itinerary well in advance of next June.


AUTHORS

The Boston.PM YAPC Committee currently consists of


  Bob Clancy &amp;lt;bob dot clancy at verizon dot net&amp;gt;
  Emily Chew &amp;lt;threexonefourone at gmail dot com&amp;gt;
  John Macdonald &amp;lt;john at perlwolf dot com&amp;gt;
  john saylor &amp;lt;johns at worldwinner dot com&amp;gt;
  Kenneth A Graves &amp;lt;kag at citysource dot com&amp;gt;
  Kripa Sundar &amp;lt;ksundar at synopsys dot COM&amp;gt;
  Ronald J Kimball &amp;lt;rjk-bostonpm at tamias dot net&amp;gt;
  Uri Guttman &amp;lt;uri at stemsystems dot com&amp;gt;
  William Ricker &amp;lt;William dot Ricker at FMR dot COM&amp;gt; aka qw{wdr n1vux BillRicker}

We can collectively be reached at boston-pm-yapc-vol at six.pairlist.net


I don't know if there's any "official" way to give input and I'm still really new to the Perl community, so hopefully I'm not over-stepping my bounds. I looked at all the proposals and I think all of them are really good. However, I liked Boston's proposal most because I agree that "we need to promote Perl among academics and the influential computing scientists of tomorrow."

I graduated with Linguistics at UC San Diego a year ago, and now work for a company founded by some CS people from UCSD. While I use Perl to create tools to make my life easier at work, it has been hard to get through to my co-workers (all CS people) that Perl is also useful for building large applications and solving many different kinds of problems, including those at work. I have been somewhat successful in showing Perl's versatility (showing off my one-liner skills, mostly), but there's a long way to go before it would be considered by my company, a data mining company which currently uses Java.

Since virtually everyone I work with is either a CS major, grad, or affiliate, I think that focusing on academia is a good way to influence the presence of Perl in the workplace. I took about five CS courses at UCSD (which isn't much, I know) and Perl wasn't mentioned in any of them. When I did mention it to others in CS classes, it was categorized the same way I later saw at work: only a scripting language, not capable of "real work". In the Ling Dept, there's only one computational linguistics class, and that's taught using Python. Talking with my Ling professors, some of them have heard of Perl, but I don't know any who use it. I believe this lack of visibility and understanding of Perl isn't because of Perl's capabilities. I know Perl can be used successfully for pedagogical and research purposes in both departments, but it hasn't been.

Perl can gain a foothold in many different departments (including the two I mentioned) by showing its usefulness in solving research problems. Since Boston's proposal shows strong support from an institution of higher learning, I think that this would be a good opportunity to do so.

contributed by David Romano on August 12, 2006 7:07 AM

August 04, 2006

August 4, 2006 - YAPC::NA::2007 Philadelphia Bid

The Philadelphia.pm bid follows:

YAPC::Philadelphia 2007

Overview

Why Philadelphia?

Because Philadelphia is less than an 8 hour drive for one third of
the nation's population. Because it is home of the
cheesesteak. And most importantly because we are hosting YAPC just
before Independence Day, a day the city participated in creating.

Each year Philadelphia celebrates with more than a week of activities
at the "Sunoco
Welcome America"http://www.americasbirthday.com/index.asp
festival complete with big name entertainment and
multiple fireworks displays.

This year we are encouraging participants to bring their families and
make a proper holiday of it.

Our proposed theme is the "Freedom of Perl". A celebration of
TIMTOWTDI, a play on the Elton John song "Philadelphia
Freedom", and a reference to Philadelphia's place in history.

Team

YAPC Philadelphia is a joint venture of the Perl Mongers of Philadelphia and Allentown, Bethlehem, and Easton
Pennsylvania. Here are some of the people involved:

  • R Geoffrey Avery
  • Walt Mankowski
  • Mark Jason Dominus
  • Dieter Pearcey
  • Ricardo Signes
  • Rachel King
  • John Cappiello
  • Jim Parker

Among the recent acomplishments of this group in the way of planning
large events are:

  • Planned a traditional wedding for 170
  • Planned a non-traditional wedding for 65 at a minor league baseball stadium
  • Planned the Society of Women Engineers Region E Conference in Philadelphia
  • Coordinated the Lightning Talks of multiple conferences

Dates and Location

In a break from tradition we are proposing to hold YAPC Sunday July 1
to Tuesday July 3. The conference will be held on the Camden campus
of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey.

The campus is in Camden, New Jersey directly across the Delaware
river from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Facilities

Facility Location

The campus is in Camden, New Jersey at the base of the Ben Franklin
bridge connecting Camden to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

http://maps.rutgers.edu/maps/default.aspx?campus=3?389,243

We will be using the Gordon Theater in the Fine Arts Building,
several parts of the Campus Center and the Camden Towers and Camden
Apartments dorms.

Facility Layout and Capacity

Assuming a crowd between 400 and 450 we would need the Theater, half
of the Multi Purpose room to seat 200, the other half for some quiet
activities, and the Black Box room to seat about 120. We will plan
on three tracks.

A/V and Internet arrangements

Food

The campus food service provider is being replaced in the next year
so actual costs can not be predicted. However looking at the current
price lists it is possible to provide a morning and afternoon break
with food and beverage for $5/person/break.

There will be a dinner provided on the second night at a local
restaurant at a cost of about $25/person.

We may provide a chance for participants to preorder lunch for an
additional cost of less than $10/person/day. But as lunch has not
been provided for the last several years this is just a bonus and we
don't want to commit to it yet.

Cost Summary

Fixed Costs

Item Type Quantity Price Total Capacity
Gordon Theater Daily 3 600 1800 648
Gordon Theater Setup 1 600 600
Multi Purpose Room Daily 3 500 1500 200
Multi Purpose Room Setup 1 160 160
Black Box Room (guess) Daily 3 250 750 120
Black Box Room (guess) Setup 1 150 150
AV, projectors       ???
Janitors and Security       ???
Total Fixed Costs       4960

Variable Costs per Person

Breaks Food 6 5 30
Dinner Food 1 25 25
T-shirt Stuff 1 5 5
Total Variable Costs       60

Summary

Assuming 60 speakers and organizers who don't pay but need to be
fed. This feature seems to be missing from the 2006 proposals but it is
true.

Traditionally the conference fee is $85 and many people wait until
the last minute to signup. We propose to have two prices $100 as the
basic price with an early bird discount of $85 if people sign up at
least three weeks before the conference.

$100 $85 $0 Revenue Variable Fixed Total Cost Profit
  200 60 17000 15600 5000 20600 (3600)
  250 60 21250 18600 5000 23600 (3600)
  300 60 25500 21600 5000 26600 (1100)
100 200 60 27000 21600 5000 26600 400
  350 60 29750 24600 5000 29600 150
100 250 60 31250 24600 5000 29600 1650

We may update these numbers, but it looks like we break even at about
350 people even without sponsorship. The janitorial and security fee
is not yet known, but should be not need many more people to sign up
to cover it.

Accommodations

Dorms

There are dorms on campus with space for up to 250 people. They are
arranged as suites with three bedrooms that can each hold up to 2
people per room or 6/suite. We probably will not offer the one
person per suite option as there are not that many rooms.

The rates for the dorms are one suite
w/one person per night is $65.
One suite w/3 people per night is $25/per person
One suite w/6 people per night is $15/per person.
The linen is rented separately for $20/per person/per week.


There is wireless in the dorms though we belive the signal is weak.
But that can be fixed.

Hotels

Philadelphia is a big city with many options for hotels. Some of
them are listed here and we will arrange a block of rooms
later. Taking PATCO to Philadelphia makes it possible to not have a
car, but the hotels cost more. Staying on the New Jersey side of the
river leads to cheaper hotels, but will probably require a car.

The most likely hotel for us is the "Holiday Inn of
Cherry Hill"http://www.holidaycherryhill.com/index.html
. It has free wireless and a rate of about $85/night.

Transportation

Arrival and Departure

By Plane

Philadelphia International Airport is the closest airport to
YAPC. However some people may find a better deal flying into Newark
New Jersey and taking the train which stops at the airport. Other
airports might be an option if you are arriving from farther away and
don't mind a longer drive or train ride.

From PHL take a SEPTA regional rail to Market East station and
switch to PATCO. From EWR take the train to 30th Street Station and
follow directions for train.

By Train

Amtrak provides frequent service from Boston, MA to Washington, DC
through Philadelphia as part of its Northeast Corridor service. It is
also possible to travel from New York City on a combination of New
Jersey Transit and SEPTA trains.

From Trenton there are multiple choices, Amtrak or SEPTA through
Philadelphia or the Riverline which is on the New Jersey side of the river.

From 30th Street Station take the SEPTA El (blue line) to
8th street and switch to PATCO.

  • N 30th St &amp; Market St, Philadelphia, PA 19104

By Bus

Several major and minor bus lines serve Philadelphia. The bus
stations are in Chinatown with easy transfer to PATCO.

  • 1001 Filbert St, Philadelphia, PA
  • 121 N 11th Street, Philadelphia, PA

From bus station walk about 2 blocks to PATCO.

By Automobile

The Rugers-Camden campus is at the base of the Ben Franklin bridge
connecting Philadelphia, PA to Camden, NJ.

While attending YAPC

Unless staying in a hotel not near a train, you won't need a
car. The campus has a station on the PATCO train line connecting to
Center City Philadelphia. This combined with SEPTA on the
Pennsylvania side of the river will connect to most places you will
need to go during YAPC.

Things To Do

We are planning to host YAPC to be at the same time as the "Sunoco Welcome
America"http://www.americasbirthday.com/index.asp
festival leading up to Philadelphia's day to shine,
Independence Day. But beyond that we have history, science, sports,
and food options to keep most people busy.

And if that is not enough Atlantic City is only an hour away with
casinos and entertainment options. Or if you need some sun you could
go "Down the shore" and spend some time on New Jersey beaches.

Attractions

Sports and Recreation

Restaurants

Lists of things

August 04, 2006

August 4, 2006 - YAPC::NA::2007 Houston Bid

The Houston.pm bid follows:

  • "Overview"<#overview>
  • "Proposed Dates"<#proposed_dates>
  • "Facilities"<#facilities>
    • "Location"<#location>
      • "Rice University"<#rice_university>
      • "University of Houston - Downtown"<#university_of_houston__downtown>
      • "University of Houston"<#university_of_houston>
    • "Internet Access"<#internet_access>
    • "Cost/Affordability"<#cost_affordability>
      • "Low Cost Experience"<#low_cost_experience>
      • "Attendee Cost"<#attendee_cost>
      • "Conference Budget"<#conference_budget>
    • "Audio/Visual and Equipment"<#audio_visual_and_equipment>
    • "Other Fees and Services"<#other_fees_and_services>
  • "Accommodations"<#accommodations>
    • "Food Service/Catering"<#food_service_catering>
      • "Dining"<#dining>
      • "Catering"<#catering>
    • "Internet Access"<#internet_access>
    • "Alternative Accommodations"<#alternative_accommodations>
  • "Transportation"<#transportation>
    • "Getting to Houston"<#getting_to_houston>
    • "Once You're Here"<#once_you_re_here>
      • "METRO"<#metro>
        • "METROLift Pass"<#metrolift_pass>
      • "Express, Park &amp; Ride Service"<#express__park___ride_service>
      • "Trolley Service"<#trolley_service>
  • "Tourist Attractions"<#tourist_attractions>

Overview

As the 4th largest city in the U.S. and home to astronaut training and NASA's Mission Control, Houston, Texas is a leader in business,
entertainment, the arts, and more. From professional sports to outdoor
fun to an out-of-this-world space experience and incredible dining -
it's all here! Stroll the beaches of Galveston or challenge yourself
on one of the many golf courses. SpaceCity offers everything from
breathtaking museum exhibits to vibrant downtown entertainment.
Explore the wonder of space or spend the day shopping to your heart's
content. Visit and you'll understand why it's a city of infinite
possibilities.

Houston.pm is a group of people who use Perl in the Houston area. Some of us use Perl in our jobs (officially or unofficially), while others
just like to play with the language. We have all level of members
from complete novices to very experienced Perl programmers working in
Perl daily and more than willing to share their expertise. We believe
that we have the resources and facilities to host a successful YAPC
and hope that you will feel the same.


Proposed Dates

We have discussed various options for the proposed dates. In keeping with the past, we are considering three days during either the
week of June 18th - 22nd or June 25th - 29th. We've also considered,
if possible, continuing the new tradition of adding the two-day
Perl classes to the conference, possibly placing the classes at
the beginning of the conference rather than the end. This would
allow for the conference to be June 20th - 22nd, avoiding possible
conflicts of interest with Uri's anniversary and the birthday of
Jim Brandt's triplets.


Facilities

Location

We have considered and researched three venue possibilities within Houston. They are Rice University, the University of
Houston Downtown, and the University of Houston. MAP -
http://brazosvalley.pm.org/yapc/venuemap.html

Rice University

Rice University is having a brief moratorium on decisions on Summer 2007 programs and conference requests. They are in the process of
forming new policies regarding summer programs in general, which
would affect what services and spaces would be available during the
summer to groups outside Rice, including the availability of dorm
space for non-Rice sponsored conferences. They plan to make a decision
and have the policies finished by late September. Therefore, their
information is not included in this bid proposal.

University of Houston - Downtown

UHD's dynamic campus is located in the north end of downtown Houston, easily accessed from all major freeways. From UHD, it's a quick ride
on MetroRail to the heart of downtown for entertainment, ball games,
dining, and clubs.

The venue possibility is the One Main Building, an 11-story building that houses the university's bookstore, copy center, computer
lab, dining services, and various classrooms and meeting rooms. They
have a variety of facilities available including two lecture halls
each with a capacity of 150, three special events rooms capable of
holding 100 people each, and an auditorium that has a total capacity
of 450. Each room offers full multimedia capabilities. Wireless
Internet access is available in all floors of the building.

The Community Relations and Conference Services page (http://www.uhd.edu/about/reservations/) contains links to rooms and
floor plans, as well as various other information about the conference
facilities.

Maps and directions can be found at http://www.uhd.edu/about/map.htm

One issue with the University of Houston Downtown campus is that they do not have housing. They have agreements with some of the surrounding
hotels, which will be an option if the UHD campus is further
considered. No additional information about UHD has been included in this bid.

University of Houston

The University of Houston provides conference facilities within the University Center (http://www.uh.edu/ucaf/), a four-level facility
with numerous meeting rooms, a game room (can be rented by the hour),
and various food venues. There is a large ballroom with a capacity
for 600 attendees (expandable up to 1200), a room capable of holding 280
people, and another room with a capacity for 100. The center also
maintains various other meeting rooms with capacities ranging from 40 to 75
people. A map of the facility is available at
http://www.uh.edu/ucaf/about%20us/print_map_uc.html. The university
also provides a photo tour available at http://www.uh.edu/ucaf/reservations/tour/uc_tour.html


 |--------------------------------------------| | Room            | Capacity | Price |
 |--------------------------------------------| | Houston and 1 perimeter |      900 |  1625 |
 |--------------------------------------------| | Houston                 |      600 |  1305 |
 |--------------------------------------------| | Cougar Den              |      280 |   475 |
 |--------------------------------------------| | Mediterranean           |      100 |   235 |
 |--------------------------------------------| | Bluebonnet              |       75 |   130 |
 |--------------------------------------------| | Lone Star               |       60 |   120 |
 |--------------------------------------------| | Palo Duro               |       14 |    60 | (storage/terminal room?)
 |--------------------------------------------|

Pricing will be lower if getting sponsorship from the university is an option.

Internet Access

Wireless Internet connectivity is available throughout the University Center. In addition, wireless connectivity is available in most
academic buildings on campus.

Also (if possible), as Joey Kelly mentioned on the YAPC::NA 2006 Chicago wiki (http://yapcchicago.org/wiki/index.cgi):

".... I officially volunteer to be the network admin for yapc next year, wherever it's held. I do this stuff for a living, and promise

to liase with the venue networking staff well in advance, provide a
Linux server for DHCP/DNS/whatever, set up the wireless, provide tech
support for attendees, work with the local PM group, and generally be
the responsible party when things go down."

Cost/Affordability

We plan on keeping the registration fee at $100 for the 2007 YAPC. We hope to follow a similar approach as the 2006 YAPC in offering an
early registration discount.

Low Cost Experience

Assuming that an attendee takes advantage of the low-cost approach to experiencing YAPC, they would stay in a double room in the dorms and
choose the on-campus dining option.


 |-----------------------------| | Expense            |  Cost  |
 |-----------------------------| | Conference         |    100 |
 |-----------------------------| | Day 1 meals        |  20.45 |
 |-----------------------------| | Day 2 meals        |  12.20 |
 |-----------------------------| | Day 3 meals        |  12.20 |
 |-----------------------------| | 3-night dorm stay  |     45 |
 |-----------------------------| | Linen package      |     15 |
 |-----------------------------| | Total minus travel | 204.85 |
 |-----------------------------|

Attendee Cost

Depending on the various options for snacks and drinks, the cost per attendee will be around $60.


 |---------------------------| | Expense          |  Cost  |
 |---------------------------| | Snacks (3-days)  |     32 | | Sundae Bar       |      3 | | Auction Dinner   |     20 | | T-shirt          |      5 | | Total            |     60 |
 |---------------------------|

Conference Budget

With the registration fee set at $100 and the cost per attendee at $60, the amount per attendee left over to cover conference expenses
is $40.


 |-----------------------| | Attendees | Available |
 |-----------------------| | 250       |     10000 |
 |-----------------------| | 300       |     12000 |
 |-----------------------| | 350       |     14000 |
 |-----------------------| | 400       |     16000 |
 |-----------------------| | 450       |     18000 |
 |-----------------------|

To cover the expenses of speakers and volunteers, we have included their registration fee as an expense. This removes their left over
balance of $40 from the budget and covers their attendee costs.
They still count towards a head count and partake of the same snacks
and amenities as the typical attendee. If registration fee was
waived for 50 people, the speaker/volunteer expenses would be $5000.

If the attendance was lower than 300, we would only need the Cougar Den, Mediterranean, and Bluebonnet rooms, putting the room total at
$2520. Adding in Audiovisual costs and other expenses, such as
clean up and staff, puts the total for less than 300 people around
$3500. $3500 (facilities) + $5000 (speaker expense), brings the
total to $8500, $1500 under the $10000 budget for 250 attendees (showing
that a $90 early registration discount would certainly be viable).

For attendance greater than 400, we would utilize the Houston room (including its specific charges, as well as the rooms mentioned
earlier. This would set the facility expenses (rooms + A/V + etc)
to around $8415 and $5000 for speaker expenses, bringing the total to
$13415, again, under budget.

The University Center room pricing is structured in a way that provides different pricing depending on who is renting the room.
Prices are lower for university sponsored groups, department
sponsored groups, and student organizations. One way to reduce
room costs might be to work with the university or a UH department
to have them provide the rooms at the discounted rates.

Audio/Visual and Equipment

The full list of pricing for audio/visual equipment can be found at http://www.uh.edu/ucaf/reservations/files/Fee_Schedule.pdf (2nd
page).


 |--------------------------------------------------| | Equipment                  | Charge |
 |--------------------------------------------------| | Computer Projection Unit/LCD projector  |     75 |
 |--------------------------------------------------| | Internet Connection                     |   free |
 |--------------------------------------------------| | Sign Stands                             |   free |
 |--------------------------------------------------| | Wireless Microphones - Handheld         |     40 |
 |--------------------------------------------------| | Wireless Microphones - Lapel            |     40 |
 |--------------------------------------------------|

The university recommends that an Audiovisual Operator be utilized. Some of the A/V equipment requires the assistance of a UH Audiovisual
Operator, such as the rear screen projection unit, sound system, and
lighting in the Houston room. An Audiovisual Operator is available
for $20/hr. Add one hour for setup and one hour for breakdown. The
use of wireless handheld and lapel microphones also require an
Audiovisual Operator.

Other Fees and Services

The normal operating hours for the facility are 8:00am to 5:00pm (administrative offices). If the facility needs to be opened early
or closed late, there is a $30/hr. fee associated. To avoid this,
the conference schedule can run from 8:30am to 4:30pm. Depending on
needs, an Electrician can be provided at a rate of $30/hr.

Houston Room specific charges:

  • UC Damage Deposit: $ 300
  • Rear Screen Projection unit: $ 200 (includes Sound System)
  • Sound System alone: $ 50 (includes House speakers, podium on stage w/mic, 1 wireless mic

handheld, 1 wireless mic lapel, 6 hardware mics, &amp; 1 CD/Cassette
player)


Accommodations

Moody Towers is the largest complex of the residence halls and accommodates more than 1,100 students. The two 18-story buildings
are joined by a main lobby, the Commons. The majority of the
rooms house two occupants, while single occupant rooms are
available. Most floors have a lounge with a television. Each
floor shares a community bathroom with showers. The first floor
is wheelchair accessible and has a slightly modified bathroom.
The Towers provide a laundry facility, computer lab, health club,
cafeteria, and convenience store. Floor plans and more information
are available at http://www.housing.uh.edu/moodytowers.html.

The first floor is designed for guests with disabilities. ADA doors, bathroom stalls, and showers are available. Wheelchair
bound guests may use the laundry room on the North Tower ground
floor.


 Doubles:  $15 per person per night (no linen provided)
 Singles:  $28 per person per night (no linen provided)


 Linen Package:  $15.00 (includes sheets, blanket, pillow, bath towel, and wash cloth)

Dining location map: http://www.campusdish.com/NR/rdonlyres/92D2F42D-66BE-47D9-B6E6-37E36D5DC179/0/UH_Dining_Map_Lores.jpg

Shuttle routes: http://www.uh.edu/parking/pts_shuttle_schedule.html

Food Service/Catering

Dining

There are several dining options available on campus. A declining balance card (Cougar Cash) can be purchased and used at any of the
convenience stores, retail and residential on campus facilities. In
the retail locations, visitors can enjoy brands like Wendy's, Java
City, Starbucks, Smoothie King, Kim Son, AFC Sushi, Chick-Fil-A,
Grill Works, Pizza Hut, Montagues, Taco Bell and Subway.

The residential restaurant, RFoC which stands for "real food on campus" is an all-you-care-to-eat facility located in Moody Towers
and Oberholtzer Hall. There are seven stations available in the
facility, the grill, deli, comfort zone, pizza station,
international zone, salad bar and a desert bar. The door rate for
the residential restaurant is $5.00 for breakfast, $6.00 for lunch
and $7.00 for dinner. A meal can be purchased at the door with
cash, credit, or Cougar Cash.

Catering

Linen will be provided for all tables in the rooms that will be used for food and beverage service. Should the need arise for linen on
other tables, including guest tables, these can be provided at an
additional charge.


 Tablecloths   $ 3.00/each
 Skirting      $20.00/each
 Napkins       $ 0.30/each

China and glassware are included in the current pricing of all meals held within the University Center. Services provided outside of the
facility will be accompanied by paperware. If china and glassware
are preferred for use at a remote location, these can be provided at
an additional charge of $1.75 per person.

The average price of a UH catered dinner for the TPF auction is between $10 and $25. Adjustments to menus can be made to accommodate special dietary
needs.

Internet Access

Internet connectivity is available in Moody Towers via wireless and wired connections. Wireless service can be accessed in the
lobby area of Moody Towers. In addition, wireless connectivity
is available in the dining rooms, the OB Ballroom, and most
academic buildings on campus.

Alternative Accommodations

  • Hilton UH Hotel and Conference Center

Attendees wishing to stay in more luxurious accommodations while remaining on campus can stay at the Hilton University of Houston Hotel
and Conference Center. Located directly across the street from the
University Center, the Hilton University of Houston Hotel and
Conference Center not only provides the quality and services you have
come to expect from the Hilton name, but is also an integral part of
the Conrad N. Hilton College of Hotel and Restaurant Management. It
serves as a unique, real world laboratory for students and faculty.
The facility provides 40,000 square feet of meeting space, 22 meeting
rooms, three ballrooms, fine dining in Eric's restaurant, specialty
dinners in Barron's restaurant (prepared by students of the college),
85 guest rooms and 6 suites.

  • Houston International Hostel

http://www.houstonhostel.com/


Transportation

Getting to Houston

  • by Air

Houston has the fourth-largest airport system in the U.S. and the sixth largest in the world. The city's three airports - Bush
Intercontinental, Hobby, and Ellington Field - service 200 cities
worldwide. Wi-Fi Internet service is available at both Bush
Intercontinental and Houston Hobby in most airport public areas,
including gates, restaurants, ticketing and baggage claim.

Upon arrival to Houston, the options for getting downtown are numerous.

METRO's bus system offers express service from Bush and Hobby Airports to downtown Houston and several business districts
within the city.

    • Taxi Cabs

Houston boasts the second largest taxicab fleet in the country, with more than 1,400 vehicles in operation.

    • Airport Shuttles
 |----------------------------------------------------| | Express SHUTTLE USA (713) 523-8888         |
 |----------------------------------------------------| | from |       to       | Price |        Times       |
 |----------------------------------------------------| | IAH  | Downtown       |   $23 | 6:45 am - 11:30 pm | | HOU  | Downtown       |   $18 | 6:30 am - 11:30 pm | | IAH  | Medical Center |   $24 | 7:00 am - 11:30 pm | | HOU  | Medical Center |   $19 | 7:00 am -  6:30 pm |
 |----------------------------------------------------| | Texans Super Shuttle (713) 781-6660         |
 |----------------------------------------------------| | IAH  | Downtown       |   $22 |  5 a.m.-midnight   | | HOU  | Downtown       |   $17 |  5 a.m.-midnight   | | IAH  | Medical Center |   $23 |  5 a.m.-midnight   | | HOU  | Medical Center |   $18 |  5 a.m.-midnight   |
 |----------------------------------------------------|
    • Rental Cars

The full range of car-rental companies offer vehicles in various price ranges, with the consolidated rental car facility at Bush
Intercontinental Airport boasting ultra-convenient access to
rental cars.

  • by Car

Both I-45 and I-10 feed into Houston. I-45 runs from Houston to the Dallas/Fort Worth area which is fed into by I-35, I-30, and
I-20. From Dallas/Fort Worth, travelers can take I-45 into
Houston. "http://maps.google.com/maps"

  • by Train or Bus

Amtrak (http://www.amtrak.com) services Houston (HOS) via the Sunset Limited route extending from Los Angeles to Orlando. If
you'd rather take the bus, Greyhound (http://www.greyhound.com/)
might be what you need.

Once You're Here

Easy to get around, Houston offers an excellent light rail and city bus system in the Metropolitan Transit Authority and the
second largest taxicab fleet in the country.

  • The consolidated rental car facility at Bush Intercontinental Airport boasts ultra-convenient access to rental cars.
  • A variety of airport shuttles and limousines are available.
  • Houston's METRO bus system features a $1 one-way local fare, so visitors can easily get around the city without having to worry

about navigating the freeways or mapping out directions to their
destination.

  • The METRORail system offers convenient, accessible service within the heart of the city between downtown Houston and Reliant Park,

including the Museum District and Texas Medical Center.

METRO

Whether a passenger chooses to ride the bus, rail or both, they will be able to get on board using METRO's standard fare items.

  • METRORail Ticket - $1

Rail tickets can be purchased using cash, credit, debit, or tokens.

  • 7-, 30-, and 365-day passes

These passes allow you to ride unlimited METRORail and bus services until the pass expires.

  • Stored Value Card

Passengers with Stored Value Cards may use them on all METRO buses but should get a free transfer or buy a day pass for use on
METRORail. These cards give you more rides for your money:

 |----------------------------------------------------| | Cost ($)  |    15 |    25 |    50 |    75 |    100 |
 |----------------------------------------------------| | Value ($) | 18.75 | 31.50 | 64.00 | 97.50 | 132.00 |
 |----------------------------------------------------|
  • Tokens

These can be used to purchase Local fares on the bus and METRORail tickets from the TVMs.

  • Cash

Currency can be used to purchase both bus and rail fare. It is deposited into the fare box on board the bus.

  • Day Passes

A $2 Day Pass is valid for up to 24 hours of unlimited rides using either METRORail and/or Local bus service.

METRORail Fares, one way


 |-------------------------------------------------| | Fare Type:    |  Adult  | Discount |   Youth    | | |         |          | (age 5-11) |
 |-------------------------------------------------| | Cash:         |    $  1 |   $  .40 |     $  .25 |
 |-------------------------------------------------| | Day Pass:     |    $  2 |   $  .80 |     $  .50 |
 |-------------------------------------------------| | 7 Day Pass:   |    $  9 |   $ 4.50 |     $ 2.70 |
 |-------------------------------------------------| | 30 Day Pass:  |    $ 35 |   $15.00 |     $ 9.00 |
 |-------------------------------------------------| | 365 Day Pass: |    $315 |   $52.00 |     $52.00 |
 |-------------------------------------------------| | 10 Tokens($8) | 1 Token |        - |          - |
 |-------------------------------------------------|

METROLift Pass

All METRO buses and trains are 100% accessible for people with disabilities and feature lifts, ramps and enlarged destination
signs. For those who cannot use our accessible buses or trains,
METRO offers METROLift, a curb-to-curb, shared ride service using
vans and sedans. METROLift eligibility requires physician approval
and an in-person evaluation conducted at METRO. For more
information, call 713-225-0119.

Express, Park &amp; Ride Service

This service falls into four zones, with fares based on the distance a bus must travel from a Park &amp; Ride lot to its final
destination. Zone 1 includes lots within a distance of up to 11
miles and all Express routes. Zone 2 lots are from 11 up to 16
miles; Zone 3 lots are from 16 up to 21 miles; and Zone 4 lots
are 21 miles or greater.

With eight Express and 25 Park &amp; Ride bus routes, METRO can get you to work and home again quickly and reliably for as little as
$1.50 one-way! You may use your 30-Day Pass, 365-Day Pass, Stored
Value Card or cash.

Express, Park &amp; Ride Fares, one way **


 |-------------------------------------------------|
 |Adult        | Zone 1 | Zone 2 | Zone 3 | Zone 4 |
 |-------------------------------------------------|
 |Cash         |  $1.50 |  $2.50 |  $3.00 |  $3.50 |
 |-------------------------------------------------|
 |30-Day Pass  |  $  50 |  $  78 |  $  94 |  $ 110 |
 |-------------------------------------------------|
 |365-Day Pass |  $ 459 |  $ 702 |  $ 846 |  $ 990 |
 |-------------------------------------------------|

**During peak hours, 5 - 9 a.m. and 3 - 7 p.m.; non-peak fare for all services is $1

Trolley Service

In the Texas Medical Center (TMC), the fare is $1 one-way and may be paid with exact change (bill or coins), any METRO time-activated
pass, a valid Stored Value Card, a TMC pass, tokens or a valid
transfer. Trolleys cannot issue transfers.


Tourist Attractions

From the Third Ward to Chinatown in the Southwest, Houston is known for fabulous dining and great Houston attractions. You can enjoy fine
dining in the very posh area of River Oaks, tantalizing Texas barbecue
downtown, and even some fresh seafood from the Kemah Boardwalk on
Galveston Bay. From live music venues of local talent, to the
sophisticated ambience of the symphony or ballet, Houston has something
for everyone.

Since you're in the place that broadcast man's first step on the moon, you may want to pay a visit to Space Center Houston
(http://www.spacecenter.org/), where you'll be whisked into outer
space through simulations and films. Once back on earth, you can hop
on the tram to the complex's NASA/Johnson Space Center to watch
astronauts and engineers at work and in training.

  • Sports
    • MLB: 2005 National League Champion Houston Astros (Apr - Sept)
    • NBA: two-time World Champion Houston Rockets (Oct - Apr)
    • WNBA: four-time World Champion Houston Comets (May - Sept)
    • MLS: Houston Dynamo, Houston's first Major League Soccer team (Apr - Nov)
    • NFL: Houston Texans, the newest expansion team in the NFL (Aug - Jan)
    • AHL: Calder Cup Champion Houston Aeros (Oct - Mar)
  • Entertainment District - http://www.deda.org/
    • The Downtown Entertainment District is a safe, fun and walk able neighborhood featuring more than 70 bars, clubs, lounges,

restaurants and hotels in Houston's historic center, only a few
blocks from the city's world-famous Theater and Sports/Convention
districts.

  • Theater District
    • One of only five cities in the U.S. with resident companies in the four disciplines of the performing arts: Alley Theatre, Houston

Ballet, Houston Symphony and Houston Grand Opera

July 17, 2006

July 17, 2006 - Reminder: YAPC::NA Call for Venue Closing Soon

As spelled out in my original Call for Venue, August 1st is the closing date. At this year's YAPC::NA, the YAPC BOF drew some interested parties from Texas who were considering a bid. I also believe Boston.pm were going to re-submit, but I haven't heard anything from them recently.

Did you attend this year and have a blast? Can you keep YAPC::NA going? We need you to make it happen next year.

If you have any questions, post them below.

June 26, 2006

June 26, 2006 - YAPC Buffalo bid document

In the interest of providing more examples of bids from the past to help future bidders, I'm posting the Buffalo bid here. Read on for details.

Note that we had a wiki up with details, pictures, etc., but the wiki has since gone away.

Proposed dates:
To keep with past years, it seems June 16-18, 2004 would be best.
However, we can be flexible with other dates in June.

Facilities.

Auditorium and Meeting rooms.

The proposed conference site at the University at Buffalo is the
Natural Sciences Complex (NSC) on UB's North Campus. This building has
the following rooms available:

One 395-person capacity room (This should serve for the auditorium.
There are larger rooms on campus if we need one, but they would be in a
different building.)
One 250-person capacity room
One 150-person capacity room
Two 100-person capacity rooms
Five 90-person capacity rooms with movable chairs.
All are technology smart classrooms.

Photos of these rooms are available on the web site.

We've gotten support from UB's CIO and Associate CIO for this
conference, so use of all facilities will be free of charge.

Dining Area.

The location of the full-assembly dining area depends on the number of
attendees. If we have 400 or less, there are a few campus locations we
could use. If we have more than that, we can use the nearby Marriott
hotel. This would also be our proposed primary hotel for the
conference. If we have the dinner at the Marriott, we may be able to
negotiate a better conference room rate.

Common area.

NSC has a large hallway with a large open area at the end. This area
should be ample to accommodate registration and informal meeting and
mingling. It has been used for this purpose for other conferences in
the past. There are vending machines there, too.

Terminal room.

UB has several computer labs at various locations around campus that
could be used for a terminal room, some PC-based, some Sun-station
based. NSC doesn't have a lab in the building itself, so we may also be
able to configure one of the classrooms as a lab for convenience. These
classrooms can be secured at night.

If we decide on a campus computer room, we could also use it free of
charge because of the support we have gotten from the campus higher-ups.

Storage.

The smaller classrooms can all be secured, so one of them could be
used for storage.

All facilities should be accessible by disabled persons, and held
in controlled temperature environments (air-conditioned or heated
as needed).

This building meets all accessibility requirements.

Catering.

Catering services provided by Campus Catering:

CAMPUS CATERING - CONTINENTAL BREAKFAST - $ 4.35/person
INCLUDES COFFEE - TEA - DECAF - JUICE
FRUIT - BREAKFAST BREADS

Note that this quote includes juice and fruit which I think were listed
separately in the Florida proposal from last year. It might be less if
we eliminate these extras.

CAMPUS CATERING - BOXED LUNCH $7.95/person
INCLUDES:
Sandwich (meat or veggie)
Chips
Apple/fruit
Cookie
Soda/water

CAMPUS CATERING Afternoon break: $2.75/person
INCLUDES:
Soda/water
Cookies

Dinner (buffet style):

For the same menu as Florida:
Ziti/chicken
A starch (potato, I guess)
Rolls
Salad
Desert
...with beverages included, UB campus catering charges $15.35.

Also, same costs for china:
Linens for tables, $8.50 extra per table
$3-7 extra per person if we wanted china instead of plastic

These are the campus prices food and we have a few location options for
400 or less people on campus. The least expensive and most convenient
is Talbert hall which is directly adjacent to NSC. The only drawback to
this dining area is that it has two adjacent eating areas that are
separated by glass, so it's not one big room. Photos of this eating
area are available on the web site.

We also have the option of using the nearby Marriott, which will be one
large dining room. Some advantages of the Marriott are that there is a
bar if anyone want to stay for drinks after the dinner and some
attendees will likely be staying there. We still need to get dinner
prices from the Marriott for a similar dinner.

Accommodation.

UB has many nearby hotels. The major ones are:
Amherst Marriott (Internet access: yes)
University Inn
Hampton Inn - Amherst

We will try to work out a conference rate at the Marriott, and the rate
quoted so far is $89/night. The Marriott has internet access, but we
don't know if that would be included in that price. All of the nearby
hotels also offer complimentary van service to the campus.

On nearby Maple Road there is an entire strip of bars, restaurants,
stores, and a mall. These are all within a few miles of campus. More
detail is available on the web site.

Dorm accommodations are available on campus adjacent to NSC. This
complex is called Governors and the rates are below. All rooms have
ethernet and some areas have wireless.

GOVERNORS $ 29.00 PER NIGHT SINGLE W/ LINEN
$ 27.00 PER NIGHT DOUBLE W/LINEN
$ 21.00 PER NIGHT SINGLE W/O LINEN
$ 19.00 PER NIGHT DOUBLE W/O LINEN

Equipment: A/V, Network

Auditorium and Meeting Rooms.

All of the meeting rooms are fully wired for A/V and internet. NSC has
wireless access. Again, since we have campus support this equipment is
available free of charge. We would need one UB A/V support person, and
we are going to try to get the support person's time donated. If we
have to pay for this support, it would be $11/hour.

The Dining area must also have a PA system.--This will depend on
where we have the dinner. The Marriott rooms have a PA system if we
choose that route.

Terminal room.

This item is noted above, and NSC has wireless access in the building.
We could set up one of the unused classrooms as a terminal room with
power strips for people to power up. We could also work on setting up
ethernet connections.

Internet access is provided through the campus network. Our network
folks have worked out a way to give conference attendees temporary
internet access through the campus networks.

Transportation.

Buffalo Niagara International Airport is a large airport and it is
about a 15-20 minute drive from campus. Buffalo has normal taxi service
and the hotels we have recommended all provide airport shuttle service.

These hotels also provide shuttle service to the campus from the hotel.

We also have Amtrak service to Buffalo.

Because of Buffalo's location, driving would also be an option for many
attendees. The web site has distances from major cities and quite a few
are within an easy days drive.

Other fees and services.

There is a fee for campus parking. If we pay it separately, it is
$4.00/day. All of the hotels we have listed also provide complimentary
shuttle service to the campus.

Since UB has an office of Conference and Special events, we also have
some additional services available for conferences. This office offers
different services for different fees such as:

Management Service - $ 9.00 Per Person
Registration Service - $ 11.00 Per Person
(so both would be $20/person)

I've attached a sample letter of agreement that gives some detail on
what they provide for those fees. We don't have to use this service,
it's just an option. Links to more information are available at our web
site.

(Sorry the document is in MS Word, but that's how they gave it to me.)

May 09, 2006

May 9, 2006 - When to make bids public

Jeremy Fluhmann responded to my Call for Venue post saying he'd be interested to see the other bids when they get posted. This brings up a good point: when should the bids be made public?

My thought was that they would be made public after the Conferences Committee has selected the host group. This allows people to see what we voted on and it's a good reference for next year.

But the comment suggests he was thinking the bids would be posted as soon as they are received. I hadn't thought of it that way, but maybe we could.

The obvious thing we would want to avoid is 'stealing' between bids. If one group does a ton of work, it wouldn't be fair for another group to just borrow a bunch of their stuff. I also wouldn't want people waiting until the last day to submit to avoid this. The benefit might be in improved bids, because people can compare.

For now, I'm inclined to keep it as it was last year. That is, I'll post the bids after the process is complete. Next year the bidders can benefit from this year. If a group wants to make their bid public on their own, they are welcome to do so. Any other thoughts from potential (or previous) bidders out there?


Interesting. I actually meant for it to refer to the previous years bids. I only found Chicago's. I can see where posting before the deadline would open it up to 'stealing between bids'. Maybe the idea of offering a generic template for 'new' bidders to use to make sure that they, at the very least, address every issue could be an option. I know the venue requirements and venue weights are posted, but maybe a simple structured template could encourage groups that don't know where to begin, to offer a bid. After looking at Chicago's bid, I'm able to get a sense of what should be included, but am still interested in how other people have written them in the past.

Another option could be to make public the 'proposed' venues by simply announcing what host cities are offering bids (or does that already happen?). But, I could see how that might get ugly if one group starts pointing out negatives about the other venues instead of positives about their own (not that it's likely to happen, but who knows).

How many groups typically offer bids? I see there were only three last year (Boston, Chicago, and Vancouver). I'm also wondering if the groups making the bids are the same ones every year. Is there only a handful of groups that try or do you get a different variety every year?

Thanks for the encouragement. I look forward to going through the process and hearing everyone's comments on the issue.

contributed by Jeremy Fluhmann on May 9, 2006 8:21 PM


Okay, sorry about that. I found the other two previous bid proposals. I just wasn't looking where I should have been.

contributed by Jeremy Fluhmann on May 19, 2006 6:02 AM

May 03, 2006

May 3, 2006 - Call for Venue-YAPC::NA::2007

Can't figure out how you're going to get to Chicago for YAPC::NA this year and wish it was in your city? Want to meet Perl luminaries, but aren't sure how? Want to contribute to Perl without writing a new MVC framework?

If you answer yes to at least two of these questions, you might be just the person we want to host YAPC next year. But you can't host if you don't bid. We're starting the venue bidding process earlier this year for YAPC::NA so it's time to get to work. Read on for this year's bid schedule and other details.

We're putting out the request now, roughly two months before YAPC::NA.

And since the request is out there ahead of time, we encourage all bidders to attend this year's YAPC. This will give you a feel for what YAPC is like and allow you to see how it is run. You can also help out if you want to get some experience. We're not making it a requirement that you attend YAPC::NA to bid, but it will be a factor in the voting.

At YAPC we (The Perl Foundation) will schedule a Birds of a Feather (BOF) session to answer questions and give feedback on proposals people are working on. Obviously, the further along your bid is, the more relevant our help will be. Also, by YAPC, we'd like bidders to let us know they intend to bid so we know roughly how many people are working on a bid. This isn't binding, it just gives us a heads-up.

Due date for submissions: Aug. 1

New safety valve: If we have no declared bidders at YAPC, we will appeal once more for bids and extend the deadline to Sept. 1.

The TPF Conferences group will select the host city one month after bid due date.

How do you get started?

You can get details on what a YAPC venue needs in the venue requirements document. When making your proposal, in addition to venue information and possible dates, please make sure to include details on airport locations, local public transit (as well as transit to the venue from the airport!), local cultural attractions, and accommodation information. The more information you provide, within reason, the better.

You also have the YAPC 2006 bids, specifically Chicago since they won, and the voting results as a resource. Note that just as these were made public, your bid will be posted publicly as well.

The review criteria are also available.

Send your proposals to yapc-venues AT yetanother DOT org.

This is your chance to bring a YAPC to your town. It's a very rewarding experience, and is a great way to give to the Perl community.


You mentioned making the other bids publicly available (on a previous post). I would be very interested in looking them over as well when they get posted. I'm hoping to talk another PM (veteran) group that's close to me into offering a bid. Hopefully our group can partner with them (we're still in our infancy) and help with the whole process.

contributed by Jeremy Fluhmann on May 8, 2006 9:13 PM


Jeremy,

Take a look at this post for a response to your comment. We look forward to seeing your bid.

contributed by Jim Brandt on May 9, 2006 5:30 PM

April 26, 2006

April 26, 2006 - YAPC::NA 2006 schedule published

Josh McAdams and Pete Krawczyk have just released the YAPC::NA 2006 schedule on the conference website. This year there will be four rooms of talks going on for the three days of the conference. We are lucky enough to have both Larry Wall and Damian Conway giving keynote addresses. Of course, there will be a lot of Perl 6, Pugs, and Parrot talks, was well as the usual barrage of Perl 5 goodness.

Some other items of interest that aren't on the schedule include a Perl 6 hack-a-thon immediately following the conference, as well as, open classes taught by Damian Conway, brian d foy, and Randal Schwartz. You can find out more at the YAPC Chicago website.

April 06, 2006

April 6, 2006 - Announcing the Pittsburgh Perl Workshop, September 23, 2006

The Pittsburgh Perl Mongers are pleased to announce The PITTSBURGH PERL WORKSHOP, a one-day, low-cost conference on Saturday, September 23, 2006. This year's theme is "Perl at Work."

The Pittsburgh Perl Workshop is modeled after the highly successful Perl workshops held in Europe over the last several years. The day is designed to provide you with a comfortable, exciting, and enjoyable learning experience.

The Workshop will be held at Carnegie Mellon University. There is free, on-campus parking within walking distance. The CMU campus is located in Oakland, part of Pittsburgh's wonderful East End.

You can register online at the Pittsburgh Perl Workshop website. Be sure to register during the "Early Bird" period in order to reserve your seat at $20 or less. Registrations are on a first-come, first-serve basis.

CALL FOR PAPERS: The organizers of the Pittsburgh Perl Workshop invite you to tell us what "Perl at Work" means to you. If you have a hard-working CPAN module, a sweat-inducing case study, a smarter way to get work done with Perl, or anything at all to say about "Perl At Work," we want to hear from you.

March 31, 2006

March 31, 2006 - I need a perl-based conference system

As TPF Conferences Chair, I try to help eager, excited organizers put together a YAPC. Ever since I ran YAPC in Buffalo in 2004, I've wanted to put together something called Conference::Toolkit that would solve all of the YAPC web-site needs. Well, given my TPF duties, I honestly don't have the time to do this right.

And I want it done right. I want to put together the best conference management toolkit available.

"What about ACT?" you might be saying.

Well, I have checked that out, and it's a promising start. But it's not quite there for a few reasons:

  • It's not on CPAN, so people can't modify it or host their own version.
  • It doesn't currently work with the TPF donation system. (We can work on fixing this.)

What I'd really like to see is something that:

  • Is on CPAN, so anyone can grab it. This allows people to host on their own if they want, people can contribute and, perhaps most of all, other people running a conference can use it. I want everyone running a conference to be able to use Conference::Toolkit.
  • Is also offered in a hosted mode, like ACT is now, so I can point YAPC organizers to it and get them set up quickly. When you coordinate a YAPC, believe me, there are more important things to be doing than messing around with the web site. But that's what we do because we're techies and it's the most attractive to-do item on the list.
  • Is written using one of the Perl frameworks so new people can pick it up easy. I'm thinking Catalyst? or CGI::Prototype? or...?

One path would be to start Conference::Toolkit as a Catalyst project, get it on CPAN, and integrate all the great work already done by the ACT coders. If we make it sufficiently pluggable, we can allow different payment systems, different scheduling systems, etc.

But as I said, I can't do it by myself. I can help with design, review, project management, cat herding, and even a patch or two.

I'm working on contact info for the ACT folks (Eric Cholet and Philippe Bruhat, according to the web site). If someone from the ACT team sees this, do you have any interest in taking the project in this direction? Is there another direction we can go?


Gabor Szabo wrote and subsequently used http://yapcom.pti.co.il/ to organize {YAPC,OSDC}::Israel

contributed by nothingmuch on March 31, 2006 7:23 PM


I am also interested in such a solution. Would be glad about a hint.

contributed by Kalyxo on March 31, 2006 10:00 PM


I wrote one such toolkit! :D It has some missing or lacking parts, but all in all, it can be quite useful to you. It is called Comas (short for "Conference Management System"). Disregard the strongly lacking webpage, as I just haven't had time to work on it yet ;) Better go look at our Alioth project page.
It is strongly tied to Postgres, and written in Perl.
You will see the Alioth site looks also quite empty - that's because we are in the process of moving from gborg.postgresql.org
You can anonymously browse the code or "download it via SVN"<svn://svn.debian.org/comas>, or join the project and have commit access.
As I said, the project is quite strong in some fronts, while quite lacking in others. Some parts, of course, strongly embarass me... But it is a nice system all in all :) Mail me if you are interested in the details.

contributed by Gunnar Wolf on March 31, 2006 10:48 PM


Thanks for the info (both references). I'll take a look.

contributed by Jim Brandt on April 3, 2006 1:51 PM


I would be interested in helping, I would just need some direction.

contributed by Jeremy Fluhmann on April 19, 2006 4:24 PM


I have an online registration system in Perl. I've used it for a provincial computer conference system and have just opened online registration for a provincial Science and Mathematics conference. It does email-back confirmation and generates PDF via LaTeX for mail-in payments. It has extensive Admin functions (data export, user confirmation, etc.) The online sciematics is at: sciematics.richtech.ca The online computer one is at:
sacereg.richtech.ca (and is currently closed but I can provide access passwords to admin areas etc, if interested)

contributed by Les Richardson on April 20, 2006 6:22 PM


If anyone decides to move forward with this and take the lead, please contact me fluhmann AT gmail DOT com (easiest way). I would be interested in helping.

contributed by Jeremy Fluhmann on May 4, 2006 4:29 PM

March 24, 2006

March 24, 2006 - YAPC::Asia::2006 coming soon in Tokyo

I've been remiss in noting that YAPC::Asia::2006 is right around the corner. But if you're in Tokyo and want to go, it appears you're a bit too late. They've sold out!

They have a great line-up of talks and speakers. If you're already registered, have fun!

March 08, 2006

March 8, 2006 - YAPC::Brasil::2006 Coming in April

This year YAPC::Brasil will be held April 19-22, 2006 in Porto Alegre/RS, Brazil in conjunction with the 7th International Free Software Forum. From what I've heard, FISL (I think that's the correct acronym) is a huge OSS event with attendance last year of over 4,000 people. Brasil is very OSS-friendly and I believe they had some major government officials at the conference last year.

Since it doesn't specifically house a "Perl Conference" like OSCON, it makes perfect sense to run YAPC along-side it. Randal Schwartz attended last year and I believe he plans on attending again.


What a shame YAPC::Asia::2006 is not mentioned here! We only have 5 days left!

http://tokyo.yapcasia.org/blog/

We have Audrey, Larry, and Damian coming. Stay tuned!

Dan the Speaker Thereof

contributed by Dan Kogai on March 24, 2006 6:27 AM


Sorry about that. Consider yourself now mentioned on the front page.

contributed by Jim Brandt on March 24, 2006 5:24 PM

February 22, 2006

February 22, 2006 - OSDC Israel and pre-event Perl 6 work

In Toronto last year, there was a pre-YAPC hack-a-thon that brought together many of the Perl 6 coders in person, which can be very productive. TPF provided $600 US to cover costs, and as you can tell by the amount, the group worked as low-budget as possible.

Right now, the week before OSDC Israel, they are repeating the effort. It's clearly a worthy cause, so TPF has agreed to offer $600 US to support them again.

Here's the cool part: Gabor Szabo, one of the organizers has offered us a great deal. He's going to run the conference and collect as much as he can via registration, donation, sponsorship, etc. If he's short, he'll tell us and we'll help out. If not, he'll cover the costs for the people involved in the hack-a-thon. That sure sounds win-win to me.

January 13, 2006

January 13, 2006 - Conferences Really Do Work

Sometimes people might question the tangible value of going to a conference. You're out of the office for a few days, so you lose that work time. You attend a ton of sessions and you're drinking from a fire hose, so after about half a day you feel totally overwhelmed. Does any of it stick?

I can tell you for sure that it does.

The other day someone in my department asked me if there was an easy way to compare two lists and weed out any duplicates between the two. I was quite busy and couldn't remember off the top of my head. I said, "It's been done, so don't write your own. But I can't remember which module it's in right now."

When we had YAPC here in Buffalo, just about our entire staff attended. We do a lot of Perl development and YAPC is so affordable, there was no reason not to. So I was very happy when she came back a few hours later and said, with a big smile, "List::Compare!"

She went to a session at YAPC over a year and a half ago and remembered a session on List::Compare.

Now you could say I should have remembered that, and you'd be right. But in this case I didn't and attending that session two summers ago saved her from spending time searching. And it definitely saved her from the even worse fate of writing her own comparison code.

It's hard to put a dollar figure on what might have been, but there's no question in my mind that just remembering that one session more than paid for the price of attending YAPC.


As the author of List-Compare and other CPAN modules, I'm also glad to hear of situations where my code is used in live production. Thanks for the post, Jim! And see you in Chicago!

contributed by James E Keenan on January 14, 2006 12:22 AM

January 04, 2006

January 4, 2006 - YAPC::NA 2005 download stats

This year the Toronto folks managed to record audio and video for the YAPC::NA conference sessions, as reported on use.perl.org. After a few months of availability, Fulko Hew has shared his stats with me:

7 mail-orders
111 CD downloads
953 DVD downloads
? private duplications
---------------
= 4 Terabytes

Given that the DVD was 4.23 Gig, that's a lot of bits, both for the sender and receiver. I don't think that many folks would download it unless they were really going to look at it. I just hope some of those folks will be convinced to join us in person next year! :)


Bittorrent next year then?

contributed by David Cantrell on January 16, 2006 8:57 PM

December 22, 2005

December 22, 2005 - Round Table Sessions

As I mentioned previously, I recently attended the Gartner Open Source Summit. While there I participated in a new type of session Gartner has started moderating called a round table session, and I think it's a really cool idea.

When you attend a Gartner conference, you are eligible to sign up for one-on-one sessions with the Gartner analysts. This is a nice perk, since you usually have to pay for their time. However, the analysts found that often attendees only had one or two topics, and they would then just sit and stare at each other. Also, they would field the same topic from many different attendees. So they now host round table sessions where a maximum of 10 attendees sit down with two or three analysts and discuss a set of topics.

This type of session facilitates more discussion for the same reason a happy hour with 10 people is a whole lot louder than a happy hour with two. A few topics are pre-selected by sending out feelers before the conference, so that's how you decide which ones to attend. Once there, you have a general idea what you want to get out of it, but the conversation brings out many more ideas from all of the participants.

That's how Gartner does it. How should we do it (YAPC or OSCON)? Here's my sketch:

At the end of a day, the last session is a 1 hour block across the whole schedule. Each speaker who gets a talk accepted agrees to do a session on a topic related to their presentation. In some cases, you could have two speakers with similar topics work together. Attendees then sign up for the session with a strict limit of 10 attendees for the session. They bring their issues/questions/problems/ideas, etc. and discuss.

If you aren't interested or don't get a slot, this could also be a great time for BOFs. At OSCON, you could just go to the vendor floor.

Basically, this is a planned hallway session where you are guaranteed an "expert." I think it would prompt great dialogue. Plus, this formalizes those "after the session" conversations that start, but get rushed because the next session is starting.

A few details: you need one of the speakers to act as a moderator to control the session, move it along, keep it on track, etc. You also need a designated note-taker to make sure there are some notes for the meeting. Maybe track the final notes in the conference wiki?

Some questions I got when I presented it to our conferences group:

Q: Isn't this just a BOF?

A: Sort of, but with a few key differences. One, you're guaranteed an "expert" speaker. With a BOF, you don't know who will show up. There is more of an agenda, and less "what do you guys want to talk about?" The topics can be solicited ahead of time to make sure the sessions are of interest to people. Also, beginners will attend based on the list of topics where they may not attend a Birds of a Feather. If you have a beginning interest in a topic, you wouldn't necessarily show up at a BOF meeting about it.

Q: Why limit the number of people?

A: It keeps the group manageable. You want everyone to be able to get in a word or two and speak to the expert. You want enough people to facilitate discussion, but not so many that you can't get a word in edgewise.

Q: At YAPC there is enough free time to just meet the speakers on your own. Why have a session?

A: We've consistently seen that over 50% of the attendees at YAPCs are there for their first time. People at a conference for the first time are often intimidated and won't necessarily approach a speaker in the hall, especially if there is already a crowd. A designated session with pre-selected topics provides a much less intimidating forum to allow someone to ask some questions or participate in a discussion.

What are your thoughts? Would you attend such a session? Would it help you walk away with something more from the conference? Is it one more selling point for attending?


nice idea. but i wondering how many YAPC speakers are capable of moderate a panel like this?

but i would go for YAPC with or without it. ;-)

contributed by Qiang on December 23, 2005 1:26 AM


Good point. Maybe the conference organizers need to provide a designated facilitator. That person would probably be a volunteer, which means we'd probably need some sort of written guide for them. More things to document...

contributed by Jim Brandt on December 23, 2005 1:31 PM


A similar sort of idea is used at the World Science Fiction convention (WorldCon) - an one hour round table limited to about 10 people get to talk with a SF personage. I got to spend an hour with Larry Niven and with Jim Gardner (not so famous, but he went to U of Waterloo and works for the same company as a friend of mine, so I have a connection with him), my wife had an hour with Harry Harrison.

Such an event is a mixture of gushing fan praise, with serious discussion (but that depends upon the particular individuals that sigh up). Panel discussions are also common at WorldCon, but those are open attendance sessions. (When you have a 4-day 20-track conference, you need a lot of different session to fill in the time slots.) The open attendance for these was critical. For one example among many I saw, during one panel discussion the talk went incidentally into rocket characteristics and an audience member who had been on the Saturn design team was able to comment authoritatively.

contributed by jmm on January 13, 2006 3:59 PM

December 12, 2005

December 12, 2005 - Gartner Open Source Summit

Last week I attended the first annual Gartner Open Source Summit. Gartner is a major IT market researcher and consultant, specifically for large businesses. The fact that this conference exists speaks volumes for the penetration of open source in all sorts of IT shops. OSS hung under the radar for quite a while because it doesn't show up in any of the traditional data that analysts use to measure market segments. However, Gartner is now working hard to try to pull together numbers on how much OSS is used in IT so it can better issue analysis and predictions.

What are they saying?

Well, part of the message is pretty dramatic. For example, companies have about 18 months to get some sort of OSS strategy in place, if they don't have one, or they will start losing competitive advantage. By 2010 (or sooner) there will be major, mature open source offerings in nearly every component of the IT component stack. Right now, OSS offers mature software in three areas: OS (Linux, OpenSolaris, etc.), Web serving (LAMP, etc.), and Database (MySQL, etc.).

Basically, they are predicting that OSS will be the major player in most software markets in the next few years.

This may not surprise those of us in the OSS community. However, this does portend an upsurge in interest in Open Source. In fact, it's already happening at an alarming pace, alarming enough that I would even predict a sort of OSS bubble in the near future.

I am also hearing some things that I was only peripherally aware of.

One of the main reasons companies are hesitant to use OSS or will go so far as to forbid it altogether is fear. Companies fear claims and law suits from people who might pop up and claim ownership of a piece of open source code they've come to rely on.

So when a company pays for a software product rather than use an open source alternative, they are also buying a contract. That contract provides two main things: support and indemnification. The first one we often discuss in the OSS community, and in fact it's the community that provides support. But that second one, can be a major problem.

Large software companies certify that everything they are selling is theirs and that it works. More importantly, if it turns out something wasn't theirs, they will pay the legal bills if someone sues over intellectual property violation. This is what the execs are looking for.

According to Gartner, and I completely agree, the major upsurge in the next few years will be in companies providing services around OSS. Specifically, support for products, support for stacks of products (for example, testing and certifying a particular set of version numbers for a LAMP stack), and idemnification for legal issues around supported code. Some vendors are already in this space, but there will be many more coming.

The real question from the OSS side is, how will these vendors interface with the OSS community? If they want to provide true support and fix issues, I think they can't help but be major players in the community to get their changes incorporated back into distributions. To do this, these companies will need to hire people involved in the major communities they support. So coders in various OSS circles could become a hot commodity in the near future for support companies looking to differentiate themselves from the competition.

December 06, 2005

December 6, 2005 - Vancouver 2006 YAPC Bid

Below is the bid submitted by the Vancouver group.

Location: Vancouver, Canada.
Located on the west coast of Canada, Vancouver is a novel choice for YAPC.
Vancouver is the largest city in the province of British Columbia and the
third largest city in Canada. It's surrounded by water on three sides and is
nestled alongside the Coast Mountain Range. Vancouver is home to spectacular
natural scenery and a bustling metropolitan core, and boasts one of the
mildest climates in Canada.
The City of Vancouver supports a wide range of destination sites - from more
than 190 parks to three different civic theatres - that are interesting places
to visit for tourists and residents alike. Vancouver is also home to many
other sights and is networked by a comprehensive transportation system.
Vancouver is host to a booming computer and technology industry and is a
leading city in the biotechnology field. For those interested in
bioinformatics, the human genome was sequenced in Vancouver using Perl.
Vancouver has two world class universities (UBC, SFU) as well as numerous
colleges and technical schools. Notable companies in Vancouver using Perl
include ActiveState, Sophos, MailChannels and Sxip.

Organizers
Helen Cook is a programmer at Memotrax Inc, and the learder of Vancouver Perl
Mongers. She has attended several YAPC's and spoke at YAPC 2003.
Will Whittaker is a member of the CanSecWest team, and has helped to organize
CanSecWest 2000-2005, PacSec 2003-2005 and EUSec 2006. He has spoken at
Perl Conference 4.0 and YAPC::EU 2003-2005.
Facilities
SFU Harbour Centre Campus (downtown Vancouver)
http://www.harbour.sfu.ca/maes/rooms.htm
Track 1 Room
Joseph and Rosalie Segal Centre (rooms 1400 - 1430)
seats 250 theatre style
Track 2 Room
Fletcher Challenge Canada Theatre (room 1900)
seats 200
Snacks, registration, milling about
Labatt Hall (room 1700)
seats 110 (but will be arranged for milling about in)
Assumptions above are that there are 2 tracks, and to expect up to 400
attendees. If the attendance number is lower than 400 we can drop the
Fletcher Challenge Canada Theatre room, and divide the Segal Centre in half.
The plan is for 2 tracks as we feel that 3 tracks is too many, and attendees
want to see a greater percentage of the show. If 3 tracks are required, then
we can use the Labatt Hall for the third track, and a different room as the
milling about space.
Catering: Out To Lunch Catering (provided by venue)
http://www.harbour.sfu.ca/maes/otl.htm
Plan is to do 6 breaks with coffee and snacks.
The catering company can handle lunch, breakfast, etc if someone wants to
sponsor it.
Accomodation
Hotel
There are many options for hotels near the venue. Standard rates are
listed for the hotels, none of these include a group discount and should
be considered approximate.

Delta Hotels (550 West Hastings) is the closest option, located
directly accross the street from SFU harbour centre. Internet is
complementary. CAD$229/night

Days Inn (921 West Pender) is a cheaper option. All rooms have
internet. CAD$150/night

The Hyatt Regency Hotel (655 Burrard Street) is a slightly nicer hotel.
Internet is available. CAD$289.00/night

The Hotel Vancouver (900 West Georgia) is a Vancouver landmark, but is
$339CAD/night.

Hostel
Nearby hostels can accommodate up to 400 people, at very affordable rates (CAD$29),
though a group rate has not yet been negotiated.
http://www.hihostels.ca/hostels/BC/BCRegion/VancouverDowntown/Hostels/2-32-3.html
http://www.hihostels.ca/hostels/BC/BCRegion/VancouverCentral/Hostels/2-142-3.html
Equipment
A/V
Sponsors (CanSecWest) can provide two projectors, mics and soundboards. We
will need to use screens and PA system provided by the venue.
Network
All rooms have direct internet connections. Sponsors (CanSecWest) can provide
wireless access points, ethernet and switches to wire the venue.
Transportation
YVR is an international airport; direct flights from major points of departure
should be available. Transportation from the airport to downtown is available
by Airporter bus (CAD$12), taxi (CAD$30), limousine (CAD$40), or public
transit (CAD$4). The hotel and hostel are within a 5-15 minute walk from the
venue, and cabs are readily available for the lazy (CAD$5). The city itself
has excellent public transit, including busses to practically everywhere and
rapid transit (Skytrain).
Entertainment and Events
The plan is to hold the auction after the last talks on the last day in
a reception hall at the hotel or in the Segal Centre if space allows.
A cash bar will serve drinks, and snacks will be provided pending sponsorship.

If people are interested we can arrange a trip out to Grouse Mountain
http://www.grousemountain.com/welcome.cfm
We can also do a tour around Stanley Park
http://www.city.vancouver.bc.ca/parks/parks/stanley/
Wreck Beach is famous for those inclinded to be a little daring
http://www.wreckbeach.org
For those interested in culture there is Bard on the Beach
http://www.bardonthebeach.org
Or the Vancouver Art Gallery
http://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/home.cfm
Science world could be of interest for those with kids (or not ;) )
http://www.scienceworld.bc.ca
Likewise the Storyeum is also kid friendly
http://www.storyeum.com/
Finally Vancouver has the usual clubs and bars catering to any taste
http://www.clubzone.com/im/clubs_club/

The above activities are available within reasonable walking or public transit distance
from the venue and all hotels/hostels.

Sponsors
CanSecWest has agreed to sponsor a/v and networking equipment.
Tentatively, Sophos and ActiveState are interested. Sxip is also local and a
potential sponsor. Other possibilities include MailChannels, River Styx Internet,
Peer1 and SFU Computer Science and Engineering.
Costs
Venue
Note: Venue cost will be cheaper if SFU Computer Science sponsors

Segal Centre CAD $975 per day
Fletcher Challenge Theatre CAD $650 per day
Labatt Hall CAD $450 per day

Total per day: CAD $2075
for three days: CAD $6225

We will need to spend an additional approximately CAD $2000 if we need a large space for
the auction.

Catering
We estimate that catering 6 breaks will cost approximately CAD $1500 each. Staff charges
will likely add another CAD $2000 to the total. A cash bar will cost approximately
an additional CAD $250.

Breaks CAD $9000
Staff CAD $2000
Cash Bar Staff CAD $250

Total: CAD $11250

A/V

We will likely need the time of the facility A/V person for some set up for the PA system
and screens. Previous experience indicates that this, plus incidental equipment not
covered by sponsors should cost under CAD $1500

Other

At minimum we should have conference t-shirts. These will cost about CAD $10 per person.
Assuming 400 people this will be CAD $4000.
Badges are about CAD $2 per person. Assuming 400 people this will be CAD $800.
Fancier badges and lanyards can be done if there is a sponsor. Printed conference
material or CD's can be done if there is a sponsor.

t-shirts CAD $4000
badges CAD $800
Total: CAD $4800

Totals
Venue: CAD $8225
Catering: CAD $11250
A/V: CAD $1500
Other: CAD $4800

Total Cost: CAD $25775

At todays exchange rate that is USD $21720
So assuming USD $85 per person we need 255 attendees to break even if we have no sponsors.
Or assuming we have about 300 people attending we have an extra USD $3825 or about
CAD $4500 to deal with any unforseen expenses.

December 06, 2005

December 6, 2005 - Chicago 2006 YAPC Bid

Below is the bid submitted by the Chicago group. Chicago was selected to host YAPC::NA::2006.

  • "Overview"<#overview>
    • "Who we are"<#who_we_are>
    • "Why Chicago?"<#why_chicago>
  • "Dates and Location"<#dates_and_location>
  • "Facilities"<#facilities>
    • "Facility Location"<#facility_location>
    • "Facility Layout and Capacity"<#facility_layout_and_capacity>
    • "A/V and Internet arrangements"<#a_v_and_internet_arrangements>
    • "Cost Summary"<#cost_summary>
      • "Individual Costs: $245 + Travel"<#individual_costs___245___travel>
      • "Conference Fees Per Person: $55"<#conference_fees_per_person___55>
      • "Conference: Possible!"<#conference__possible_>
  • "Accommodations"<#accommodations>
    • "Low-Cost Arrangements"<#lowcost_arrangements>
    • "Hotels"<#hotels>
  • "Transportation"<#transportation>
    • "Arrival and Departure"<#arrival_and_departure>
      • "By Plane"<#by_plane>
      • "By Train (and bus)"<#by_train__and_bus_>
        • "Train"<#train>
        • "Bus"<#bus>
      • "By Automobile"<#by_automobile>
    • "While attending YAPC"<#while_attending_yapc>
  • "Other Things To Do"<#other_things_to_do>
    • "Attractions"<#attractions>
    • "Sports and Recreation"<#sports_and_recreation>
    • "Restaurants"<#restaurants>

Overview

Welcome to the Chicago Perl Mongers' bid for YAPC::NA 2006. We've decided to try to host next year's Yet Another Perl Conference and hope that
you agree that Chicago is the spot for YAPC.

Who we are

Chicago.pm is the Chicago-area chapter of the Perl Mongers group. We are an active group with almost monthly meetings. We host a mailing list
and website, of which book reviews are often published. We adopted a
Phalanx module and have worked to improve its testing coverage. The group
consists of many Perl users, as well as, some notable figures in the Perl
world, including Andy Lester, the public relations representative for
the Perl Foundation and brian d foy, the publisher of The Perl Review.

Why Chicago?

Why not? Chicago is an exciting metropolitan area. It is a central hub for all forms of transportation, including automobile, air, rail,
and water. Chicago is the second largest city in the United States,
with over six million people from diverse cultures. Chicago is the
home of many professional sports clubs including the Cubs, White Sox,
Fire, Bears, Bulls, and Blackhawks. Chicago's architecture is second
to none. The city has a picturesque skyline that includes the Sears
Tower, Prudential Tower, and John Handcock Building. It is also the
home of Frank Lloyd Wright and Louis Sullivan, two of the most famous
architects of modern times.

Did we mention food yet? Where else can you get an authentic Chicago-style pizza or have one of the best hot dogs ever made? Plus,
Chicago has a huge variety of ethnic dishes to choose from. You will
find them throughout Chicago and in the many culture based neighborhoods.

Chicago is no stranger to technology either. Many companies in the downtown area use Perl to keep financial institutions going.


Dates and Location

We are proposing to host the conference on Monday through Wednesday, June 26-28, 2006. These dates were chosen due to their proximity to
last year's dates.

The proposed venue is the Chicago campus of the Illinois Institute of Technology (http://www.iit.edu/). They have a large conference center
(http://www.ccc.iit.edu/) which we are planning to utilize.


Facilities

Facility Location

The Illinois Institute of Technology has a conference center called the Hermann Union Building
(http://maps.google.com/maps)
This conference center is located in the heart of the IIT campus, only
a block away from the campus cafeteria, dormitories, and the Chicago 'L'.

IIT itself is located just south of the heart of Chicago, right beside US Cellular Field. It is easily accessible by bus, 'L', and automobile.

Facility Layout and Capacity

The Hermann Union Building is a multi-level conference facility. The ground level of the facility contains an auditorium and multiple
conference rooms of various sizes. The facility is leased by the room or
as a whole. Depending on the number of registrants to the conference, we
can adjust which rooms that we will use to best fit the conference size.

A diagram of the layout is available at http://perlcast.com/images/hub.png.


 |---------------------------------------------------------| | Room          | Theater Capacity | Conference Capacity |
 |---------------------------------------------------------| | Auditorium     |              850 |                 N/A |
 |---------------------------------------------------------| | Main Lobby     |              300 |                 140 |
 |---------------------------------------------------------| | Gallery Lounge |              300 |                 140 |
 |---------------------------------------------------------| | Main Ballroom  |              300 |                 140 |
 |---------------------------------------------------------| | Expo           |              300 |                 140 |
 |---------------------------------------------------------| | Alumni Lounge  |               50 |                  30 |
 |---------------------------------------------------------| | Hermann Lounge |               40 |                  20 |
 |---------------------------------------------------------| | Field Room     |               36 |                  16 |
 |---------------------------------------------------------| | Crown Room     |               36 |                  16 |
 |---------------------------------------------------------|

A/V and Internet arrangements

The Hermann Union Building is fully equipped with audio-visual resources. The auditorium comes standard with stage lighting and sound. All other
rooms can be set up with portable audio equipment for a fee. IIT has
AV engineers who bring in and set up the equipment. Additionally,
IIT has videographers that will record conference sessions.

Only wired Internet access is available within the Hermann Union Building; however, it is allowable for YAPC to bring in wireless routers and
connect them to the wired connection. Additionally, there are PC's
available in the Gallery Lounge and the Computer Lab.

There are many wireless hot-spots around campus, including the dormitories. Conference attendees staying in the dorms will gain access
to these hot-spots.

Cost Summary

Our costs are based on a YAPC costing $85 per person, which is no increase from years past.

Individual Costs: $245 + Travel

What do we expect a person who attends the conference to spend overall. There are costs such as conference fees, lodging, and food. Below is
our estimate of how someone could experience YAPC::NA 2006 in Chicago
on the cheap. This assumes that you'll be sharing a room and eating in
the cafeteria.


 |---------------------------------------------------|------| | Expense                                           | Cost |
 |---------------------------------------------------|------| | Conference                                        | $85  |
 |---------------------------------------------------|------| | Day 1 Food: 3 meals in cafeteria                  | $25  |
 |---------------------------------------------------|------| | Day 2 Food: 2 meals in cafeteria, dinner provided | $15  |
 |---------------------------------------------------|------| | Day 3 Food: 2 meals in cafeteria                  | $15  |
 |---------------------------------------------------|------| | Sunday night in dorm                              | $35  |
 |---------------------------------------------------|------| | Monday night in dorm                              | $35  |
 |---------------------------------------------------|------| | Tuesday night in dorm                             | $35  |
 |---------------------------------------------------|------| | Total (without travel)                            | $245 |
 |---------------------------------------------------|------|

Conference Fees Per Person: $55


 |------------------------------|------| | Expense Description          | Cost |
 |------------------------------|------| | Snacks and drinks for 3 days | $30  |
 |------------------------------|------| | Dinner one night             | $20  |
 |------------------------------|------| | T-Shirt                      | $5   |
 |------------------------------|------| | Total                        | $55  |
 |------------------------------|------|

Conference: Possible!

With $55 being spent on each attendee, there will be $30 per attendee remaining to pay for the conference facilities.


 |-----------|------------------| | Attendees | Amount Available |
 |-----------|------------------| | 200       | $6000            |
 |-----------|------------------| | 250       | $7500            |
 |-----------|------------------| | 300       | $9000            |
 |-----------|------------------| | 350       | $10500           |
 |-----------|------------------| | 400       | $12000           |
 |-----------|------------------| | 450       | $13500           |
 |-----------|------------------| | 500       | $15000           |
 |-----------|------------------|

For less than 300 people, all that would be needed as far as facilities would be the Main Ballroom and the Alumni and Herman Lounge. These run
$900/day for a total of $2700. Additional costs for A/V Tech, Internet,
Setup, Post Event Cleanup, Building Manager, Custodial, and Sound run
$2080 putting the total cost at $4780 for less than three hundred people.

For more than 300 people, the Expo would need to be rented for an extra $750 per day for a total of $2250. Adding this to the previous total
brings us to $7030. In order to keep from having to rent the auditorium,
the key addresses can be simulcast into the other rooms.

It is also possible to rent the auditorium for the first half of Monday and the last half of Wednesday, allowing the major sessions to be held
together but the sessions to be held independently.

There are many opportunities for cost adjustments, one of which is brining the per-person costs down on food. However, initial estimates show that
even at $85 it is possible to have a profitable YAPC.

This also assumes exactly zero sponsorship.


Accommodations

Low-Cost Arrangements

  • IIT dorms

IIT
DVD

  • Hostel International

Hotels

Chicago hosts hundreds, if not thousands of hotels. With IIT's proximity to downtown, YAPC attendees could easily stay at a fine hotel and still
be only minutes away from the conference.


Transportation

Arrival and Departure

By Plane

Chicago is home to two major international airports, O'Hare and Midway. Almost every major airline runs some service to at least one of these
airports. Each airport is connected to major expressways and the Chicago
'L', making getting from the airport to the conference and back easy.

CTA
CTACTA

    • Driving

http://maps.google.com/maps

CTA
CTA

    • Driving

http://maps.google.com/maps

By Train (and bus)

If flying is not your style, but you still don't want to drive, both Amtrak and Greyhound serve Chicago. Amtrak will bring riders to Union
Station, right in downtown Chicago. Greyhound will drop riders off a
little South of Union Station, right next to the Chicago 'L'.

Train

Amtrak serves Chicago at Union Station. Union station is accessible to public transportation that connects to IIT. Additionally, limousine
and taxi are available at Union Station.

  • Less Walking Option

CTA
CTA

  • No Buses Option

CTACTA
CTA
CTA

  • No Transfers Option

CTACTA

  • Driving

http://maps.google.com/maps

Bus

There are both Greyhound and Continental Trailways terminals. The terminals are accessible to public transportation that connects to IIT. Additionally, taxi service is available at the terminals.

  • Less Walking Option

CTA
CTA

  • No Buses Option

CTACTA
O'H
CTACTA

  • Driving

http://maps.google.com/maps

By Automobile

To get to IIT by automobile, take the Dan Ryan Expressway (I-90/94) to 31st Street exit, continue south to 33rd Street, turn left (east). Metered
parking is located along Federal Street north and south of 33rd Street,
and in the Visitor's Parking Lot (Lot A4) at 32nd Street and State
Street. IIT has on-campus parking available for the conference at no
additional charge. IIT requests an estimate of the number of cars that
will be parked.

While attending YAPC

The Illinois Institute of Technology is conveniently located between two CTA 'L' stations. The 35th-Bronzeville-IIT station is the Institute's
connection to the CTA Green Line. This line is an above-ground line that
connects the West and Southern Chicago suburbs while passing through the
Chicago downtown area. The Sox-35th station is the Institute's connection
to the CTA Red Line. This line is both and over and under ground line.
This line connects the Northern and Southern Chicago suburbs and stays
very close to Lake Michigan. Both Wrigley Field and US Cellular Field
have stops on the CTA Red Line.

The CTA #29-State, #35-35th, #24-Wentworth, and #4-Cottage Grove bus lines all have stops on the main IIT campus. Connections between these
and other buses can get you just about anywhere in town.

Beyond the CTA, the Metra rail system can cheaply transport people to more remote suburbs. Most Metra trains connect to the PACE bus system,
which will accept transfers and passes purchased through CTA.

Regular CTA fares are $1.75 US for a single trip or $2 US for a trip with transfers. Transfers between 'L' lines can be done at no extra
charge at any of the many free transfer stations. Short-term unlimited
ride passes are available for visitors. The cost of these passes is:

  • 1-Day Visitor Pass for $5
  • 2-Day Visitor Pass for $9
  • 3-Day Visitor Pass for $12
  • 5-Day Visitor Pass for $18

Metra is a separate system from CTA and is not covered under the unlimited passes. Fares for Metra are typically less than $5 US one-way.


Other Things To Do

Attractions

  • Art Institute
  • Museum of Science and Industry
  • The Field Museum of Natural History
  • Shedd Aquarium
  • Adler Planetarium
  • Goodman Theater
  • Chicago Shakespeare Theater
  • Steppenwolf Theater
  • Oriental Theater
  • Second City
  • Sears Tower
  • Hancock Building
  • Navy Pier
  • Frank Lloyd Wright's Home and Workshop
  • Oak Street Beach
  • Millennium Park
  • Chinatown
  • Brookfield Zoo
  • Chicago Architecture Foundation Tours
  • Michigan Avenue (The Magnificent Mile)
  • Lake and River Cruises

Sports and Recreation

  • The White Sox will play the Houston Astros on Saturday and Sunday before YAPC, and be in Pittsburgh during YAPC.
  • The Cubs will host the Milwaukee Brewers during the conference. Group tickets might be a little hard to come by, but it should be possible to do.
  • The Fire may be in town during that time.
  • A host of minor league baseball teams may have baseball games as well.
  • The Bulls, Bears and Hawks will not be playing at that time.

Restaurants

Chicago is home to countless restaurants including Pizzera Uno, the original restaurant that served as inspiration for the chain.
Beyond that, you can find almost any type of food imaginable.

December 06, 2005

December 6, 2005 - Boston 2006 YAPC Bid

Below is the bid submitted by the Boston group.

  • "NAME"<#name>
  • "SYNOPSIS"<#synopsis>
  • "CRITERIA"<#criteria>
    • "Estimated Costs"<#estimated_costs>
      • "Site 1: University of Massachusetts: Boston Campus"<#site_1__university_of_massachusetts__boston_campus>
      • "Site 2: Simmons College"<#site_2__simmons_college>
      • "Site 3: Massachusetts Institute of Technology"<#site_3__massachusetts_institute_of_technology>
    • "Readily Accessible Location"<#readily_accessible_location>
    • "Public Transportation"<#public_transportation>
    • "Facilities"<#facilities>
      • "UMass Boston"<#umass_boston>
      • "Simmons"<#simmons>
      • "MIT"<#mit>
    • "Internet Access from Conference Location"<#internet_access_from_conference_location>
    • "Internet Access from Accomodations"<#internet_access_from_accomodations>
    • "New Location"<#new_location>
    • "Affordable Dorms and Hotels"<#affordable_dorms_and_hotels>
    • "Quality of Host Committee"<#quality_of_host_committee>
    • "Tourist Activities"<#tourist_activities>
  • "BUGS"<#bugs>
  • "AUTHORS"<#authors>

NAME

YAPC::NA 2006 Proposal - Boston, MA


SYNOPSIS

Boston has a variety of sites we are currently exploring. We've reached the stage where we're confident we can successfully host YAPC,
and hope to convince you as well.


CRITERIA

Going through the criteria from http://yapc.org/yapc-crit.txt.

Estimated Costs

We're confident we can run at $100/head. Estimates below amortize fixed costs over 250 people. Our budget looks better if we are closer
to 300 people.

Site 1: University of Massachusetts: Boston Campus

The meeting rooms, A/V, and network will come to just over $12000. That leaves about $52/head for catering and the banquet. UMass's
caterer can give us continental breakfast and two snacks each day for
$42/head. We have a budget banquet option that will be $15/head. So
we're slightly in the red at 250 participants. At 300, we're slightly
in the black. We'd have to rely on the auction or sponsorship to
bring us into the black if we get a low attendance.

Site 2: Simmons College

The meeting rooms, A/V, and network should come to a bit over $4000. That leaves roughly $85/head for catering and the
banquet. Simmons' caterer is a bit expensive, but $45 gives a nice
continental breakfast and one snack each day. $40/head should give us
a nice banquet, even at Boston prices. (Or devote $15/head to a
second snack, and do a budget banquet.)

Site 3: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

We're still finding the right approach to negotiating with MIT. It would be a nice location, but we aren't confident about it at this
stage. We don't have enough information to form a budget for this
site possibility.

Readily Accessible Location

Logan airport is served by almost every major US airline. (The exception, Southwest, serves two nearby airports: Manchester, NH and
Providence, RI.) There is good coverage of international airlines.

For east-coasters, Amtrak provides service. For much of the rest of the country, Amtrak pretends to provide service.

For the car-bound, it is easily possible to drive into Boston. Parking is pricey, but available.

Public Transportation

Boston has one of the better public transportation systems in the US. The MBTA, http://www.mbta.com, (``the T'' for short) provides subway and
bus service throughout eastern Massachusetts.

All of the sites we are considering are either near subway lines, or have a shuttle bus to the subway. The airport and train stations have
good connections to the subway.

Facilities

Broken out by the three sites we're considering.

UMass Boston

A brand-new conference facility. In banquet seating, the main conference room can hold 360, leaving room for the dividers, buffet
tables, etc. So we could squeeze in a few more if necessary.

When divided, the conference room becomes three meeting rooms, holding 120 each in banquet tables. (Slightly more in classroom style, many
more in lecture style.) There are two smaller rooms next to the main
room that we can reserve if desired, that hold 65 in lecture
configuration.

Nearby on the same floor, next to the elevators, is a lounge area where we would likely set up registration. There are additional lounge
areas (and a food court) on the lower floors.

A/V facilities are so new, they aren't installed yet. But we are promised they'll be done by June, giving us all of the PA and
projection we could want. There are multiple power/network points in
the floor of the main hall. We have an option to turn on WiFi antennas
to cover the hall.

The hallway outside the conference room has a great view of Dorchester Bay. It might be possible to dock a harbor cruise directly outside. Or
we can hold the banquet in the main conference hall. A short walk
along the bay brings you to the JFK museum.

Simmons

A somewhat small facility for YAPC, but we could fit if necessary. The main restriction is that the largest room only holds a bit over 300 in
lecture style (i.e., no tables). For session, that room can hold one,
and we have two other rooms that hold a bit over 100 each. We can
reserve classrooms if necessary for a small fourth track, etc.

The rooms are an easy walk from each other, but are not next to each other. Also nearby is a lounge/cafe, and a cafeteria.

A/V is a la carte, but has everything we need so long as we plan ahead. There are internet connections around the edges of each room,
and we have permission to bring in access points for WiFi.

We can't fit the banquet into any Simmons facility. We have a couple of options for off-site halls, and the possibility of a harbor cruise
(like Toronto did).

Simmons is located in the Fenway neighborhood of Boston, near the Museum of Fine Arts, the Gardiner Museum, Fenway Park (home of the Red
Sox), one of Boston's restaurant/club districts, and more. It's a fun
place to be.

MIT

MIT won't commit at this time to what facilities would be available this coming summer. The most likely scenario would be to hold plenary
sessions in one of the lecture halls (there are at least five
candidates that can hold over 300) and tracks in small lecture halls
or large classrooms. There will probably be a bit of walking from one
room to the other, depending on exactly what is available to us.

The rooms we would use have A/V and internet connections. Most are air-conditioned. We could shorten some of the walks by using non-AC
rooms, but that's probably a bad idea in June.

The student center has a large space that can easily accomodate the banquet. We also have the possibility of holding the banquet at a
corporate site in Kendall Square, adjacent to campus.

MIT has a variety of interesting displays on campus, plus the MIT Museum. It's a short walk to the Boston Science Museum. The Kendall
Square restaurant district is a short walk, and the Central Square
restaurant/club district is a bit further.

Internet Access from Conference Location

All three sites have a limited number of wired internet connections per room. The plan is to reserve one or two for the speakers, and to
provide WiFi out to the audience. Some facilites (UMass) insist on
their own WiFi, and some (Simmons) want us to bring the access points
(we have enough volunteers to cover this).

Internet Access from Accomodations

Simmons dorms have wired internet in the rooms. We think Lesley has internet, but we need to verify before booking with them.

All of the hotels we have looked at to date have internet. Some charge an extra nightly rate, some include it. Wired vs. WiFi varies.

New Location

Yes! 50 free points!

Affordable Dorms and Hotels

For the Simmons site, we would use Simmons dorms. The cost would be between $45 and $60 per night, depending on the exact arrangement, the
mix of singles and doubles, etc. The dorms that we would reserve are
air-conditioned, have internet, share bathrooms, and share phones.

While Lesley doesn't have a large enough space to hold YAPC, it does have dorms we can rent. The cost would be $60/night for a single or
$100/night for a double. Since Lesley is on the Red Line, it would be
more convenient than Simmons for a YAPC at MIT or UMass-Boston.

For the MIT site, we would use either MIT dorms or Lesley dorms.

For the UMass-Boston site, we would use either Simmons dorms or Lesley dorms.

UMass-Boston has a nearby Doubletree, which would give us $139/night for a double, parking $8/night, and internet $10/night.

Simmons has a nearby (easy walk) Best Western, which would give us $139/night for single or double, parking $17/night, WiFi
included. (Limited number of rooms available. We might need to also
use some other hotels at $179/night. Hotel shuttle or subway would get
to the conference.)

Quality of Host Committee

Uri Guttman has been Socialist Czar for the last 3 YAPCs. Our committee has about 5 active members. Boston.pm has over 50 members
and is very active with monthly technical meetings and regular social
meetings. We will be drawing on our members for help in running YAPC.

Tourist Activities

I've listed a few next to each possible venue. Downtown Boston (T-accessible from any of the sites) has the Freedom Trail of historic
(mostly Revolutionary War) locations.

Boston is famous for its tea parties, and for its shots heard around the world. Boston used to be :-) home to the World Champions in
baseball, for a sufficiently narrow definition of the world. Eastern
Massachusetts is geek heaven, as measured by the ``Historic Universities
per Square Mile'' index. MIT and Harvard start the list, and the
runners-up are not too shabby either.

Tourism name-dropping is easy in Boston: Cape Cod, Martha's Vineyard, Nantucket, Kennebunk, Providence, White Mountains, etc.
For those who have more time on their hands, many excellent locations are
available within two hours' drive of Boston.


BUGS

UMass is expensive.
UMass might not have good dates.
They are hoping to give us three days at the end of June, but need to

clear one of the days. If that falls through, we have possibilities
in late May and early July, neither ideal for YAPC.

Simmons is small.
The plenary sessions would be cramped.
MIT is unresponsive.
We might break through in time to organize there, but it can't be

relied upon.


AUTHORS

The Boston.PM YAPC Committee currently consists of


  Bob Clancy
  Emily Chew
  John Macdonald
  john saylor
  Kenneth A Graves
  Kripa Sundar
  Ronald J Kimball
  Uri Guttman
  William Ricker

December 02, 2005

December 2, 2005 - YAPC::NA Voting Details

I was previously posting TPF conferences-related information to my personal blog on use.perl.org. Now we have this excellent TPF blog for TPF info, so I'll be posting here.

As I said in a previous post, all of the bids this year were quite good. To give a little more transparency into the voting process, you can see the anonymous vote breakdowns below:


Boston  Chicago  Vancouver

 2840   2980     2690

 2530   2770     2110

 3310   3170     2830

 2090   3000     2510

 3040   3230     2990

-----  -----    -----

13810  15150    13130


Although the total looks like a large win for Chicago, I think if you look at each voter, you'll see it was pretty close.

I have also asked the bidders if we could publish their bids, and they agreed, so I'll post each bid as a separate blog entry.

In the future, I'm going to try to get some ground-rules out there before the bid and voting process so everyone knows what will be made public. This will prevent any surprises or hard feelings and allow everyone to see what we see.


So are there 5 voters each of whom generates scores for each bid?

contributed by Greg McCarroll on December 6, 2005 5:23 PM


Yes. I provided some details on the voting process in my use.perl blog, but it's good to reference it again here. Without that reference information, these numbers are a bit like find out that the score to the game was 3 to 5. :)

A few committee members weren't able to vote for various reasons, so the numbers of voters and committee members don't match exactly.

contributed by Jim Brandt on December 6, 2005 6:23 PM


Any chance we can get a better breakdown of the scores. It would certainly help in figuring out what to improve for next time (for example, we could move Vancouver temporarily to the east coast of Canada, thus gaining points for not being in the same timezone as OSCON).

contributed by mock on December 7, 2005 2:14 AM


Well, I'm not sure we could break down the scores much more. What sort of detail were you looking for?

contributed by Jim Brandt on December 9, 2005 12:15 AM


You mentioned making the other bids publicly available. I would be very interested in looking them over as well when they get posted. I'm hoping to talk another PM group that's close to me into offering a bid. Hopefully our group can partner with them (we're still forming and I've just recently setup our first PM meeting) and help with the bid (and conference if awarded!).

contributed by Jeremy Fluhmann on May 8, 2006 7:51 PM

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