Theory on 2002-07-26T01:56:34

I just finished downloading a video of Allison Randall's "Tagmemics" talk. I think that this will be a popular video download from the collection of TPC talks, because it actually offers some insight into the way Larry thinks. It proved to be a very popular presentation, with a packed room, and comments offered by Larry, Damian, Gloria, Chip, and Eric Raymond. The quality of the video is good, too, since the lighting was much better than it was for Damian's talks.

Anyway, I think that Allison is making a great contribution to the community, because she's communicating to people some of the linguistic ideas that underlie Larry's design decisions. A lot of us talk about how much more expressive Perl is, and how it's more syntactically friendly for people to use than most other programming language (if you speak English, at least), but Allison's example in this talk really makes it clear. Pretty soon, we'll all be talking about whether our language feature suggestions are emically or etically driven, and where the syntax we prefer falls within the Tagmemic matrix.

I think that she might make amateur linguists of us all. Other folks at the talk were likewise impressed, and suggest that a similar talk be made in a bigger venue next year. If you agree, let O'Reilly know! Fill out a feedback form if you're at the conference. I suggested that a similar talk be promoted as a major presentation next year. Who knows, it might bring others around to our way of thinking.

The video will go up as soon as we can transfer it to another box (all 9.25 GB of it) and Nat can convert it to RealMedia or QuickTime format. It'll be on the perl.org site when it's ready. No doubt it'll be posted to use Perl when it's ready (along with Damian's two talks and whatever I film tomorrow).