Summmary of lispvan March 2006 meeting: DSL's and Lisp Work
Thursday, March 23, 2006
Well, last night we topped our previous record turnout for a meeting - our previous record was 15 attendees and last night we had 16! In addition to regulars, we had 5 new attendees:
- Damion Dooley: Director in startup Internet company communicopia.net developing over 100 web apps. He is learning about Lisp with an aim to develop in either Lisp or Prolog (or a combination of the two) at some later date.
- Joel and a friend: I didn't note down their full names unfortunately. Joel is working at EvoComputing.com in Bellingham, Washington and is interested in learning Lisp. He and his friend came up to Vancouver just for the lispvan meeting!
- Howard Yeh: Studying Cognitive Science and CS at UBC. Interested in working on an open source lisp project over the summer.
- Ian Wallace: A Java developer who is interested in Lisp. Unfortunately, he had to leave the meeting early so I was unable to chat with him.
- Working in Lisp: In which he described his career working in Lisp. He initially started off planting trees (a fitting symbolic start to a career in Lisp!). After he was laid off from that job, the re-training money paid for his AI studies at BCIT. He then moved on to a number of Lisp jobs and is currently supporting clients remotely (they're in Australia and he's in Vancouver). Unfortunately, this portion of his presentation was not captured as there were personal details that he did not want recorded; however, it was an interesting narrative of one person's journey with Lisp.
- DSL's for Program Generation: This portion of Coby's presentation we were able to record. We had had some technical difficulties getting the projector to work with Coby's laptop but, in the end, we used VNC to link his laptop to my laptop and we projected and recorded the presentation using my laptop. Coby talked about how he used a DSL to generate code in a variety of different "target" languages for clients and gave a demo of the application-generation capabilities of the DSL by creating a "Lisp User Group" application. I had a cameo role as "Group Director" in his demo, which was nice; but, unfortunately, he didn't give me a salary in that role! :-( Since we did record his presentation, I won't talk any more about what he said - you can watch it yourself! (the 143MB .mov file is here).
Quite an interesting presentation and a fun evening! Incidentally, Coby also maintains a weblog called "A Few Things Ill Considered" - his weblog is devoted to debunking some of the arguments that are given by skeptics of Global Warming. If you're concerned about Global Warming and would like to read background information that is both well presented and broad in its coverage of the issue, his weblog is an excellent resource.