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On 01 April, 2004, the Israeli Perl Mongers held their regular monthly meeting. The program:



  1. Eitan Schuler
  2. Gaal Yahas
  3. Gabor Szabo
  4. Herve Guez
  5. Hezi Golan
  6. Issac Goldstand
  7. Itzik Lerner
  8. Mikhael Goikhman
  9. Oded S. Resnik
  10. Oren Maurer
  11. Pinkhas Nisanov
  12. Ran Eilam
  13. Roman Parparov
  14. Ron Tene
  15. Shlomi Fish
  16. Thomas Maier
  17. Tzafrir Cohen
  18. Yehuda Zadik
  19. Yuval Yaari
  20. Zohar Kelrich

I'm sorry if this report is a bit lacking or inaccurate. It's been 9 days since the meeting, and my memory is a bit fuzzy on it.

After I arrived people went to buy burekas. I did not go with them, but instead guarded the computers. After they returned we went in and entered the building and set up the refreshments. I noticed that there were no cheese burekas', and so decided to go to the bakery and buy some. I payed 16 NIS for them and the gave the other 4 NIS from my 20 NIS bill to Gabor. (thus giving 20 NIS for the refreshments in total).

We had the usual amoung of mingling and talking. In one chat I attended, Yuval Yaari told us about how he was using Emacs, while from him impression the rest of the Israel mongers were vi users. We had a friendly discussion on which one was better. I told them, I was using gvim in Windows-emulation mode and could not live without the Alt+F+S shortcut. For console stuff I use joe. Yuval said that when using Emacs his code was formatted perfectly, while his vi-using co-worker's code diverges a lot from the ideal.

I also encountered a conversation about Perl vs. Java. Someone claimed some elements in his company wished to use Java instead of Perl because they claimed it had better internationalization. This is despite the fact that they all knew Perl very well, and had little experience with Java. There was also something about the Extreme Programming books demonstrating everything with Java, which made them wish to use it.

The first presentation was a book review by Ran Eilam about the "Writing Perl Modules for CPAN" book. Ran said the book was very bad. He claimed that it had a lot of material that was not relevant to such a book, and was heavily lacking in other places.

Afterwards, Roman Parparov gave a presentation about using Perl for processing Geo-physical data (like Weather information). In his presentation, he said that he had to use a system created by NASA that could only run on an old version of Oracle, which the Perl DBI module could not talk with. He said that in his office he has an IRIX machine, and a Solaris machine to run the infrastructure on them, and then various Linux Boxes which he does most of the work with. There were a lot of other war stories there. He then briefly gave the things he uses Perl for. The presentation was very interesting.

Then we had a break (quite long actually) and afterwards Ran Eilam took the stage again, and talked about converting a simple interactive command line program like:

    sub app
        my $i = prompt("Enter a number.");
        my $j = prompt("Enter another number");
        show("The sum is ". ($i+$j));

To a web application without changing such code. This was done using a continuations module that can be found on CPAN, that requires tweaking the server to make sure it preserves the same process for every client session. Many people did not like this solution and claimed it was very hackish and not appropriate to the HTTP way of doing things. Ran also demonstrated how it breaks when pushing the back button, and stuff like that, which made me even more skeptic about it. Ran claimed that there were better frameworks for Smalltalk and LISP that could handle such things better, but to me it seems that I'd rather store the session information on the server, for the time being.
In any case, the presentation was very good.

One thing we missed was the presence of Uri Bruck who was supposed to give a presentation about SOAP. Bruck explained the reasons of his absence in this E-mail. Since Ran Eilam's presentation was longer than usual, I think we could not have fitted Bruck's presentation there anyhow. I was also disappointed that Yuval Kogman did not arrive and so could not borrow a book out of my personal library. (which I remembered to bring there).

Afterwards, people either went home or to a pub. I drove back home with Thomas Maier.

This meeting summary was written by Shlomi Fish.