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On 12 June, 2003, the Israeli Perl Mongers held their regular monthly meeting. The program:



  1. Gabor Szabo
  2. Itzik Lerner
  3. Mikhael Goikhman
  4. Oded Resnik
  5. Pinkhas Nissanov
  6. Ran Eilam
  7. Roey Almog
  8. Ron Gidron
  9. Sefy Twito
  10. Semuel Vomberg
  11. Shlomi Fish
  12. Shlomo Yona
  13. Thomas Maier
  14. Uri Itscowits

One month after the conference I was expecting some 20-30 people to come and indeed about 20 wrote to me but in the end we were only 14. The rest, what can I say, you missed a very good meeting !
Several people who attended told me they think this was one of the best meetings so far and I was glad to hear that.
We had a fair mixture of simple and complicated things.
This time Dapey Zahav provided us with their presentation room, which is actually their bomb shelter.
use safe;

They have the tables arranged in U shape which makes communication between the people much better. Indeed we had interesting discussion about the subjects.
We have also received refreshment from Dapey Zahav, so we filled ourself with all kinds of cookies. Shlomi brought sugar-free things for himself.
We touched Configuration Management issues (even before Shlomi got there !) and I showed how I am trying to use VMware to run Windows on my Linux machine with NAT. It will be really cool once I can configure it.

Roey Almog started his presentation at 19:00. It was very interesting to see how an otherwise C++ programmer picked up Perl and used it to process 30.000 word files. It was really nice to see how he did not want to solve all the problems around the issue but looked for a workaround wherever needed (e.g. the memory leaking issue). If you missed it you can read his slides here: Roey Almog: Search engine that indexes MS-Word documents

After a short break Ran Eilam took over the projector and gave us a very clever presentation about data persistence.
First he introduced us to the problems in large scale Business projects, the fact that some 40% of your perl code will actually end up being SQL queries. How various modules on CPAN try to solve the problem of data persistence and why they don't really do a good job. Finally and for most of his presentation he showed us how to write a very simple Object Oriented application using Tangram
I enjoyed his presentation style very much and you can see he has lots of things to say on the subject. Ran was wondering why in Perl there is only one such implementation while in Java - where it is much more difficult to implement such things there are dozens of similar environments.
We are not sure if the lack of OO persistence systems in Perl is the cause or the result of the relatively low number of business systems written in Perl. Nag him for the slides.

After another short break I (Gabor Szabo) took the virtual microphone and started to give my half written presentation about debugging in Perl. It turns out that only 3 or 4 of the 14 people present use a debugger (if you can guess the names correctly you'll get a present) the rest use print statements. This is in a group where most of the people consider them self experts. (I don't want to tell you what we really are :-). So I think teaching people all kinds of debugging techniques was a good choice to propose on YAPC::EU::2003 and my talks were indeed accepted.

Anyway, while I was presenting I think most of the talking was done by the audience and I personally learned quite a lot from this presentation. We talked about why adding print statements is a bad thing on the long run and Ran mentioned that he thinks if you need some complicated part of the debugger it means you actually should have written mini-tests for your code. I don't fully agree with the above but you do have to write tests for your code. (remind me that I should also :-)

I briefly even showed the built in debugger itself and ptkdb and the ppl. could take a look at the set of pictures I am preparing for the pure people in Paris. There are not many slides as a large part of the presentation is actually live demo (of bugs). Whatever I have will be published some time close to YAPC::EU.

All in all I think this was a good meeting.

This meeting summary was written by Gabor Szabo.