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On 06 November, 2003, the Israeli Perl Mongers held their regular monthly meeting. The program:



  1. Avraham Bernstein
  2. Eli Marmor
  3. Gabor Szabo
  4. Itzik Lerner
  5. Jason Friedman
  6. Kfir Lavi
  7. Mikhael Goikhman
  8. Oded Resnik
  9. Offer Kaye
  10. Pinkhas Nisanov
  11. Ran Eilam
  12. Ronen Kfir
  13. Semuel Fomberg
  14. Shaul Karl
  15. Shlomi Fish
  16. Thomas Maier

The meeting got off to a fine start at around 18:00 when people started showing up. We talked for an hour and also ate and drank from the refreshments Gabor brought - Thanks Gabor! :-)
Then at 19:00 it was time for the first lecture.
The first lecture was given by Avraham Bernstein and was an introduction to Tcl, the Tool Command Language. Avraham actually started in the middle of his slides, first introducing the strengths of Tcl (such as full Unicode support and the ability to easily create compilers, interpreters and Domain Specific Languages). This generated some discussion with it being pointed out that thanks to SWIG and Inline::C Perl had, during the last couple of years, gotten closer to Tcl in terms of how easy it is to expand the language.
There were a lot more slides with Avraham telling us about Tcl's history, language structure and lots more. I thought it was fascinating that almost everything in Tcl is a string and that there are only 11 core operators and delimiters in Tcl. Amazing!
At the end of his lecture Avraham opened the floor for questions, and got mostly compiler related questions from Kfir Lavi. At 20:05 we all cheered Avraham for a great presentation and took a 15 minute break.

Gabor Szabo was the next speaker, his 20 minute lecture was about the Phalanx project, using existing slides.

The final lecture was an Introduction to Extreme Programming (XP), given by Ran Eilam. While the lecture didn't have anything to do with Perl, Ran kept us riveted to our chairs for more than an hour with an entertaining yet thoughtful lecture. At the beginning of the lecture I didn't know anything about XP except that it exists as a buzzword, so I didn't know what to expect. Ran, a gifted speaker, managed to hook us right from the start with personal tales of woe from the software industry and a review of some of the worst practices in software programming such as the Big Ball of Mud, which are alas all too prevalent. At times we laughed, other times we nodded our heads in agreement when a particular point made us remember exactly the same thing happening to us...
XP, Ran explained to us, is all about improving software engineering by taking the good practices in programming and "pumping them up to the extreme" - hence the name "Extreme Programming".
I was only sorry that Ran didn't get to finish his entire lecture (we ran out of time) and hope that we'll get to hear the rest of the lecture some other time.

At 21:45 we wrapped up the technical meeting and as previously agreed went to a pub together. Actually, since we hadn't decided in advance on a place to go to and wanted a nearby place, we ended up crossing the street to a nearby cafe-pub. The social part of the meeting was as fun, I think, as the technical part, and the only negative points were the high prices and the fact that nobody brought a camera. Hmm, I wonder if any of the Israeli Perl Mongers has a digital camera and would be willing to bring it to the next meeting?

This meeting summary was written by your ever cheerful PR person - Offer Kaye.