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On 08 January, 2004, the Israeli Perl Mongers held their regular monthly meeting. The program:



  1. Jason Friedman
  2. Kfir Lavi
  3. Mikhael Goikhman
  4. Oded Reznik
  5. Offer Kaye
  6. Pinchas Nisanov
  7. Ran Eilam
  8. Ronen Kfir
  9. Semuel Vomberg
  10. Shlomi Fish
  11. Shlomo Yona
  12. Thomas Meir
  13. Yuval Yaari

Today's meeting was special, I brought a digital camera, and we have photos that can be found here: (will update as soon that I will set up a place)
I have arrived at 18:00 and we were just 5 people, so I thought that the photo shoot will not take place as expected, but after a while a full KADER of people came so we could all chip in, so Ran and Shlomi could go buy some cookies. Well, we ate like crazy, and then Ran came with two nice looking women, so I thought that we will break the record of women in one meeting ;) but sadly they just came to enjoy the Gviniyot (cookies), and then gone.

At 19:00 we went in to the shelter ;) to the first lecture of Shlomo Yona - String matching algorithms: "edit distance".
In this lecture Shlomo introduced us with the basics of string matching. He then explained us the algorithm in its very basic form.
As Shlomo is known for his sensitivity for students that can't see Mathematical expression, he explained and repeatedly assured us that this isn't tough, so i took a big breath and... Got it ( well, sort of ;). Then Shlomo explained how to write the algorithm using recursion, and showed that this method make some extra calculations that otherwise can be avoided, so he introduced us to another method called Dynamic Programming (and in the people's words: caching).
Afterwards, he showed us the cache table that the program built, and the arrow that he drew were very funny. He said that Gimp in his computer can't draw straight lines :P So we got an arrow that looks like going west and pointing south ;) Shlomo concluded with a bunch of perl modules for string matching, and then we went to the break.

After the break Ran Eilam continued his Extreme Programming saga.
Ran reviewed his first talk, and then went to the new stuff. Ran started talking about a game with the Dukes and the Engineers. This game is for learning the XP process. The game in short: the dukes want to build a city and they use the engineers for doing that. The actual build of the city is done by drawing it. Every duke defines the tasks for building the city to his engineers, and then the engineers have to decide for each task its time assessment. Then the engineers are given 4min and have to complete a few tasks that they choose with the duke to perform. Doing this process a few times, teaches the engineer time estimation, and review of their work.
Afterwards he showed the diagram of the XP process, and explained it. Then went to the time intervals of XP. Yuval asked Ran for explanation how to make the customer agree to participate in the XP development, and not take the date for finishing the project for granted. Of course there is no one answer to this.
Ran's answer was: Make your customer think of his last development project, and introduce some questions to him about his satisfaction from it. Probably after digging a while, he will not be satisfied, so he will go with every thing that will make him look good (this time) to his board and bosses ;) Oded told us that most of the 10 million dollars project in israel are decided by the CEO, so the rational of a programming method can not be a *big* factor here.

And for the most fun part ;) PARTY.
After ran has finished his talk, we went to the local pub. We took some photos there too.
Looking forward to the next meeting.

This meeting summary was written by Kfir Lavi.