mjd-perl-pm on 2 Apr 2004 15:48:11 -0000

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Re: Dinner Meeting

> And a reminder that we don't have any tech talks on the horizon.  If
> anyone has a talk they want to try out for YAPC or OSCON, this is your
> chance!

I will need to try out some new talks.  One will be a three-hour
tutorial called "Welcome to my bin".  That will probably be sometime
in May, and I'll try to get the Penn CS department auditorium again.

But I also need to give two short talks of 45m each:

                    You can't get there from here
               Fundamental problems of computer science

        Sometimes you hear people say that there's no point in trying
        to put a certain feature into a program, because it's
        NP-complete.  Or maybe they said it was equivalent to the
        halting problem.  Wait, aren't those the same thing?

        I'll take you through a quick tour of what it means to be
        undecidable, NP-complete, and intractible, and what the
        differences are.  I'll discuss the implications for practical
        problems like array bounds checking.  I'll demonstrate the
        halting theorem, which says that there are some things that
        just can't be computed, and Rice's theorem which says that
        there are hardly any things that *can* be computed.  I'll talk
        about hashing and encryption algorithms, including how to
        generate unbreakable codes, how to prove that you know a
        secret without revealing what it is, and how to flip a coin
        over the telephone.


                       The stench and the peril
                   Gross anatomy of the Perl lexer

        And when I say gross, I do mean 'gross'.

        The Perl lexer is an 8000-line C file caled 'toke.c' that
        begins with the following quotation from "Lord of the Rings":

         *   "It all comes from here, the stench and the peril."  --Frodo

        I'll spend forty-five minutes talking about features of Perl's
        unique lexical structure that you'll wish afterwards you
        hadn't learned.


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