What is Modern Perl?

“After a gap of twelve years, a new edition of Programming Perl (affectionately known as “the Camel book” to its many fans) was published earlier this year. That came as quite a surprise to many people who had given up on seeing a new edition.  What has changed in the new edition? Does the book now cover Modern Perl? The answer depends on what you mean by the term “Modern Perl”…

The Perl of 2012 is substantially different to the Perl of 2000. But many people don’t seem to realise that. Because the definitive Perl reference book hasn’t been updated, it’s easy to believe that Perl itself hasn’t been updated. On various mailing lists and web sites I constantly come across people who write Perl like it’s still 2000 (or, in many cases, even earlier). Their code still works, of course, but because they haven’t been keeping up with the way that Perl has evolved they aren’t using many tools and techniques which would make their lives easier…”



An Introduction to Bayesian Inference

“I recently rediscovered these slides from a talk I gave back in 2007 and wanted to share them with you. For those of you who don’t know, Bayesian inference is certain way to approach learning from data and statistical inference. It’s named after Thomas Bayes, an English mathematician who lived in the 18th century.

The main idea (and please be kind with me, I’m not a Bayesian) of Bayes inference is to model your data and your expectations about the data using probability distributions. You write down a so-called generative model for the data, that is, what you expect the distribution of your data to be given its model parameters. Then, if you also specify your prior belief about the distribution of the parameters, you can derive an updated distribution over your parameters given observed data.

Bayesian inference has been applied to the whole range of inference problems, ranging from classification to regression to clustering, and beyond…”


The New C Standard: C Language Book Material

“The book “The New C Standard: An Economic and Cultural Commentary” (version 1.2 dated June 24 2009, new material list) is available as a free download here, here and herein pdf form (10.5M byte).

The Standard C sentences only (in Google searchable html form) are available here along with site specific Google search and a Firefox plugin.

Bugs that have been found in the previous version and corrected in the next release can be found here (last updated 24 Jun 2009).

WG14/N1256 can be found here…”


Dissecting SSL handshake

“Not everyone knows that the SSL handshake is not encrypted. When you think about it – there isn’t other way, before the keys are exchanged the communication must be unencrypted. But I doubt many people think about it.

Not only the SSL handshake is plain-text, but also it contains rather interesting data. I decided to find out how much information can be retrieved from it…”