Grokbase Groups Perl ai March 2005
FAQ
Hi all,

I need some advice. I'm going to be at a conference giving a
presentation about logic programming to a bunch of Perl programmers.
However, after reviewing the notes of my presentation, I've realized
that I have a more daunting task than I realized and I'm beginning to
second-guess my approach. I possibly go in a couple of different
directions.

One approach is to start by showing them the basics of embedding Prolog
in Perl (http://search.cpan.org/dist/AI-Prolog/ and
http://search.cpan.org/dist/Language-Prolog-Yaswi/) and show them
beginning Prolog (family trees, the append function, and maybe a simple
text adventure). The advantage is the programmers get a chance to
understand how to actually use this stuff. This was my initial
approach. However, it's been pointed out to me by several people that
the smaller the example, the more difficult it is to show the strength
of logic programming (the multiple uses of append/3 are cool, but
people want to know how this helps them write purchase order software.)

The other approach is, instead, to give them a tiny taste of *how*
Prolog works and then show a powerful example or two that's difficult
to replicate in an imperative, OO, or functional environment. I've
considered snarfing an example or two from "The Art of Prolog" by
Sterling and Shapiro, but I'm not sure of the legal implications and,
in any event, I don't know if I'd have enough time to really get those
examples across.

My question in a nutshell: given 45 minutes to show a roomful of
programmers with no prior experience in logic programming just how
powerful it can be, what approach would you take? Do you have any
particular sample applications that would be worthwhile? Everything
that I've come up with seems too small to really be more than a toy or
too large to show in 45 minutes.

Cheers,
Ovid

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postedMar 8, '05 at 7:18p
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