[langsec-discuss] Brainoverflow and basic understanding

Meredith L. Patterson clonearmy at gmail.com
Fri Jun 1 14:10:22 UTC 2012

On Fri, Jun 1, 2012 at 3:46 PM, Fabian Faessler <fabi at fabif.de> wrote:
> my name is fabian. For those who visited berlinsides, I'm the guy who did
> the Pokemon TD Game Hack lightningtalk.

Hi Fabian! I totally remember you, that was a great talk.

> I also tried to access the langsec mail archive (
> https://lists.langsec.org/pipermail/langsec-discuss/), to read and learn
> more, but either nobody wrote on this list ever, or the mails are not
> archived.

Hrm. I thought they were being archived -- Trey, can you check on this?

> I search for more material I can learn from. For the beginning some simple
> stuff - Im not very confident with my brain when I try to understand crazy
> formulas :(

BNF can take a little getting used to, and with some of the
higher-order formalisms we use (attribute grammar notation, type
notation) it helps to also know a bit of propositional and predicate

I wouldn't go so far as to say there's a stylistic consensus on this
in the langsec community, but I've sort of "standardized" on the
Augmented Backus-Naur Form as defined in
https://tools.ietf.org/html/rfc5234 -- for the pragmatic reason that
RFC5234 defines the style of BNF used in all RFCs, so that's what
implementors will be referencing anyway. (Also it's self-describing,
which is neat.) It's a good reference to keep on hand, and if you're
comfortable with RFC style, 5234 is a pretty good introduction to the
most common notation we'll use.

Trey also recently set up a dokuwiki for langsec.org -- a "useful
starting points" reference page would be a good thing to keep there.

> I also want to learn a functional programming languages likr Haskell or Ada,
> because I hope/think this also can improve the way of thinking. Is there an
> easy or cool introduction in this functional thinking?

I'm a big fan of Learn You a Haskell for Great Good!, which is
available from No Starch Press in dead-tree format for money or on
http://learnyouahaskell.com/ free to read online. O'Reilly also has
Real World Haskell, which you can read at

I don't know a lot about Ada, though TQ can provide some observations.
Prolog is also worth looking at -- declarative programming is also
pretty useful.


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