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March 19, 2007
April 11, 2007
The strange case of
perl's reputation... My standard defense of perl:
It's supposed to be (1) there's a huge amount
bad, bad, bad, but of existing perl code
even it's detractors available for reuse on
admit there are many the internet (CPAN).
good things about it.
(The other languages
And there's many a new language are always going
that does it's best to imitate to catch up Real Soon.)
large numbers of perl's features.
(2) perl is perhaps the best
And yet perl itself gets no documented language on
respect... not even the the planet.
amount of respect that's
granted to the many languages
that are used today largely (3) Despite what you may have
only because of their huge, heard, perl5 remains under
existing codebases (e.g. C++). active development.
It's remarkable really, a picture (Perl6 is a scheme
of a strange "religious obsession" to turn perl into
among the intellectual technical elite. a saner, more
The daemonic nature by keeping Larry
of perl is taken as and Damien busy
a given. with something else.)
You'd think it was In general, the *culture* of
invented by perl is in great shape.
Microsoft. Something about it attracts
people anxious to share
their code, and willing to
write eloquently about it.
The corporate drones
are now off using
Java, and the most
in the world switched
to Python, leaving
perl in very good shape...
The one "dark cloud"
on the horizon is
Ruby: it has a strong
fixed, and rightly
or wrongly the Rails
got some buzz going
Despite the many and various proofs
that perl actually is a workable
language (and more importantly,
that perl has a workable culture);
Someone like Steve Yegge can't
confront the fact that maybe it
really is okay to use perl.
He sees evidence in front of
his eyes that perl can kick CASE_STUDY_2
the ass of an annointed,
approved language like Java...
And he concludes from this that
one should use something *like*
perl, but under no circumstances
should you use perl itself.
The features of the perl language
are universally respected, though
only when re-written and shipped Never underestimate
under a new name. technical snob-appeal.
Despite their pretense at being
supremely rational, programmers
are in fact as faddish as a bunch
And other aphorisms:
Those who do not know perl, are
compelled to reinvent
it... without the benefit of CPAN. Oh, CPAN? Throw that old
stuff away and switch to a
language that encourages
"For most tasks, languages shouldn't
be chosen for their reductionist
beauty, but instead, for their ease
of use for forming complex structures
with human psychology in mind."
-- zCyl (14362), of slashdot
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