[oclug] Yet Another Language Discussion (was Re: Python )
dmo at acm.org
Wed Jun 18 13:03:51 EDT 2003
On Wed, Jun 18, 2003 at 11:43:08AM -0400, Phil Tanguay wrote:
> Picking up on a tiny part of your post, Dave, it reminded me of
> something I saw a while ago : Perl was described as a "write-only
> language", and I thought it fit quite well.
It's very easy to write bad Perl, but that doesn't mean it's not
possible to write good, maintainable code in Perl -- it just takes more
discipline, because it's so easy to write an unmaintainable mess that
'just works' until you need to fix it 3 months later.
The ability to do quick-and-dirty things with it is one of the main
advantages of Perl as a system administration and general scripting
language, but it's the bane of its existance if you want to write an
> Honestly, I don't "get" Perl, and the love affair a lot of people have
> with it. I'm sure I'm missing something, but every time I've looked
> at it, the syntax struck me as such a confusing mess that I backed
> away slowly and went back to the tools I knew (C, C++, bash, PHP).
CPAN. If it weren't for CPAN and the Perl community as a whole, the
language would have died a flaming, horrible death years ago. If Python
or Ruby or even C or C++ had the comprehensive, one-stop-shopping,
automatically-installable library support that Perl does with CPAN, I'm
sure everyone would abandon Perl in a heartbeat. But, despite
efforts for all of those languages, Perl is the only one that's been
able to sustain a comprehensive central archive. And, it truly is
comprehensive. For just about anything you'd ever want to interface
with (protocols, file formats, foreign languages, etc), someone has
written a CPAN module that will do at least 80% of what you need.
``A popular response is: "If you have nothing to hide, you have nothing
('> to fear." [...] The truth is that we all do have something to hide,
//\ not because it's criminal or even shameful, but simply because it's
V_/_ private.'' - George Radwanski, Privacy Commissioner of Canada.
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