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Re: Who is Perl? (Anthropomorphizing Everything)

by dws (Chancellor)
on May 23, 2002 at 05:14 UTC ( #168656=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Who is Perl? (Anthropomorphizing Everything)

Perl is the friendly old guy down the street who has a garage full of power tools that he teaches the neighborhood kids how to use. Some kids pooh-pooh the old tools, favoring the cool electric yellow plastic ones now on sale at the hardware store. They leave. The kids who stay learn to build things. Some make great furniture, make crap, and others disassemble to tools to see how they work.


Comment on Re: Who is Perl? (Anthropomorphizing Everything)
Re: Re: Who is Perl? (Anthropomorphizing Everything)
by atcroft (Monsignor) on May 23, 2002 at 13:15 UTC

    Perhaps not anthropomorphizing, but is perl the old guy here, or the garage? Looking at it this way, I see it more as the garage, where yes, you can still get into trouble by sliding a board across the planer with your hand and slicing your hand (similar perhaps to hand-rolling something instead of using an available module), or getting into a table saw (regex?) or tangled in hoses and/or wires (data structures?). Yes, sometimes you see one of those shiny new tools (like objects, for example) laying in the toolbox (because it might sometime be useful, although it might be a little battered before it makes itself comfortably at home). And, if you poke around and explore enough, sometimes you find something in the toolroom to make your current project easier (or just to play with because it seems cool).

    If you follow that thread along, then in a way you could look at the Monastery similar to a relaxed high-school shop class, where you have students of varying grades (levels? experiences?) asking questions or showing some of their latest creations or helping another with a particular tool they can use fairly well, the occasional class clown or troll, a few who want to know if you can make them something without trying because they forgot to do their homework for next period and want to borrow yours, and very patient, sometimes over-worked teachers who stay with it for the love of teaching and the subject, who (gently or thru percussive therapy) try to get it through our (sometimes thick) heads that safety and having fun it don't have to be mutually exclusive.

    Appologies for the sleep-deprived ramblings, but that's what I thought of when I saw dws's reply.

      I think Perl may just be the old man *and* the garage. Or the high school teacher *and* the shop class. I know that my love for Perl would not be so complete were it not for the resources out there - the community resources for sharing knowledge and advancing the capabilities of the language (modules). Perl is the idea that for nearly any job, someone with an open mind and a full garage can pick through whatever tools available and show you one way to tackle the problem, given these tools and his specific flavor of ingenuity. Perl is the idea that an intelligent person can determine that one good way to fix this thing is to tighten that screw, and if need be, I can use the back end of this here claw hammer, or possibly a butter knife, and tighten that screw.

      A friend of mine was learning Perl and hacking through some simple scripts I had written to solve some of his problems, figuring it out along the way. He had said to me that he only had a few tools to work with (split, join, pack, unpack at the time methinks), and after a while, everything starts looking like a hammer. Thinking about that now.. a hammer is the simplest tool there is, and as brute force as it gets. We're still effectively using a hammer to beat through political issues, but this is not the place for that ;) The important thing is that we have myriad tools available throughout the world, and they all started with taking something heavy and beating something else until it looked useful. You can use a hammer to make a screw driver. For me, Perl makes me think that you are not limited by a particular language and the tools that it makes available, but rather you are given carte blanche to take those tools and make new tools out of them - or even just use the back end of the claw hammer in an unexpected way to get the job done.

      -=rev=-

      And according to your interpretation, the old man is strict;. He should never leave the garage ;-) Whenever he does people become mightily prone to accidents...

      jynx

        ... and that's why you should always use warnings - to prevent those accidents, even when the old man is not around.


        "All you need is ignorance and confidence; then success is sure."-- Mark Twain

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