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Re: Uses and Abuses of PERL

by valdez (Monsignor)
on Oct 04, 2002 at 23:14 UTC ( #202939=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Uses and Abuses of PERL

From a signature:

Elegant or ugly code as well as fine or rude sentences have something in common: they don't depend on the language.

From Larry Wall interview on slashdot:

1) I've been using perl for a very long time, but primarily as a scripting language. I indeed mostly use it for extraction and reporting. With the recent developments in perl, however, there seems to be the trend that perl is able to do much, much more (while retaining compatibility to be "just" a scripting language).

What do you think about how people are using Perl today? Are you satisfied that most people use it for simple tasks like log parsing? Would you like to see more advanced applications being built with Perl verses a compiled language?

A: I am perfectly happy for Perl to continue parsing logfiles. Perl has always been, and always will be (I hope), a humble language. When I am 80 years old, even if everyone in the whole world puts me on a pedestal and thinks I'm the renaissanciest man that ever lived, I still intend to take out the trash when my wife asks me to. Just because I'm learning Japanese doesn't mean I have to stop speaking English. (...)

6.5) What are your thoughts on the comments made by people that Perl is not designed for projects that require more than one programmer? Many people have stated over and over again that Perl code can not be managed by more than one person ... what are your thoughts on that statement? How would you manage a large Perl project? Do you think Perl should be used for large projects? (or should it be used strictly as a "quick and dirty" programming language?) BTW: I love your work (someone had to say it)

A: I do not manage any large projects, appearances to the contrary notwithstanding. I haven't an executive bone in my body. All my managerial skills are delegated. Ask anyone I've delegated to...

However, those who claim that Perl code cannot be managed by more than one person are obviously smoking something worse than crack. They're simply ignoring the many examples of people who have done just that. But you wouldn't expect to hire random people off the street to come in and collaborate on writing a novel. You can do it by hiring a few good novelists who already know how to figure out how to work together, or at least how to fight with each other productively. In the absence of that level of expertise, you can also do it by setting up policies under which random people can work, rather like the rules for writing about the world of Liavek, in which, for instance, every story has to mention a camel.

That being said, there are things we can do to make Perl 6 better at helping managers and architects set up such policies for programming in the large. Having a standardized opaque object type will help there as well. Nobody is going to claim that Perl 6's OO is "bolted on". Well, except maybe for certain Slashdotters who don't know the difference between rational discussion and cheerleading...

Ciao, Valerio

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