First of all, I program for fun! This obviously yields a very different story than when you have to "get the job done".
in reply to Why I learn a language.
The objectives I have when I write vary a lot, but usually include one or more of:
- Use of some specific language features I want to explore
- Some abstract "beauty" criteria (which may have nothing to do whatsoever with readability)
- Occasionally complexity or obfuscation
- Shortness (especially when golfing, but in regular code I'm also opposed to verbosity)
- Elegance of the external interface
- Speed optimization (when I'm in the mood; rather than when it's useful to do so)
About two months ago I decided that perl was a useful thing to know. I already knew heaps of different languages before i learnt perl (REALbasic, C, C++, Objective C, FORTH, PPC assembly, PostScript, HyperCard, Frontier, AppleScript, INTERCAL, Unlambda, and bits and pieces of other languages like Java, Scheme and Prolog) so I was able to learn perl quickly from the manpages (including perldelta to check on the latest features ofcourse :-)
While learning perl I got involved in some perl-golf sessions on irc. Soon after that I started doing real stuff (co-authored Attribute::Property, joined perlmonks, wrote Data::XDumper, and wrote this reply to your meditation.