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Fearing the demise of Perl

by Wassercrats
on May 21, 2004 at 06:07 UTC ( #355190=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

The first column contains search terms that I used in Google searches, the second is the number of results, and the third shows the percentage of Perl's popularity.

Both Python and Java have gained on Perl since January 2000. I might consider switching to another language if this trend persists.

Search Term # Results % Perl's Popularity perl programming "january 2000" 10,800 100 perl programming "january 2001" 13,800 100 perl programming "january 2002" 15,000 100 perl programming "january 2003" 18,500 100 perl programming "january 2004" 32,000 100 python programming "january 2000" 3,900 36.11 python programming "january 2001" 6,920 50.14 python programming "january 2002" 8,820 58.80 python programming "january 2003" 10,700 57.83 python programming "january 2004" 25,500 79.68 java programming "january 2000" 33,600 311.11 java programming "january 2001" 37,800 273.91 java programming "january 2002" 45,200 301.33 java programming "january 2003" 55,300 298.91 java programming "january 2004" 102,000 318.75

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Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by Jouke (Curate) on May 21, 2004 at 06:11 UTC
    This is the worst thing I can think of to decide on what programming language to use... Why did you use "january 2000" and not other date formats?

    This means nothing to me


    Jouke Visser
    Speaking at the 2004 O'Reilly Open Source Convention about pVoice
Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by bassplayer (Monsignor) on May 21, 2004 at 06:12 UTC
    This node comes to mind...

    bassplayer

Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by Anonymous Monk on May 21, 2004 at 07:52 UTC
    I might consider switching to another language if this trend persists.

    The Perl community, and this forum in particular, would greatly benefit from such course of action.

    I feel sorry for those poor Java lads who will have to bear you, though.

Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by Arunbear (Parson) on May 21, 2004 at 08:41 UTC
    Why wait, do yourself (and everyone else) a favour and switch today!
Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by tachyon (Chancellor) on May 21, 2004 at 09:54 UTC

    Here is some well reasoned opinion on the subject of programming languagues. The links at the end are rather nice.

    All you seen to have proven with your stats (if anything given their dubious validity) is that Perl and Java have remained static for popularity whilst Python has made inroads. You might reflect that Python is the core language at Google. Does this give Google a Python bias? Do would be Googlers learn Python just in case they get that call? Do I care?

    def language(perl,python): try: return perl/python except ZeroDivisionError: return perl

    cheers

    tachyon

      that was cool :")....
Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by Abigail-II (Bishop) on May 21, 2004 at 09:59 UTC
    Both Python and Java have gained on Perl since January 2000. I might consider switching to another language if this trend persists.
    Please do - it's always important to let others decide what's good for you. Here's another table that might help you pick a better language than Perl:
    Jan 2000 Jan 2001 Jan 2002 Jan 2003 Jan 20 +04 Ruby 1720 (100) 2670 (155) 5440 (316) 16500 (959) 20900 (1 +215) PHP 15400 (100) 20100 (130) 37400 (242) 66200 (429) 130000 ( +844) Python 3850 (100) 6870 (178) 8760 (227) 11400 (296) 25400 ( +659) .NET 64600 (100) 86200 (133) 107000 (165) 142000 (219) 230000 ( +356) Java 33300 (100) 37500 (112) 45100 (135) 56700 (170) 103000 ( +309) Perl 10700 (100) 13700 (128) 14900 (139) 18500 (172) 31700 ( +296) C++ 17500 (100) 19200 (109) 22200 (126) 30700 (175) 35700 ( +204) UNIX 20500 (100) 23500 (114) 24500 (119) 29000 (141) 36800 ( +179) C 120000 (100) 137000 (114) 153000 (127) 172000 (143) 187000 ( +155) Lisp 2330 (100) 2450 (105) 2420 (103) 2980 (127) 3600 ( +154) shell 8510 (100) 8580 (100) 8870 (104) 10500 (123) 12300 ( +144) BASIC 78200 (100) 84900 (108) 93600 (119) 101000 (129) 111000 ( +141) Forth 13500 (100) 14700 (108) 14900 (110) 16400 (121) 18100 ( +134) Haskell 713 (100) 634 ( 88) 787 (110) 937 (131) 917 ( +128) Eiffel 529 (100) 1700 (321) 1680 (317) 1740 (328) 656 ( +124) Ada 4680 (100) 4660 ( 99) 4640 ( 99) 5430 (116) 5000 ( +106) Scheme 19900 (100) 22500 (113) 22400 (112) 22200 (111) 20200 ( +101) Cobol 2530 (100) 2270 ( 89) 2340 ( 92) 2310 ( 91) 2420 ( + 95) Pascal 5480 (100) 4260 ( 77) 4590 ( 83) 5220 ( 95) 5140 ( + 93) FORTRAN 5080 (100) 3770 ( 74) 4130 ( 81) 3830 ( 75) 3740 ( + 73)
    The code that generated this:

    Abigail

      Why go to all the work of querying Google when my $use_factor = int rand 20000; would get you just as valid an answer?

      ----
      send money to your kernel via the boot loader.. This and more wisdom available from Markov Hardburn.

      From the department of useless statistics I bring you the same data, normalized by year. Mostly it shows C taking a nose dive, .NET in ascendency, BASIC going south as well, PHP and Java getting more hits and then (after removing that skewing data from the table) there's the rest of the bunch which C++ and Unix mostly stable, Scheme going south, Perl and Python going up, a big jump in Ruby. Removing that further skewing data from the table I see Forth followed by Shell. Removing those I now see Ada, Pascal, Fortran, Lisp, Cobol, Eiffel, and Haskell.

      Jan-00 Jan-01 Jan-02 Jan-03 Jan-04 Ruby 0.009968946 0.014930408 0.030569005 0.090978178 0. +08826915 PHP 0.124473722 0.142748192 0.24053793 0.381514413 0.56 +3973769 Python 0.027797541 0.045729874 0.052380546 0.0611646 0. +107890331 .NET 0.536289141 0.627473124 0.69779191 0.824626015 1 Java 0.274300876 0.270345981 0.291124937 0.325979318 0. +446246686 Perl 0.085133631 0.095815673 0.092718756 0.102669777 0. +135359983 C++ 0.142051209 0.136148307 0.140677866 0.173988531 0.1 +52801033 UNIX 0.167161905 0.167681094 0.15578827 0.164050671 0.1 +57597321 C 1 1 1 1 0.812508721 Lisp 0.015074788 0.013317103 0.010728387 0.011942968 0. +012836612 shell 0.066802822 0.058269657 0.053103217 0.055903381 0 +.050770894 BASIC 0.650124298 0.617939956 0.609757379 0.584948235 0 +.481128785 Forth 0.108570281 0.103148879 0.092718756 0.090393598 0 +.076060416 Haskell 0.001540123 0 0 0 0.001138028 Eiffel 0 0.007817198 0.005866779 0.004694177 0 Ada 0.034744833 0.029523488 0.025313212 0.026265177 0.0 +18940979 Scheme 0.162139766 0.160347887 0.141991814 0.124299235 +0.085216967 Cobol 0.016748834 0.011997125 0.010202808 0.008026283 0 +.007691503 Pascal 0.041441019 0.026590206 0.024984725 0.025037559 +0.019551416 FORTRAN 0.038092926 0.022996935 0.021962644 0.016911898 + 0.013447049
Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by Wassercrats on May 21, 2004 at 10:17 UTC

    Sorry, I already wasted too much time learning too much Perl to leave it cold turkey, but I will be promoting other technologies over Perl at every opportunity because of my recently gained knowledge of the kind of people who make up the Perl community, as well as for more technical reasons.

    If I abandon Perl, it will be after I had developed one of the best Perl based link checkers and site map makers and one of the best Perl debugging tools around, both with fewer bugs than the average software product, if any, and both written using my style, which some of you apparently think is so bad that it's better that I never post here again.

    Unfortunately for Perl programmers everywhere, most of you (at least the ones who have gone public) have driven me to charge for a debugging tool that every Perl programmer would otherwise use, rather than make it a module or freeware. You not only want to inflict your style preference on others, but you don't know what's good for yourselves and you don't know when to shut up with the OT and insulting posts. It must just be a youth thing or the way Perl is taught by the literature and in school, but I still hold it against the Perl community.

    it's always important to let others decide what's good for you.
    No it isn't, but it usually should be a consideration, and it should be a major consideration when you decide what community you should support, what programming language to add to a school curriculum, and what language should be used by programmers you hire. However well Perl compares to other languages technically, it could still become obsolete, and if you've seen a better study that shows Perl's usage trends, please share it.
      Are you still here?
        Are you still here?

        that is just plain rude. johnnyfolk--

        ~Particle *accelerates*

      most of you (at least the ones who have gone public) have driven me to charge for a debugging tool that every Perl programmer would otherwise use, rather than make it a module or freeware. ...
      it's always important to let others decide what's good for you.

      No it isn't...

      So, what you're saying is "I march to the beat of my own drummer" and "the Perl community forced me to do something against my wishes". I'd be interested to know what a bunch of people that you've probably never met did to "force" you to charge for something that you want to give away.

      thor

      Well, to take a different tack from the direction that I suspect most others will be taking... I'd like to take exception to your comment that you have "already wasted too much time learning... Perl". I believe that every programming language / structure / whatever is worth learning. Not only for the ability to pad your resume [:-) implied], but because there _are_ valid cross-polination results.

      My primary development languages these days are Perl, C/C++ and Java. I don't program exclusively in any of them. I pick the right tool for the right job. And, at the same time, I can honestly say that learning each of them helps me to do a better job in the others.

      Back when I was in college, most of the CS students were making sure they took COBOL classes because that was the way to guarantee you got a job. [Yes, it was that long ago...] I studiously avoided "officially" taking COBOL. "Real programmers don't use sissy-fied langauges", after all. That didn't stop me from studying it on my own time, though, because it enabled me to help other students who were having problems with their programs. It also gave me a better appreciation for what they were suffering through. If nothing else, learning COBOL let me understand what a horrible language it was. :-)

      Perhaps that's the way you want to treat your knowledge of Perl and the time you've spent learning it. If so, however, please don't denigrate those of us who use the language and enjoy what it allows us to do.

      the kind of people who make up the Perl community

      People who have decades of experience programming?

      People who've written perl itself?

      People who've given countless advice to hundreds of people for free for years?

      People who've written millions of lines of code to solve problems, big and small, and give it away?

      People who help fund Perl Monks, YAPCs, and TPF sponsored projects?

      If you're butting heads with those kinds of people, and if they all say "Hmm, I think your approach needs some improvements", and if they tell you their reasonings, and if their reasonings include personal experiences over years, it's worth considering the possibility that they're all right.

      Please don't misunderstand me. There's a possibility that you're a genius and you see something none of the experts see. That happens sometimes. I'm inclined to go with the experts, though. They have a history behind them.

      ...I will be promoting other technologies over Perl at every opportunity because of my recently gained knowledge of the kind of people who make up the Perl community, ...
      While this community has its own characteristics, to a great extent it's also a mirror to the individuals who interact with it. The face of the community has as much to do with the face of the individual approaching it as with its own intrinsic nature.

      Generally, those who bring thoughtfulness are rewarded with knowledge and wisdom. Similarly, humility with respect, brilliance with awe (and fervent notetaking ;), and reflection with contemplation.

      The mirror doesn't generate the image.

      Willow tree's shadow Spreading over still blue water - Which contains the dark?

      -QM
      --
      Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of

      "....but I will be promoting other technologies over Perl at every opportunity because of my recently gained knowledge of the kind of people who make up the Perl community, as well as for more technical reasons..."


      I myself havn't coded for overly long in Perl, but even I am insulted by that. I've coded in numerous other languages, but have found those of this community to be the most helpful and supportive of any other. As well I strongly doubt you have spoken to every person in enough depth to actally make a truely un-biased decision on if we are good people or not.

        This community is a large part of what has made me recommend Perl to others in the past, but considering the personal experience I've had since those recommendations, I think I'll look for other communities that support other languages before I'm so quick to promote Perl based on its community.

        There is alot of information here, and many skilled programmers. It takes alot to counter that, but I've received alot.

      No it isn't, but it usually should be a consideration, and it should be a major consideration when you decide what community you should support, what programming language to add to a school curriculum, and what language should be used by programmers you hire.

      In fact, all of these reasons are poor reasons for choosing a language. If you look at the top U.S. schools in Computer Science, you'll find Scheme and Lisp as one of the first languages taught, even though, as shown above, popularity exceptionally low. Why would they teach such unpopular languages? Because they believe that teaching good programming skills are more important than teaching specific languages.

      As far as what community you support, that should have very little to do with the popularity. You should support whatever community you feel comfortable with whether its Perl or Scheme or COBOL. If popularity was the only factor, JavaJunkies would have three times the posts of this site. That is certainly not the case.

      Finally, judging programmers by the languanges they know and not by the skills they bring to the table is a recipe for disaster. For example, I am working on a project that included a Java programming component. Three programmers were working on it. Two were marginal programmers with experience in Java. The other was an exceptional programmer C programmer with real-time programming experience, but no Java experience. Most of you know can guess the result, but the former C programmer easily outcoded the other two. Although he took some extra time early lerning the language, his skills quickly made up for it as his code was not only better thought out, it was been tested and designed. In the end, he was actually teaching the other two about several features in the Java libraries that the two knew nothing about, and greatly tightened up their code as well.

      For most experienced programmers, learning (most) new languages is as easy as changing your socks. Learning to program well, however, takes a great deal of time, aptitude, and desire. Its very humbling as well. It means admitting mistakes. At times means asking dumb questions. It means learning from your mistakes.

      Good programmers, however, rarely have to worry about work. Work usually finds them. Some choose to work in just one language, although some don't care what language they work in as long as the work fills their needs. Do I worry that Perl work will stop coming to me? No, Perl work continues to find me, and it will as long as I want it to.

Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by exussum0 (Vicar) on May 21, 2004 at 11:29 UTC
    I would expect perl's rise to be smaller as time goes on over a short period of time, considering C to be more actively used most of the older languages.

    Python I would expect to be sharper as it is still a bit younger than perl. As for java, there are a lot of various backers in java. IBM, Sun, Apache (jakarta), Apple and so on. It's considered more of a biz language. Also, the upgrades are faster. So you may have found links for java 1.1 1.2 1.3.1 1.4 and 1.4.1. I'm sure I missed a version # in there somewhere. You also have achedemia which is switching to java, a good enough portion of it, to teach algorithms in it.

    perl ist simply a solution that's been around for a long time, and as perl6 comes out, we'll prolly see a sharper jump then.


    All other monks. For those of you who consider mr wasser automatic for flames, think of the time when you were "young and foolish". I know the young part is a compliment Wassercrats. But he brought up a valid point using some statistics. His analysis is shallow to say the least, and I'd consider it not-read-into-enough. Too simplistic. But that gives NONE of you the right to treat him less than a human being.

    Quite frankly, I think wassercrats isn't going to be an uber-perl hacker or team leader in the next few months. He still has a lot to learn in his attitudes on programming. And I've told him before, you should at least consider what people say, but if he doesn't want to do certain things, that's his will. The only outcome is possibly bad code. So to you who have begged him to leave, what makes you any better that you should stay here yourselves? Are you too good to teach others the errors in their ways? Do you not know how to properly refute an argument? Do you not know how to interact with the community? At least wassercrats has the due dilligence to try and makes some sense of things. It's not always right, but he tries. And that's certainly worth a lot more than your unneeded flames.

    -s

      For those of you who consider mr wasser automatic for flames, think of the time when you were "young and foolish".
      I don't like what you are implying here. You are suggesting that we all once behaved like Wassercrats. Could you either backup your claim with references (the Internet has a good memory) or retract your words?
      I know the young part is a compliment Wassercrats.
      "compliment"? Do you mean "competent"? I don't know Wassercrats age, nor do I think that matters. I don't discriminate, and I don't think "older" people should be judged differently than "younger" people. As for Wassercrats being competent - perhaps he is. However, I don't recall any post of him suggesting he is. All I remember are posts of him attracking a lot downvotes. I haven't decided yet whether he's a troll or just a sad case.
      But he brought up a valid point using some statistics.
      He did? He brought up a point? What point did he bring up?
      His analysis is shallow to say the least, and I'd consider it not-read-into-enough. Too simplistic. But that gives NONE of you the right to treat him less than a human being.
      Who did? Did anyone call him names? Please don't accuse people without being specific. Give us names and quotes. I reread the thread, and I don't see anyone treating him as "less than a human being".
      And I've told him before, you should at least consider what people say, but if he doesn't want to do certain things, that's his will.
      Yes, but if he doesn't like how people react on what he's saying, he shouldn't voice his opinion. Freedom of speech works both ways.
      The only outcome is possibly bad code.
      The only Perl code posted in this thread was mine. Could you elaborate on why you consider that "bad code"?
      So to you who have begged him to leave, what makes you any better that you should stay here yourselves?
      I can think of a couple of reasons. Perhaps the most important reason is that those who begged him to leave don't post articles with sentences like I might consider switching to another language if this trend persists.
      Are you too good to teach others the errors in their ways?
      Now I am confused. First you critize us from writing replies to the "young and foolish" Wassercrats - yet you expect us to teach him his errors. Do you expect us to visit him in person?
      Do you not know how to properly refute an argument?
      I think that before anyone can refute an argument, there should be an argument in the first place. I think the thread was like this:
      1. Wassercrats composes some statistics.
      2. Wassercrats might consider switching to a different language because of the statistics.
      3. People said "fine with us".
      What do you expect people to say? No, please, don't do that? Didn't you say about him if he doesn't want to do certain things, that's his will? If he doesn't want to program in Perl, isn't it your own idea that it's his will he shouldn't?
      Do you not know how to interact with the community?
      Have you stopped beating your wife?
      At least wassercrats has the due dilligence to try and makes some sense of things. It's not always right, but he tries.
      He can try to make all the sense he wants. But anyone who posts here, or elsewhere on a more or less public forum should expect people react to their postings. If they can't stand that, then don't post publicly.
      And that's certainly worth a lot more than your unneeded flames.
      Djee, what a good last sentence of a post that's mostly a flame.

      Abigail

        I don't like what you are implying here. You are suggesting that we all once behaved like Wassercrats. Could you either backup your claim with references (the Internet has a good memory) or retract your words?
        I doubt that anyone here has never made a false statement and not retracted it. No, I won't retract.
        "compliment"? Do you mean "competent"? I don't know Wassercrats age, nor do I think that matters. I don't discriminate, and I don't think "older" people should be judged differently than "younger" people. As for Wassercrats being competent - perhaps he is. However, I don't recall any post of him suggesting he is. All I remember are posts of him attracking a lot downvotes. I haven't decided yet whether he's a troll or just a sad case.
        I meant what I said, and said what I meant. I know that he's no youngin'
        He did? He brought up a point? What point did he bring up?
        That there's smaller growth in perl. I dont' agree with it. end of story.
        Who did? Did anyone call him names? Please don't accuse people without being specific. Give us names and quotes. I reread the thread, and I don't see anyone treating him as "less than a human being".
        Then you haven't read the entire thread. Re-read it.
        Yes, but if he doesn't like how people react on what he's saying, he shouldn't voice his opinion. Freedom of speech works both ways.
        Yes it does. And it doesn't stop me from trying to get people to be a bit less inflamatory themselves in hopes that maybe with a little kindness, Wassercrats changes his ways. He's not a complete troll. He has some value in him I believe. And as it goes both ways as you so nicely put, I won't retract my words as you've asked earlier.
        The only Perl code posted in this thread was mine. Could you elaborate on why you consider that "bad code"?
        Not in this thread. his past posts.
        Now I am confused. First you critize us from writing replies to the "young and foolish" Wassercrats - yet you expect us to teach him his errors. Do you expect us to visit him in person?
        It's called due diligence. Otherwise, we should just give everyone attitude problems and reject them based on first impressions. And worse yet, give the impression we are elitist. Even though Wasser has had a history of bad ideas, being immature about it just makes the community, our community, look worse... immature.
        What do you expect people to say? No, please, don't do that? Didn't you say about him if he doesn't want to do certain things, that's his will? If he doesn't want to program in Perl, isn't it your own idea that it's his will he shouldn't?
        Yes, "Haven't you left yet" is a fine argument. It totally disagrees with the information he posted.
        Have you stopped beating your wife?
        Yes, 'cause it's her turn to beat me. Wtf?
        Djee, what a good last sentence of a post that's mostly a flame.
        Reread my post. First half was not a flame.

      Wassercrats has stated at various times in the past that he aims to get the worst XP on this site. Refuting arguments have proven useless on him (see VarStructor 1.0). One can only conclude that he is either a troll or has an excessively inflated ego. In either case, the best solution is to ignore.

      ----
      send money to your kernel via the boot loader.. This and more wisdom available from Markov Hardburn.

          think of the time when you were "young and foolish".

      When I was "young and foolish", and boy did I have my moments, I got my "young and foolish" butt smacked around when I said stupid things. You are not going to learn how foolish you are unless "older and wiser" (or at least more experienced) folks sort you out.

      That's not to say anybody is "smacking" Wassercrats around. Although.. I think he likes it when he is.

      Youth or inexperience is not an excuse for stupidity. Just one of many explainations.

          At least wassercrats has the due dilligence to try and makes some sense of things. It's not always right, but he tries.

      And for that I give him a half point of credit. But in this thread he takes the data and draws a conclusion from left field. More and more people drive down the Garden State Parkway at 100MPH on bald tires so it's an upward trend so I should do it too....

      Nahh... I don't think so.

      I guess what really gets me going on this topic is I've worked with senior management places where that was how IT decisions were made. They looked at someone's wonderful charts and graphs and bought technology to fit what the "trends" were without bothering to check the source or do any critical analysis of the technology needs of the company.

      I watched on helplessly as a complany I worked for spent easily 7 figures rolling out Exchange to replace a Sendmail based infrastructure. They had to retrain all of the nonIT staff, migrate the email data, the accounts and discovered that the load the original 4 mail servers running sendmail handled now had to be done with 18 machines. Maintenance costs rose, new staff was hired to deal with the Exchange servers (we need MSCEs to do this... right?) and on it went. In the end there was a massive layoff of IT staff (mostly programmers) and then later on after I departed for a new job (I wasn't hanging around) the outsourced the entire IT/IS department.

      That all started with a Senior Vice President looking at a Microsoft sponsored presentation and saying: " HEY! Exchange is gaining market share! We better get on the bandwagon!"

      You can't make stuff like that up... life is stranger than fiction.

        Exactly. He made an invalid analysis and it's simple to refute. You've done a better job than I have proving, just 'cause it's "popular" doesn't mean it's "good".

        Smacked..well.. I hope my prof's and mentor's never would do that when I was wrong. I've had people tell me I'm wrong, which is fine. I don't recount anyone calling me an idiot IRL just because I said something that was incorrect. Probably the lack of being able to smack back online beyond crafting a reply.

Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by blue_cowdawg (Prior) on May 21, 2004 at 12:37 UTC

        I might consider switching to another language if this trend persists.

    That's like saying that if more and more people are eating fecal matter that it's a good idea to give up on steak and eat fecal matter along with the rest of the crowd.

    Sorry, my dogs and I herd sheep. We ain't sheep.

    I have always been a proponent of using the right tool to do a job. When I find a better tool to do a particular job then I adopt that tool in my rather complete tool bag. I don't throw the old tools away just because I have a new tool. For instance, I buy a router I don't throw my power screwdriver away since the router makes a very poor screwdriver. OTOH putting a coving bit in my power screwdriver won't help me much rounding off edges of boards.

    In my practice as a Unix Professional I use a variety of tools. I use Open Source tools as much as I can to hold down the line on costs since at my level being cost concious is part of the profession. I use off the shelf products (in other words commercial) where the situation warrants it. That doesn't mean that if a client that I support buys Sun's web server that I'm going back to the rest of my clients and telling them to ditch Apache. The requirements and political sensitivity of the client buying Sun's product may be such that they cannot go Open Source. (yeah.. it happens..)

    Tools that I use personally range from running Linux on my company owned laptop to Lotus Notes running under Wine to emacs as my preforred editor to running Visio® under cxoffice (a version of Wine) and on it goes. I program in a plethora of languages ranging from Perl and Bash to C, C++ and yes even Java. I've even been known to dabble in PHP and python on occasion.

    A well rounded programmer IMHO should be able to program in any language a job requirement asks them to. It is only a matter of learning a new syntax. Programming is programming, the algorithms stay the same regardless of the language you are programming it. Why are there so many languages?

    Every language brings to the programming world its own strengths and weaknesses, advantages and disadvantages. I would be hard pressed to figure out a way to write an operating system in pure Perl for an embedded system but OTOH doing associative arrays while not impossible are a bitch in assembler.

Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on May 21, 2004 at 13:35 UTC
    Wassercrats - You make an interesting point. The increase in Google-indexed pages that have the words "python programming" between 2000 and 2004 relative to the increase in Perl or Java is a trend worth investigating. And, it sounds like you're interested in the topic, so I'd like to offer a few suggestions as to how to go about investigating this.
    1. Expand the list of languages you are looking at. As the investigation will most likely use programs for some of the data gathering, using the list Abigail-II provides shouldn't be too hard.
    2. Compare Google to other search engines. I'm sure that Yahoo, Lycos, and Netscape may have different numbers, so it may be good to do some sort of weighted average between search engines.
    3. I'd be interested in seeing if there was some sort of monthly cyclicaly variation between the various languages and the pages referencing them. For example, the variance between Perl and Java stays relatively constant at 1:3, but that's for January. Maybe it's 1:2 in Aprils of every year?
    4. You'll need to expand how you do the date calculation. There's a few issues I see here:
      • "january 2000" is a very restrictive search, and it only deals with pages that have that phrase in them. If I created a page now with those words, then it would be in the wrong place.
      • Do you use the creation date of the page or the last-modified date of the page? Where would you get this information?
    5. How many of those pages are overlaps? For example, if your OP was indexed, it would show up in every single one of your searches, because you describing the searches.
    6. Remember - you're investigating the amount of times people write about a given language. When writing up your investigation, I would definitely make that very clear.

    Populariy of a language is a useful measure of a number of things:

    • How likely you are to get a job working in that language
    • How likely is the language supported by the Internet community
    • How likely is there prior art to work from
    • How likely is there innovation in the language

    In essence, you are researching the living-ness of the language. I suspect that if you look at languages like Ada, Forth, and CL/I, you'll find their living-ness to be at a very low ebb. New languages, like Ruby, Python, PHP, and Ponie are going to be on the rise in terms of living-ness.

    This is very different from the useful-ness of the language. Brainf**k isn't a very useful language, but it was certainly talked about for a while. :-)

    ------
    We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

    Then there are Damian modules.... *sigh* ... that's not about being less-lazy -- that's about being on some really good drugs -- you know, there is no spoon. - flyingmoose

    I shouldn't have to say this, but any code, unless otherwise stated, is untested

      New languages, like Ruby, Python, PHP, and Ponie are going to be on the rise in terms of living-ness.
      What makes you classify Python as "new"? Perl dates from December 1987. Python was conceived in December 1989. I'd say Perl and Python are of similar age.

      Abigail

Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by zentara (Archbishop) on May 21, 2004 at 14:11 UTC
    What I see happening is the "dilution of brains" in the universities. In order to let all the idiots get degrees, they have been "passing on curves" for quite some time, and the result is that the colleges and universities are full of people who have no technical aptitude at all, but they all want "high paying engineering jobs"(after all it's their right isn't it? :-) ). So they are pushing languages which make it a no-brainer to program with point and click interface for everything. They say the same thing about C. The C++ people say "C is obsolete, don't bother with it", but you can see that C++ is more likely to die before C will. I doubt that they will ever write an good OS in C++.

    Perl will never die, even though there are alot of ignorant corporate executives who are trying to kill it. They try to kill and discredit what makes them look ignorant. If they passed some "law against Perl", there would be a whole underground which would keep it going.


    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. flash japh
      Going completely off topic (not that we really have a topic here..)

      They say the same thing about C. The C++ people say "C is obsolete, don't bother with it", but you can see that C++ is more likely to die before C will. I doubt that they will ever write an good OS in C++.
      Could you explain this please? I keep saying statements like this, or expressing similar sentiments regarding C vs C++, and I never understand them. To my mind, C++ is just C with a few additions (new/delete, class, templates), so what makes C better then C++? Since, as far as I know, any C program is a valid C++ program (with the exception, of course, of C programs that use C++ keywords, which is a stupid "exception"), so what makes C so much better?

      I personally see C++ as better, firstly because I prefer new/delete vs malloc/free, just semantically. Secondly because I like OO programming, so I tend to use it in most of my "larger" projects, and having to deal with lots of "OO" code written in C has made me bitter.
        C++ is C with a few additions, but they are huge additions. Objects are a big change with all kinds of complexity. Templates are big and complicated.

        Sure, C++ can be used a better C. But the OO is the big benefit and that is a big change.

        Objective-C is a much better example of small extensions to C.

      I doubt that they will ever write an good OS in C++.

      Yes they will, and they already have, considering all C code is C++ legal :-p.

      Okay, I know what you actually meant, and I think I agree. I haven't done extensive testing myself, but from what I've heard, the overhead of objects would prohibit something as performance-oriented as an OS.

      I also agree about the whole 'dilution' thing...I took a VB class in high school, and the teacher made me comment the function for the 'quit' button, which was as follows:

      sub buttonQuit_Click() frmForm.Close() end sub
      She told me I had to comment it so 'future maintainers of my code would know what the function did.' My jaw dropped, arguments ensued, and I stopped taking computer courses at my high school.
Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by mrpeabody (Friar) on May 21, 2004 at 15:14 UTC
    "I'm going to use a pair of scissors for this job! I mean, look at these statistics on hammer vs scissor usage! More and more people are using scissors these days! Man, hammers are out, scissors are in!"

    "But you're trying to bash a nail into a piece of wood. A hammer is perfectly suited to do that. Using a pair of scissors will just make the job longer and more difficult."

    "Yeah, but LOOK AT THESE NUMBERS! Scissors, here I come!"

Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by Anonymous Monk on May 21, 2004 at 18:15 UTC
    Yeah, but Perl sucks the least. Java started off as the most un-sucky language, but by 2004 Perl only sucked in 2.08% of the hits, which is better than both Java and Python!

    Jan-00 Jan-01 Jan-02 Jan-03 Jan-04 Total Hits Perl 10,800 13,800 15,000 18,500 32,000 Python 3,900 6,920 8,820 10,700 25,500 Java 33,600 37,800 45,200 55,300 102,000 Hits with the word "Suck" Perl 90 320 396 466 665 Python 49 146 313 331 604 Java 198 339 702 847 2250 Suck % Perl 0.83 2.32 2.64 2.52 2.08 Python 1.26 2.11 3.55 3.09 2.37 Java 0.59 0.90 1.55 1.53 2.21
Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by Wassercrats on May 21, 2004 at 21:39 UTC

    I hate these threaded replies, especially when there's alot, so I'll just respond to myself again and hope people read this. There were a few comments like "New languages, like Ruby, Python, PHP, and Ponie are going to be on the rise in terms of living-ness." I brought that up in CB before I started this thread. I figured that Python usage won't continue to increase at that rate (assuming my stats indicate usage rates). I made no claims about how well my stats indicate usage rates. They're simply something to consider. How popular a language is and will become should be a consideration in which language to use, especially when there's a ton of modules that you would like to continue to be maintained.

    I guess I'll get off-topic again to answer some of the other off-topic posts. I use a programming style that works for me. I could handle it. For my past scripts, I haven't used strict, I used all globals, etc. I believe that the structure of my large script, and the comments I used, might actually make it easier to follow than a comparable script that uses strict and scoping, etc. I've given examples of the difficulty that I've avoided by using my style. I could handle my style just fine, nobody but me will be maintaining it, there seem to be fewer bugs, if any, than in the average script, and continued, harsh criticism of my style (mostly in other threads) when it's off-topic is not appropriate.

    I offered snippets of my major script to the public for what they were worth. When someone told me that he didn't know what one of my scripts would be useful for, I repeated how I'm using it. I never argued that it would be useful to others because it's hard to tell, and the best way of asking is sometimes to post an already completed script.

    Another script made a simple, user-defined list of variables that aren't set in modules and also provided a safe version of Perl's reset function. Overall, the responses I got to it were insane.

    An occasional style critique is acceptable, but what I got wasn't. All my responses were appropriate. Be specific when you raise those past issues in a new thread, and I'll be more specific too.

      If you wait a few minutes my older brother will be coming along and he is much bigger and better to eat.

Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by bl0rf (Pilgrim) on May 22, 2004 at 00:21 UTC
    I find it quite amusing to see a whole lot of programmers waging bitter war on each (?) other just because of a challenge to their favourite programming language... I don't think its a good idea to continue this exercise in group mentality.

Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by CountZero (Bishop) on May 24, 2004 at 20:55 UTC
    The statistics are interesting, but what do they say? Is there any reason to believe that these figures say anything at all about "popularity" of a programming language and/or about the trend you seem to have found?

    And do you have to follow a trend? See what the "trend" was in Germany in the 1930's and where it lead to.

    Finally, your figures shouw a tripling of "Perl"-references over the time period investigated. not much of a "demise", I'd say.

    CountZero

    "If you have four groups working on a compiler, you'll get a 4-pass compiler." - Conway's Law

Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by fraktalisman (Hermit) on May 25, 2004 at 16:57 UTC
    Trends are made by all of us.
    Every single programmer abondoning Perl and talking bad about it "votes" against it, everyone who sticks to it (which does not mean that Perl should be the only language) and promotes it, who explains Perl's capabilities and advantages to their boss and to fellow programmers, "votes" for Perl.
    This all reminds me of the discussions I have before any election. "I don't go to elections, everything stays the same anyway", I hear people say. No, it does not! Your opionion counts! Your behaviour counts! Mine as well.
Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by Wassercrat on May 25, 2004 at 17:44 UTC
    Wassercrat's cool LOL just vote him up then he wont not get the neative reputation he so want
Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by flyingmoose (Priest) on May 27, 2004 at 16:15 UTC
    I hear the usage of brain**** is at a 10-year high (1).

    ----
    Fn 1. Most likely due to Larry mentioning it in the State of the Onion, methinks. Ah, Larry is the best powerpoint slide creator in the world!

Re: Fearing the demise of Perl
by Wassercrats on May 31, 2004 at 02:51 UTC

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