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Re: Update: Teaching Perl in the Humanities

by samizdat (Vicar)
on Feb 24, 2005 at 19:06 UTC ( #434198=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Update: Teaching Perl in the Humanities

I found this very insightful, thanks for posting! Holli is right, scholars will go ape over PerlMonks. You (and previous posters) also were right that scholars would accept the CLI, because many academics -- especially my / our generation, are primarily print-verbal oriented. Perl is just another language, with rules, as you said.

I remember one seminal incident in my middle-school teaching where I was sending a shell script to bash, and one of the kids 'got it'... light bulb time!

"Oh... you talk to the computer and it answers back! Cool!"

We went forward from there.

Comment on Re: Update: Teaching Perl in the Humanities
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Re^2: Update: Teaching Perl in the Humanities
by inman (Curate) on Feb 25, 2005 at 09:04 UTC
    I wonder if , in years to come, a techno-archaeologist will be digging through the digital detritus of times past and discover a community of monks dedicated to all things Perl. Which futuristic computer language will they use to decipher these monastic scribblings? What will they make of it all? Will the node reaper still be stalking the halls?

      Nice idea, but I doubt it. I think Perl will always be around, despite what Python advocates say.

      Linux, sci-fi, and Nat Torkington, all at Penguicon 3.0
      perl -e 'print(map(chr,(0x4a,0x41,0x50,0x48,0xa)))'
        Nice idea, but I doubt it. I think Perl will always be around, despite what Python advocates say.

        I certainly hope not. That would imply that centuries or millenia hence, we won't have a decent artificial intelligence yet. Hopefully, in hundreds or thousands of years, we'll have a higher level language with which to communicate with computers than Perl. A sufficiently powerful computer should be able to optimize it's own code to solve problems: given a reasonable understanding of human desires (a hard problem), and how those desires are stated (another hard problem), a computer should be able to generate code to solve that problem.

        To an extent, we do this already with existing programming languages: optimizing compilers generate assembly language that no human wrote, and genetic algorithms have created circuits that no human engineer could ever design (or maintain).

        If Perl is the best we can do, then I'd just as soon give up now. Perl is useful, but it's a long way from the optimum interface to advanced technology.

Re^2: Update: Teaching Perl in the Humanities
by cyocum (Curate) on Feb 24, 2005 at 23:52 UTC

    No problem. I am glad you liked it. Anyway, I gave them a link with a description of PerlMonks on the hand-out. I was a bit hesitant because I did not want them flooding the site with newbie questions but I went ahead because I figured that they would read stuff before posting.

      Actually, IMHO, it'd be a pleasure to have the site flooded with questions I can answer!!!

      Seriously, that was good work and I think you distilled just the right beginning points from all the suggestions. I'd be interested to see if anyone tries it out, if you'd follow up.

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