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Re^3: What Perl CAN'T do?

by tilly (Archbishop)
on Dec 15, 2005 at 06:15 UTC ( #516873=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^2: What Perl CAN'T do?
in thread What Perl CAN'T do?

90% of every Perl application you, personally, will ever really want to write is either already on CPAN or will be in the next year.

This is true, but only because I rarely find myself writing Perl applications because I really want to write them. Were it not for that caveat, that hasn't been true in any of my years of writing Perl, and I doubt that it will be true this year, either.

Perhaps I am just unlucky, or don't know where to look on CPAN for what I need, but I doubt that's it. Instead I think that it is because I wind up writing a lot of programs that are very specific to my local environment, and are solving problems that nobody else is interested in. Which is why I get paid, because I am doing stuff that I wouldn't do if I wasn't getting paid, and nobody else would do either.

For instance no matter how long I wait, I doubt that anyone will put on CPAN any of the reports that I need to write next week, all of which are very company specific.

Also I would like to point out that the 10 to 1 productivity differences with Perl are relative to very low-level languages, like C. Even a language like Java closes a significant fraction of that gap. Plus I don't believe that Perl is significantly more productive than, say, Python or Ruby. (In fact I believe that Ruby is actually more productive than Perl!) However I'll also admit that it is hard to find many real-world examples of really long programs written in highly productive languages.


Comment on Re^3: What Perl CAN'T do?
Re^4: What Perl CAN'T do?
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Dec 15, 2005 at 23:19 UTC
    For instance no matter how long I wait, I doubt that anyone will put on CPAN any of the reports that I need to write next week, all of which are very company specific.

    While the specific items you need will never be on CPAN (because they're specific), you can definitely find a lot of glue code. When I write reporting apps, I reuse the following:

    • Application framework
    • Database access
    • Creating output formats (HTML, XLS, PDF, CSV, XML, etc)
    • Parsing input formats (xSV, XLS, PDF, XML, etc)

    So, maybe the actual report doesn't reuse anything from CPAN, but everything around it does.

    Also I would like to point out that the 10 to 1 productivity differences with Perl are relative to very low-level languages, like C. Even a language like Java closes a significant fraction of that gap. Plus I don't believe that Perl is significantly more productive than, say, Python or Ruby. (In fact I believe that Ruby is actually more productive than Perl!) However I'll also admit that it is hard to find many real-world examples of really long programs written in highly productive languages.

    I agree with you, but Perl is definitely very productive. And, frankly, I'm trying to shift our main development to Ruby, so I agree with you on that, too. :-)


    My criteria for good software:
    1. Does it work?
    2. Can someone else come in, make a change, and be reasonably certain no bugs were introduced?
      Each individual report reuses the framework, yes. But I have more reports than framework. Plus the framework that I use is somewhat tied to the specifics of the local system.

      A random reporting tip. If you have problems with browser reports timing out, add a feature that any report that takes above a certain amount of time gets mailed to the current user. It is a simple change to make, but you will become an instant hero.

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