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Re: Why Perl is a Valid Choice

by fluffyvoidwarrior (Monk)
on Feb 01, 2006 at 05:44 UTC ( #526969=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Why Perl is a Valid Choice

Back in the early days of the internet... long, long ago.
The big rule was that no website a browser visits can ever run code on the client system (except browser limited scripting). In order to allow an "enriched user experience" to be supplied to basically unsecure windows systems owned and run by people who have little awareness of security we have gone away from this basic rule. I have encountered client systems trashed (I believe) by java code unwittingly accepted from the web. I've also encountered many systems trashed from the web because windows users routinely run with less tight security than they should because if they don't loads of "enriched experience" sites won't work. Don't websites realise that when many users are faced with "download plugin" or "update JVM" they just go somewhere else less threatening. I don't see how a similar scenario can ever be brought about by cgi/perl because of the way the whole thing works (ie. as it was originally envisaged by the wise ancestors).
I've noticed that whenever I encounter a site that is a bit clunky or just downright doesn't work there is usually one of these "enriching" technologies behind it. This is why the websites of many very large companies with large bugets are just crap from a users perspective. Most people don't want their experience enriching they just want to buy their stuff and then go do something else. In fact too much enrichment isn't good for them, though they don't know it. Around the world millions of basically sound windows systems are dying under the weight imposed by unrestrained enrichment (application bloat). I think its the main thing that gives windows a bad rep but its also how windows development corporations make their money. Like paying a school dentist by the number of teeth pulled - result lots of bare gums. Unfortunately when open source wallahs are posed the question by website owners "his enriched gizmo can do this why can't your homemade thing?" the true answer of "cos its a crap idea for reasons you wouldn't understand" doesn't really cut it. I was recently talking to the head of security for such a company who asked my opinion of their site I told him to go visit amazon cos its miles better than his site and he agreed with me. In fact I had a bit of a constructive rant and he agreed with everything I said to such a degree that I was a bit worried that he was going to get me the job of sorting it out with perl/apache - way above my pay grade. I notice some months later they have just anounced a total rework of their presence on the web.
In short, as a web user not as a perlist, I say don't enrich my web experience - just give me sites that work reliably without forcing me to make security compromises and don't be a cheapskate run YOUR code on YOUR computer where it belongs not on mine.
Unfortunately the suits don't seem to look at it sufficiently from the users perspective and in real terms this is where perl really shines - basic reliable sites that always work for virually every user irrespective of their individual software circumstances or security policy. IT'S THE ENDUSER, STUPID!


Comment on Re: Why Perl is a Valid Choice
Re^2: Why Perl is a Valid Choice
by wolfger (Deacon) on Feb 03, 2006 at 13:32 UTC
    I've also encountered many systems trashed from the web because windows users routinely run with less tight security than they should because if they don't loads of "enriched experience" sites won't work.

    Yeah. "Enriched" sites suck. I was updating somebody else's computer the other day because their free demo of Norton was expiring. I installed a new AV app for them, and then went out to download Zone Alarm (because Norton was their firewall, too), and Zone Alarm offered to scan me for spyware. Sure, I thought. That's great. Except that "feature" wanted me to install Active X! Ack! In the name of making my computer more secure, they wanted me to install the world's biggest security hole??? No thanks!

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