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Question of the thing we call "Perl"

by john1987 (Acolyte)
on Feb 01, 2001 at 16:43 UTC ( #55689=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

As I sit here reading my Perl book I wonder... I ask myelf the question "What is Perl". Yes I do know it's a Programming langauge but what is it. Is it a friend? Is it an enemy? Is it an obstical? In truth, Perl can be all of those and more. Perl is our friend because it brings us joy. Perl is our enemy when the syntax is right but it still doesn't work. Perl is an obstical when you make it one. As I sit here I ponder this question.

By common sense you probably say "What the heck is he talking about, it's just a progamming langauge!". And as I said before I know this. But what does Perl mean to you? I would like everyone who comes across this to reply with your answer to this question: What is Perl to you. I thank you for reading and ask you to reflect on this question. Think more about Perl today. It will help your quest in it.

One person can change the corse of history. One person can destroy the human race. That one person is out there, I intend to find him.

My other writings.

Comment on Question of the thing we call "Perl"
Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Perl is to me:
by neophyte (Curate) on Feb 01, 2001 at 17:14 UTC
    • a tool that makes web administration easier
    • a toy (eg look at the Perl Tutor or at Stage Names)
    • something that spawned an active and friendly community
    • a programming language that is usable with many levels of skill
    • Perl has lead me to Linux, as I came from using word processors on dos/win* only


    * DR dos actually was good - good in that it was stable and user-friendly
Re: Beccause Perl is <b>FUN</b>
by arhuman (Vicar) on Feb 01, 2001 at 18:42 UTC
    Perl is of course a language but here is what makes it (IMHO) more than just another language

    1) First Perl is efficient (you can do complex things fast!)
    2) Perl can be extanded (May St Larry bless CPAN)
    3) Most inportant : Perl is fun to use

    Let me developp this a little bit as it's the key point for me :
    <flames protection on> I mean, of course python,ruby have similar features; and a lot of languages even do better in some areas<flames protection off>, but which language gives you has much fun when you use it ?

    The infamous TIMTOWTDI allow you to code the way you want, more than any other language, Perl allow you to developp your style...

    And let's be honest the (sometimes) cryptic syntax is also part of the fun...
    With Perl coding can become black magic again...
    In this world or even the half-brained dummy can code or become a webmaster, Perl allow the true Gurus to produce ununderstandable code by any Perl-illiterate...
    More than any other language, Perl has short-cuts, tricks which make it long to handle efficiently...
    This make (feel?) real Perl programmers apart from the rest of the world...
    This elitist aspect may not be a good thing, but it's a force which lead us to enhance our skill to reach the true Perl knowledge and is (for me) a big part of the fun.
Re: Question of the thing we call "Perl"
by AgentM (Curate) on Feb 01, 2001 at 20:49 UTC
      Actually, it's really more of a back-end, if you catch my drift... :0
                      print $/='"',(`$^X\144oc $^X\146aq1`)[-2]
(jeffa) Re: Question of the thing we call "Perl"
by jeffa (Bishop) on Feb 01, 2001 at 18:31 UTC
    In a nutshell, Perl was a way out from the Visual Basic
    rut I got myself into one year ago. I also consider it
    a critical evolution catalyst in my programming career.


    (the triplet paradiddle)
Re: Question of the thing we call "Perl"
by azatoth (Curate) on Feb 01, 2001 at 16:50 UTC

    Perl to me is a language i am interested in. I am interested in learning to use it to my advantage, and my goal is to write a module and have it accepted by CPAN. That is pretty much the extent of it.

    I think you missed my point about Advocacy btw :)


    Azatoth a.k.a Captain Whiplash

    Get YOUR PerlMonks Stagename here!
Re: Question of the thing we call "Perl"
by KM (Priest) on Feb 01, 2001 at 19:53 UTC
    What is Perl to you.

    First, Perl is my friend. Perl is with me through thick and thin. Perl makes me happy, gives me fun, helps me learn, keeps me connected, etc...

    Secondly, Perl is my bread and butter. I write Perl for a living (as well as write about Perl), and Perl 100% supports my family. So naturally, this makes Perl even more important to me.

    If I could roll Perl up and smoke it, I would.


Re: Question of the thing we call "Perl"
by larsen (Parson) on Feb 01, 2001 at 19:52 UTC
    I try to save common sense saying Perl is just a programming language :), but I also proceed asking "What do you think a programming language is?".
    Here my suggestions, and I'll be glad to see yours:
    • A way to communicate with a machine
    • A way to communicate with other (?) human beings
    • A way to express ideas
    • A way to obfuscate ideas
    • ...

Perl Is
by tedv (Pilgrim) on Feb 01, 2001 at 23:57 UTC
    Perl is the light of the world! Perl is your Saviour! Perl is a combination Hookah/Coffee Maker! Perl is a panacea, guaranteed to solve all your problems! Erm, right...

    If you closely inspect something, such as the human body, you realize that it's just an arrangement of unimportant, uninteresting things (electrons, atoms, molecules). But that doesn't change the fact that the human body is an amazing piece of (rand & 1 ? "evolution" : "creation").

    The whole is more than the sum of its parts because information is embodied in the organizational context.

    This applies to Perl in two ways. In a fundamental way, Perl is one of the few programming languages that uses organizational context to affect meanings (or support new meanings). This does not mean that "Perl understands programming better," but that it's more natural for many people to think in the Perl mindset than in, say, the Java mindset. The contextual meanings that Perl supports allows programmers to be far more expressive than they could with other programming languages. Deep down, at the atomic level, Perl is just a programming language. It happens to be a very, very expressive programming language. It's the power of the language itself that impresses me.

    On a recursive note, Perl is more than a contextual programming language. That's because programming doesn't happen in a vaccuum-- it happens by real people communicating with each in the real world trying to solve real problems. So to me, Perl also encompasses the community of people using the Perl language. A large set of people is uninteresting, but the way in which the community self-structured itself is impressive and amazing. Again, it's the contextual organization of the Perl community that gives the community its real value, not just the value of the individual members.

    Well, that's the base case and the inductive base. By induction we can show... Erm, right...

Re: Question of the thing we call "Perl"
by seeker (Curate) on Feb 02, 2001 at 16:01 UTC
    I have peen a programmer since before there were microprocessors. Sometimes the work was fun, sometimes drudgery. During that time I never experienced the sense of community I see in the Perl world. Yes, Perl is a language to get the work done. Yes it has made boring work easy for me. But Perl is also a community of people, whom I only know or know about on-line, but those whom I wouldn't mind knowing better.

    That's not always true of any community. IMHO, the community is the true value of Perl. Everything else is just syntax.

Re: Question of the thing we call "Perl"
by EvanK (Chaplain) on Feb 02, 2001 at 00:08 UTC
    It's what I use to get away from the drudgery of my life. Scratch that, Perl is my life. >:-]~

    When I get a little money, I buy books. If I have any left over, I buy food and clothes.

Re: Question of the thing we call "Perl"
by Segfault (Scribe) on Feb 02, 2001 at 12:59 UTC

    Perl is many things to me:

    • A faithful friend - Perl is always there when I need something to lean on, or need help with a problem.
    • A powerful tool - Few languages (or even, few things of any sort in the world) can compare to Perl's versatility.
    • An art - The way you code and the way you share the things you write, these are forms of art, expressions of you and your use of Perl.
    • A doorway onto a wonderful community - What other language would have a Monestary filled with monks and demi-gods of scripting? :-)
      This is one of the best answers I've seen to my question. This man truly has broden his horizions with Perl and knows the real definition. Perl is an art to all of us. We sculpt is into what we want to have. Since "There's more than one way to do it"... all of the codes are different. Not one code is the same (virtually the same, there probably are scripts that match exactly, but u get the point). Not going in order but, Perl is a faithful friend. It will never leave you for anyone or anything. Perl can lead you to greatness in the Perl community. Perl is powerful because of its capabilities. It is one of the best langauges I ever came across. It is a community as I have said before and so has Saint Larry Wall. Segfault is going to go along way in Perl and at Perlmonks. I wish you well Segfault.

      One person can change the corse of history. One person can destroy the human race. That one person is out there, I intend to find him.

      My other writings.
Re: Question of the thing we call "Perl"
by extremely (Priest) on Feb 02, 2001 at 01:51 UTC
    • Perl is a way of doing things once rather than over and over.

    $you = new YOU;
    honk() if $you->love(perl)

Re: Question of the thing we call "Perl"
by Tek400 (Acolyte) on Feb 03, 2001 at 18:04 UTC
    I think Perl to me is the next step in enjoying Linux, and turning from a hardware techie to a software techie. I have always wanted to be able to write code, but have always failed due to my two conditions: Dyslexia, and Attention Deficit. Perl has made me concentrate on what is important, just writing any kind of code I like. I also have a problem with authority, but then again who doesn’t?

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