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Re: Perl is dying

by Marza (Vicar)
on Jul 14, 2006 at 18:32 UTC ( #561290=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Perl is dying

Perl Programmers are snobby?!?!?!?! Say it isn't so!

The problem with that claim is that you should drop Perl and simply say that programmers can be snobby.

I have found snobby C, C++, Assembler, Python, Perl, Fortran, Pascal, and even Cobol programmers.

Even you my friend are a snob:

Most of the people writing Perl code today aren't real programmers. They're systems administrators or hobbyists. They never learned "proper" software development techniques so their code is almost always a mess. Ugly, inconsistent and largely unreadable to those that lack a firm understanding of the language (at least 2-3 years experience), it's this ugly code that turns new people off to Perl and gives it its reputation (though undeserved) for being a write-only language. Well-written Perl code is a thing of beauty (and still shorter than the equivalent in any other language), but I would guess that less than 5% of the Perl code out there fits into this category.

What's amazing is that the Perl community not only accepts and encourages bad code, it's outright hostile to those who don't. I've seen people raked over the coals (even on Perl Monks) for suggesting cleaner alternatives to the Schwartzian Transform or suggesting using named variables instead of $_. More amazing, the hostility is usually from some smug sys-admin that's never worked on a large software project their entire life. I'm not saying you can't use those features, but the level of hackishness and amateurism I see regularly in Perl scripts is appalling. It seems like terseness wins out over clarity every single time.

If you have even worked in the world of system administration, you would find that management doesn't care about the beauty of code. They want something fast. Most of the time the scripts are only to answer a small problem, a status check, a report, or a simple monitor. Writing beautiful perfect code would not offer much to the task at hand.

However, if you were writing a database system, a production management system, etc, then you are correct. Care must be taking in the design. Never mind the fact that a full blown Perl developer is writing those kind of systems.

I could be wrong, I have never taken part in a large software development project. I am only a system administrator. ;)


Comment on Re: Perl is dying
Re^2: Perl is dying
by astroboy (Chaplain) on Jul 14, 2006 at 19:35 UTC
    Perl Programmers are snobby?!?!?!?! Say it isn't so! The problem with that claim is that you should drop Perl and simply say that programmers can be snobby

    Alas, I think Perl programmers are snobbier. How many times in this site have you seen posters go apolpletic because some poor sod wrote "PERL" instead of "Perl", or a n00b got blasted with RTFM because they haven't learnt perldoc yet

    I remember an experienced Perl programmer saying on the Krang list that he would be more gentle on Perlmonks posters after he received a lot of patient answers to his Krang questions. The fact is that not everyone is a guru programer, and some people will struggle because Perl programming is not their forte, but they still have to get the job done.

      Yeah, how dare you people point out that they're wrong. How dare you people point out their ignorance and where to remedy it.

      We should coddle them and inculcate their incorrect notions and ignorance. Perish the thought that they should be pointed to the ample documentation where they can help themselves and improve in the process. Everyone should be spoon fed whatever they need immediately regardless of the effort they've exhibited. Otherwise it might mortally wound their fragile self esteem. Or they might get the idea that programming is an intellectual endeavor with certain inherent rigors. Perish the thought.

      Shame on you all.

      What? . . . Oh, sorry. Sarcasmometer was set to 11. Let's just dial that back a bit, shan't we?

      I've never seen anyone go apoplectic over "PERL". This is apoplectic:

      GOOD FRELLING GRIEF, WHAT KIND OF FRAKING MORON ARE YOU! EVERYONE AND THEIR SISTER'S DOG KNOWS THAT "PERL" IS NOT AN ACRONYM YOU VACUOUS, TOFFEE-NOSED, MALODOROUS PERVERT! IT'S "perl" OR "Perl" YOU SECOND HAND ELECTRIC DONKEY BOTTOM BITER!

      This is what usually happens:

      "Perl" is the language, "perl" is the implementation; "PERL" is just wrong.

      See the difference?

      As to being told to RTFM, most of the time that's probably because:

      • the querent asked an extremely trivial question
      • the querent showed no effort on their part to begin with
      • it's an extremely simple question to begin with
      • TFM answers said question rather succinctly to begin with (that, you know, kinda being the purpose of having good documentation)

      The few times I've gotten RTFM'd on a couple of the Ruby IRC channels it's shown me where to find TFM that I wasn't aware of (things like ri or the standard library docs online). An RTFM is also a form of teaching you how to fish for yourself.

        I've never seen anyone go apoplectic over "PERL". This is apoplectic:
        GOOD FRELLING GRIEF, WHAT KIND OF FRAKING MORON ARE YOU! EVERYONE AND THEIR SISTER'S DOG KNOWS THAT "PERL" IS NOT AN ACRONYM YOU VACUOUS, TOFFEE-NOSED, MALODOROUS PERVERT! IT'S "perl" OR "Perl" YOU SECOND HAND ELECTRIC DONKEY BOTTOM BITER!
        This is what usually happens:
        "Perl" is the language, "perl" is the implementation; "PERL" is just wrong.
        See the difference?
        New here, eh?

        People who write perl, Perl and PERL
        PERL as shibboleth and the Perl community
        Capitalizing acronyms (Re: Is PERL case sensitive?)

        I suppose some of that isn't so bad, but it looks awfully stupid. I'd dig up other examples, but it's extremely hard to search for different capitalizations.

        *Sigh* - I was using "apoplectic" as a rhetorical device, I didn't mean it to be taken 100% literally. Kind of like your use of sarcasm, until you went and undid all of you good work by saying "Oh, sorry. Sarcasmometer was set to 11." Do you explain punchlines too in case people don't know when you're joking?

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