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Re^2: Perl is dying

by Anonymous Monk
on Jul 14, 2006 at 23:41 UTC ( #561364=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Perl is dying
in thread Perl is dying

Eric, I never suggested Perl was only a web scripting language. My point was that web scripting is what made Perl mainstream. Before the web it was just a fringe language. If the Perl community had only realized this and tried to accommodate web developers better, then Perl might still be attracting lots of new programmers.

There needs to be a compelling reason for people to learn Perl, otherwise the language will begin to rot. It doesn't have to be web scripting, but it needs to be something. Perl just being a great language isn't enough. Python has almost completely taken over the desktop scripting market that Perl was once making great inroads into. When people want to write small to medium sized GUI programs, they turn to Python, not Perl. PHP is now on the command line too. Ruby has surged in popularity in the past year or two, almost entirely because of its new web development platform Ror. These other languages are growing. Perl is shrinking.


Comment on Re^2: Perl is dying
Re^3: Perl is dying
by eric256 (Parson) on Jul 15, 2006 at 03:39 UTC

    "Python has almost completely taken over the desktop scripting market that Perl was once making great inroads into".....seriously? I mean maybe it has while i've been hiden away in my turtle shell. I certainly know it is common to come across VB and C++ solutions, maybe even Java, but i've never been searching for something and come across python at all. That's hardly proof that it isn't taking over, just that if it is, I've failed completely to notice. Is there even any way to prove that type of thing? If so what kind of metric would you use and can you compare a couple of language?


    ___________
    Eric Hodges

      Yesterday, I was surprised to find out that my employer has Ruby and Python code running somewhere on the production servers. Doing what, I don't know.

      ⠤⠤ ⠙⠊⠕⠞⠁⠇⠑⠧⠊

      I see where anonymonk got that impression, I think: Python really looks like the new Universal Solvent being used to dissolve all system administration problems by a growing contingent of faithful devotees in the realm of open source unix. It has gotten to a point where people are reinventing wheels left and right (I tend to guess because somewhere in the backs of their brains they think those wheels will roll better if they're made of pythons instead of perls). Start paying close attention to what options come up while searching for candidate applications to solve problems using a software management system such as Debian's APT, and you'll probably notice that a lot of stuff is described not only by its functionality and feature set, but by the fact that it's written in Python. Perl doesn't tend to get that attention: utilities written in Perl are described by way of functionality and feature set, and that's it. Often, to find out what language was used to write it a Perl utility, you have to apt-get source the thing and look at the shebang line. More to the point, the Perl stuff mostly tends to be old, currently maintained and updated but not newly conceived, material.

      There's a tremendous body of code written in Perl, though, and Python is still playing catch-up. There's so much system administration stuff written in Perl that it may very well be the case that we're not getting massive growth now because almost everything has already been written (in Perl), and nobody needs to write it (again). Thus, Python looks like it's thriving while Perl looks like it's dying from certain perspectives — perspectives that don't take into account the fact that much of the Python development is duplicating old work in Perl.

      That's not the whole of it, of course, but I think that accounts for some of the situation, and some of the perceptions that have arisen.

      print substr("Just another Perl hacker", 0, -2);
      - apotheon
      CopyWrite Chad Perrin

      Maybe the keyword is scripting, I don't know. However, it may just be the posters choice of platform - python is very common as a desktop language writing all sorts of (mainly small) apps under Linux. In Ubuntu, apps are either compiled or Python, as is much Gnome apps in general. Perl or Ruby are sadly rarely seen at all. Numbering totally, against Win and Mac, it would be insignificant, of course.

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