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Re^4: Perl is dying

by apotheon (Deacon)
on Jul 19, 2006 at 07:26 UTC ( #562208=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^3: Perl is dying
in thread Perl is dying

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

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