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Re: The Perl Hacker Inferiority Complex

by Anonymous Monk
on Jul 25, 2006 at 13:50 UTC ( #563524=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to The Perl Hacker Inferiority Complex

I think part of the reason that Perl gets the bad press is because it really is a genuinely bad language. Combine the poor hackish design with the flippant attitude and complete disregard for standards shown by Larry Wall and the criminal intents of that guy with the cracker monicker "merlyn", and the superior designs of Ruby and Visual Basic, and you are left with a steaming pile of undulating and evilly sentient hostility that literally takes an "appocalypse" to make even the slightest change to the "code base" if you could even laughingly call it that.

For example, once I was logged into a BBS over a phone line during a thunderstorm, and a close enough strike disconnected my line with such a violence that blew up my modem and sent pages and pages of complete ascii garbage tearing across my poor procomm screen, and my boss walked by and asked if I was "learning perl." Folks, this sort of reputation is no good, and its no wonder that Microsoft fired those losers from Activestate, even Microsoft has little taste for the abomination that is the "modern perl."

BTW, it took 20 minutes to load this web page, let me guess, built with perl eh?


Comment on Re: The Perl Hacker Inferiority Complex
Re^2: The Perl Hacker Inferiority Complex
by phaylon (Curate) on Jul 25, 2006 at 15:56 UTC
    Thanks. Never read such an amusing pile of FUD :)

    Ordinary morality is for ordinary people. -- Aleister Crowley
Re^2: The Perl Hacker Inferiority Complex
by coreolyn (Parson) on Jul 25, 2006 at 19:15 UTC

    The fact that you used Procomm instead of Telix say's volumes in and of itself.

    The fact that it took your system 20 minutes to load this page means your probably still using it and your modem.

    The fact that Microsoft fears the access Perl gives to a system and proved to be financially unexploitable by them is ++Perl in my book.

    . . . you are left with a steaming pile of undulating and evilly sentient hostility that literally takes an "appocalypse" to make even the slightest change . . .

    I love that line.. Don't agree with it but it's still quite amusing

Re^2: The Perl Hacker Inferiority Complex
by derby (Abbot) on Jul 25, 2006 at 19:23 UTC

    once I was logged into a BBS over a phone line during a thunderstorm

    You had phone lines ... you lucky bastard let me tell you about the time we tried ordering supplies during a freakish mid-winter hurricaine ... the electrical discharge fried the mod40 operators fingers and we went through several cords of wood before we realized the storm was shifting the smoke in an undpredicatable manner. You should have seen the boss' face when the 4000 blue ascots with kittens on them showed up. We tried to switch to semaphore ... but once again the wind ... the wind ...

    -derby
      Well, we had it tough. Back in my day, we didn't have these "modems" and "phone lines". No, we had to transmit data by steam power, aaaand feed the coal into the engine. Modems? Luxury!

      </ob_monty_python>

      --
      tbone1, YAPS (Yet Another Perl Schlub)
      And remember, if he succeeds, so what.
      - Chick McGee

        Steam power? LUXURY!

        When I was a lad, there were fifty-seven of us sharing one carrier pigeon (who was blind in one eye) for our downloads. I had to wake up at 4 AM, feed the pigeon, roll out the clay, mark up the clay, fire the clay, tie it to his leg, and shoo him out the cage. If I got one packet back by nightfall I'd dance around singing "Hallelujah".

        But you try telling that to kids these days, and they won't believe you.

Reaped: Re^2: The Perl Hacker Inferiority Complex
by NodeReaper (Curate) on Jul 26, 2006 at 09:49 UTC
Re^2: The Perl Hacker Inferiority Complex
by Anonamous Monk (Novice) on Jul 27, 2006 at 00:38 UTC

    So, what's a genuinely *good* language? Something tha follows standards? OK, so who gets to create the standards, and why them? In the case of Perl and Larry Wall, well Larry invented Perl. He didn't follow the sed or awk standards (if any existed), nor did he adhere to C standards (and many exist). He took what he wanted, and made the rest up, and came up with something that is being used by a huge number of people. There *were* no Perl standards before Larry created Perl. Your criticism of Larry is much like dissing any other innovator for thinking outside the box. You don't innovate by adhering to standards.

    Lucky for you, since you hate Perl so much, there are dozens of other programming languages that you can try. I'm sure you'll be able to find some that adhere carefully to standards, don't have troublesome innovations, and only color inside the lines. Try Pascal, maybe.

    Much as I love Perl and PM, I don't think I'd sit around waiting 20 minutes for the page to download... But I suppose if you have nothing better to do, then 20 minutes isn't all that much.

Re^2: The Perl Hacker Inferiority Complex
by pingo (Hermit) on Jul 28, 2006 at 08:11 UTC
    and sent pages and pages of complete ascii garbage tearing across my poor procomm screen, and my boss walked by and asked if I was "learning perl."

    Once, I was playing with an Etch-a-Sketch, when my boss walked by and asked if I was "learning Visual Basic".

      Of course the advantage of developing on an Etch-a-sketch is that they are quicker to reboot than other devices, the downside is that version control is difficult - you have to put the sucker very very carefully upside down into a photocopier.

      /J\

        You could also put it on a wooden table and take a digital photo of it ;^)
Re: The Perl Hacker Inferiority Complex, No Beautiful Rule
by cerelib (Novice) on Jul 28, 2006 at 17:43 UTC
    Perl is not a "genuinely bad language". A CS professor might tell you that because Perl was not designed as an academic innovation. It was designed to, as Larry Wall said, "make easy things easy and hard things possible"(or something like that). The academics denounce Perl because it does not boil down to some beautiful simple rule. These are the people that love Lisp and think the idea of such a context sensitive language like Perl is absurd. Lisp can be boiled down to a small set of Beautiful Rules, but do you know anybody who solves any problems with it? These languages have their place. They innovate new ideas, but typically only seem to focus on doing that one thing well. Since Perl is designed for solving problems, it picks and chooses from these vast academic achievements and lets you use them at your discretion.
    Here is what it comes down to:

    A monk wants to solve a problem in as few lines as possible.

    An academic wants to be able to write compilers with as few lines as possible( because every statements is broken down into executions of the few Beautiful Rules).
      Lisp can be boiled down to a small set of Beautiful Rules, but do you know anybody who solves any problems with it?

      How 'bout extending Emacs?

      Says the vi guy...

      ----Asim, known to some as Woodrow.

      Lisp can be boiled down to a small set of Beautiful Rules, but do you know anybody who solves any problems with it?

      Orbitz and Yahoo! Stores (formerly ViaWeb) both use Lisp for their software, or, at a minimum, they used to.

      I've been reading Hackers and Painters by Paul Graham and will probably post a review of it when I'm done. Only 2 more chapters to go!

      The book is a bit preachy in points but is overall a good read. He's very heavily biased towards lisp as the best tool for the job - any job. He was adamant enough that I've started learning it myself.

      One of the points he raised in one of the chapters was that he paid attention to the languages his competition was using. If somebody showed up using Java or C or the like he wouldn't worry at all, dismissing them as suits that would fail. If he found out a potential competitor was using Perl or Python or the like, he'd start to lose sleep about it. They were using a language that allowed for more nimble development and most likely chose it because they knew what they were doing. He said that he would have probably wet himself if he found out a competitor was using lisp.

      The point he was making was that languages started off with two very distinct paradigms - machine language and lisp. And the machine language side (progressing through Assembly and C and Perl and Ruby and such) is skewing leaning more towards lisp-ish things that've been around for decades anyway. So if everything else is becoming more lisp-ish, why not just use lisp?

      Now, mind you, I'm not going to abandon perl for lisp any time soon, no matter how cool it may be (I didn't abandon perl for objective-c either, and that language is also terribly cool), but I am finally curious enough to see what the hype is about. If nothing else, looking at other languages gives me ideas and concepts to bring back and use in Perl.

      I don't care about beautiful rules or number of lines, I care about beautiful solutions and beautiful software. Perl, properly done, really excels at that.

        I was not denouncing Lisp. Lisp has had all the time in the world to become a popular programming language, but it has only been used by a few groups that have latched on to it. Lisp's greatest accomplishment was affecting other languages. Languages like Perl and Python have borrowed from Lisp to become better languages because they took the good ideas and made them easier to use. If Lisp finally took off, that would be great, but it seems that it will always have its claim to fame as one of the great ancestor languages. I admit, there will always be purists out there writing Lisp and they are probably some of the best programmers.

        So again, I have a high respect for Lisp, but I was trying to point out the real reasons why Perl is thought by many to be an ugly language. On the academic side Perl is a multi-paradigm mess, even I will admit that. It has become too complex to be able to write a compiler on your own( look at the number of implementations of Python vs Perl), and that is another reason that academics don't like it. But, Perl's redeeming quality is that it has always managed to "make easy things easy and hard things possible"(Camel3).

        Maybe I will take a stab at that "Hackers and Painters" book. Sounds interesting.

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