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When shouldn't I program in Perl?

by faq_monk (Initiate)
on Oct 08, 1999 at 00:15 UTC ( #570=perlfaq nodetype: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Current Perl documentation can be found at perldoc.perl.org.

Here is our local, out-dated (pre-5.6) version:

When your manager forbids it -- but do consider replacing them :-).

Actually, one good reason is when you already have an existing application written in another language that's all done (and done well), or you have an application language specifically designed for a certain task (e.g. prolog, make).

For various reasons, Perl is probably not well-suited for real-time embedded systems, low-level operating systems development work like device drivers or context-switching code, complex multithreaded shared-memory applications, or extremely large applications. You'll notice that perl is not itself written in Perl.

The new native-code compiler for Perl may reduce the limitations given in the previous statement to some degree, but understand that Perl remains fundamentally a dynamically typed language, and not a statically typed one. You certainly won't be chastized if you don't trust nuclear-plant or brain-surgery monitoring code to it. And Larry will sleep easier, too -- Wall Street programs not withstanding. :-)

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[Corion]: Maybe I shouldn't update software ...
[ambrus]: Corion: my guess is to first read the start of the file to check what format it is out of two or more possibilities, then rewind it and handle it differently depending on the program
[ambrus]: s/program/format/
[Dumu]: ambrus: it's about testing a file for being multiple possible file formats
[ambrus]: In particular, you might want to detect the encoding of a HTML file from between utf-16 versus ascii-based and encoding given in a META tag.
[ambrus]: Dumu: it should probably be safe to change the encoding if you rewind first with seek $file, 0, 0 first
[Dumu]: ambrus: good guess. I'm trying to contribute to a CPAN module, and the existing tests assume they're looking at text files
[Dumu]: ambrus: thank you. I was seeking afterwards. I'll seek first.
[jedikaiti]: Hello, Dumu!

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