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Re: I think Perl ruined me as a programmer

by bradenshep (Beadle)
on Nov 02, 2007 at 15:12 UTC ( #648661=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to I think Perl ruined me as a programmer

I realize the use of "ruined" is tongue-in-cheek, but I would change the perspective a bit. Did Perl really make us lazy? I say, no, it didn't. I think we've been lazy all along, but Perl just allowed the most room for our natural laziness.

Now when we use other languages, it feels painful. You have to work so hard, type so much, compared to working in Perl. When you've driven a sports car, compacts feel slower, and way less fun.

Perl has, by far, the highest thought-per-keystroke ratio of any language I've used. It's highly context-sensitive, the default variables and myriad builtins; it's one of the hardest languages to just skim if you don't know it. But once you learn the language a bit, more and more powerful statements are opened to you.
map, grep and reduce are confusing and difficult to understand as a new Perl programmer (at least from an imperative background). But once you get your head around them, you start replacing loops all over the place with them. And you want them so badly when forced to use another language.

In conclusion, I don't believe Perl made us lazy, and therefore impatient with other languages. I think Perl showed us a new level of concise, flexible power. Once you've used a table saw, you won't be happy with a hand saw.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re^2: I think Perl ruined me as a programmer
by Spidy (Chaplain) on Nov 06, 2007 at 07:20 UTC
    Oh, wow. You just summed up exactly what I've been feeling - I've been forced to start picking up some ASP.Net and do some PHP debugging for work, and in all cases I'm dying to be able to use map and grep.
Re^2: I think Perl ruined me as a programmer
by Petras (Friar) on Nov 05, 2007 at 01:48 UTC
    Funny. Just yesterday, trying to make the macro run better, I actually had to think, "How do I make a bubble sort again? It's been so long..." Well, so I-never-thought-I'd-have-to-do-that-again code later, and now in my project thisproject.bubble_sort works. But, man I missed typing sort!
    Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats.

    -Howard Aiken
Re^2: I think Perl ruined me as a programmer
by sv87 (Acolyte) on Aug 19, 2008 at 12:03 UTC
    I could not agree more. I pay the bills as a graphics designer and web developer, and I sometimes have to do some PHP debugging work, and really, stuff like map and grep are some of the things I've missed most. Also, I like the fact that the language doesn't get in my way if I quickly need to write a script that will only run once, for instance.

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