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Perl for new projects

by Anonymous Monk
on Nov 18, 2010 at 16:47 UTC ( #872298=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
Anonymous Monk has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

What type of 'new' projects are implemented in Perl on professional level ? (New = since last 1 year and future).

Mainly I am asking because there are variety of languages are in demand and I still see the latests sites like 'blekko.com' using Perl.

Comment on Perl for new projects
Re: Perl for new projects
by zentara (Archbishop) on Nov 18, 2010 at 17:18 UTC
Re: Perl for new projects
by Illuminatus (Curate) on Nov 18, 2010 at 18:32 UTC
    Warning: subjective, non-quantifiable information to follow

    My experience has been that most perl projects are part of a system engineer/administrator position or as a database administrator. While I have seen lots of job reqs that mention perl as a requirement, it is not usually a top priority except in the aforementioned situations. Also, if questions to SoPW is any indication, positions involving the processing of bioinformatic/genomic data rely on perl.

    fnord

Re: Perl for new projects
by sundialsvc4 (Monsignor) on Nov 18, 2010 at 19:28 UTC

    Perl has been aptly called “the Swiss Army Knife®, or the duct tape, of the web.”  http://perl.about.com/od/gettingstartedwithperl/p/whatisperl.htm

    But it is used for a lot more than just “the web,” because it turns out to be so gosh-darned useful for so many things.   Many languages (such as PHP) are fairly special-purpose in their “typical” deployments, and of course are carefully designed to excel at doing those things in those environments.   (Which they unquestionably do, to the satisfaction of many people including myself.)   Perl, on the other hand, is truly “general-purpose.”   It is actually quite difficult to generalize about all the many things that Perl is called-upon to do.   That’s because it is the well-worn, well-honed tool that is carefully put away in so many professionals’ daily tool boxes, and picked up daily.   (Almost...) No matter what the job is, this tool will do it.

    While I am writing this, four different computers are churning away at the task of parsing about 11,000 SAS,® SQL and Shell-script files to populate an SQLite database with about 89 megabytes’ worth of information.   All in Perl.   (They will be finished in about eleven minutes.)   This task obviously has nothing at all to do with “the web,” but Perl is doing the job with grace and style ... and raw power.

    Take this advice from an old fart who’s been programming professionally for thirty years:   Get to know Perl.   Get to know it very, very well.   The time you spend doing so, will be time well spent.

    “Languages” will always be in-demand.   There is no “One Language To Rule Them All,” nor will there ever be.   The more of them you know, the better.   (My personal count is “somewhere north of twenty.”)   No language will ever displace any other, because millions of lines of critical source-code have been written in each.   It takes time to learn, or even to learn about, a programming language, of course.   Just make it your business to put Perl in your toolkit, and do it soon.

      my farts are not quite as smelly as yours sundialsvc4 ;) however i also picked up perl some years ago as i discovered you could do lots of "whatever you need done" system administration tasks, data tranformation tasks, and CGI..can all be done in perl with minimum fuss. i'm not sure yet what to make of perl 6...as now it's back to declarative datatypes, and other syntatic sugar that makes it look like java with regard to OO. i'm sure it's all good when you need it..but i don't think you should be forced into it. looks a bit like bloat to me. anyway, whilst perl is not as popular as it used to be, it's still installed by default with the OS for the OS'es that count. So while some people can't adapt to any task and require Visual Studio and VB .net or C++, and a month to do any minor task....you can usually do it in perl in about 5 or 10 minutes.
      the hardest line to type correctly is: stty erase ^H

      Perl is still popular with banks and stock brokers, because they rely on data from a large number of sources, all of it incompatible. Example, second-by-second or end-of-day data from 150 stock exchanges, each in incompatible formats. They need to be converted to a canonical form and loaded into a database or processing program. Perl is ideal because it is tolerably fast, has powerful regular expressions and test processing, and is fast to develop, compared to C/C++/Java. When a feed breaks because the exchange changed the format without prior notice ( or your bosses didn't pass down the change announcement ), you need the program updated today, not next month.

      The team I was with until June was processing 225, 000, 000, 000 records a day, in duplicate, when I left.

      As Occam said: Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem.

Re: Perl for new projects
by pemungkah (Priest) on Nov 18, 2010 at 23:42 UTC
    blekko.com - new search engine; both our data storage and front end are Perl (custom key/value store with some extra twists and Template::Toolkit + JQuery for our front end.

    Currently handling a million queries a day. Lots more coming. And yes, we are hiring. :)

Re: Perl for new projects
by dsheroh (Parson) on Nov 19, 2010 at 12:22 UTC
    Although I don't know how much detail I should really go into at this point, I have recently started in a position where we will be writing a large-scale Perl application to manage academic publications. (Or, well, re-writing. They have an existing Perl app for this which has evolved over the last several years and we'll now be building a new open source app from the ground up to replace it.)

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