in reply to Ruby vs Perl vs LISP; the killer feature lacking in Ruby
I’ve worked in way too many programming languages now (including one of my own invention) to pick any favorites, nor particularly to feel that the way of thinking imposed by one vs. the other is “onerous.” I simply don’t, so to speak, indulge in flame-wars anymore. (And I am not, by making that quip, saying that this is what this thead is. I don’t.) I also avoid arguments or business propositions that make heavy use of adjectives that end in “-er.”
To me, the “importance of” the language does not lie in the language itself: it lies in what has already been written and thoroughly debugged in it. In the case of Perl, that’s CPAN. Also significant to me is how easily and how successfully you can integrate what they did with what you did. The way to get anywhere is by standing on the shoulders of giants.
It takes time for any contributed library to develop surety and strength. I witnessed that first-hand in a project that was supposed to replace “Perl code that worked” with Ruby code that was supposedly going to be better. It was not. The “gems” upon which this project was supposed to rely started producing messages like: not yet implemented. And, most troubling, the project was well under way at the first time this deficiency was discovered. I am not faulting the expert programmers who encountered this most-rude discovery. I am not per se praising the Perl language for having the robust packages that happened to be written in it. I would learn and use a language named Golf Ball if it possessed the best software packages.
If your team has to write massive amounts of new source-code itself, it does not matter much what language(s) you are wasting your time and money in.