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Re: Ruby vs Perl vs LISP; the killer feature lacking in Ruby

by sundialsvc4 (Abbot)
on May 21, 2012 at 12:11 UTC ( #971603=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


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.


Comment on Re: Ruby vs Perl vs LISP; the killer feature lacking in Ruby
Re^2: Ruby vs Perl vs LISP; the killer feature lacking in Ruby
by jdporter (Canon) on May 21, 2012 at 13:58 UTC

    Exactly, sundial. And this is why Java rules the world. CPAN nicely differentiates Perl from the pack of other 4GLs, but it's a child's toy compared to what exists in Java land. Just look at what is coming out of Apache alone, not to mention all of the independent development incubators (and not to mention -- really -- all the commercial software libs for Java out there...)

      Alas, in my three decades in this biz, nothing “rules the world.”   Although it may well be human nature that drives every new language to proclaim that it just did so.   The Lone Ranger rides his horse through the radio waves to the entertainment of all, but in real life there ain’t no silver bullet.   Sux...

      I daresay that, during the course of any given work week, most of us switch routinely from one language to another, including Java “of course,” and that we are most-often dealing with systems that involve more than one language and/or type of computer system at a time.   (Therefore, a “Perl” community most emphatically is not a “Perl-only” community.)

      Java is a fine tool.   If it could seriously have standardized on just one pseudo-machine implementation (as seen by the language, that is), it might well be a better one.   Ruby is a fine tool.   LISP is ... The First One.

      Nevertheless:   the moment the word, “versus,” enters into speech about computer programming languages, I do think that a key point has just been missed.   Computer programming tools (of all sorts ...) fundamentally co-exist.   Wholesale replacement of any technology is never a viable option; nor is it (almost) ever justifiable to the business.   Every technology that, all(!!) things considered, offers a pragmatic benefit will always be considered, but the total decision is never cut-and-dry and ought never be judged as being such.   This practical observation obviates much religious fervor.

      (Heh.   Did I just say that this entire thread is pointless?   Oops.   Me bad.   Have fun.)

        Maybe I should have put "rules the world" in quotes.

        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.
        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.

        Yes. And Java has much bigger giants than pretty much any other language. So by this metric, it is more "important".

Re^2: Ruby vs Perl vs LISP; the killer feature lacking in Ruby
by BrowserUk (Pope) on May 22, 2012 at 03:21 UTC
    The way to get anywhere is by standing on the shoulders of giants.

    And what if the giants you like to walk all over had taken that same attitude?

    All those flat-pack libraries that you are so dependent upon wouldn't exist, and you'd be dead in the water.

    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.

    I'm not a FaceSpace, MyBook, twittingGram fan, but the level & depth of the technology behind the recent IPO shows that you cannot throw a few pre-existing modules together and create success; you have to (re-)invent a whole shitload of technologies too.

    You recently cried wolf (“Be afraid. Be very afraid.”) on the subject of unit labor costs; but completely miss the fact that it is only once jobs are reduced to line assembly place-fillers, that they become commoditized.

    Churning out yet another shopping cart by mix'n'matching few self-assembly libraries is the very epitome of that commoditzation. The guys researching, inventing, writing, and maintaining those libraries should have healthy and financially secure futures. Those using them; not so much.


    With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
    Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
    "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
    In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

    The start of some sanity?

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