good chemistry is complicated,
and a little bit messy -LW
Problems, not The Solution.
No, Perl does not need 'The Solution' to survive, it needs Problems, and there are lots of problems in daily development work that Perl is The Uniquely Best Suited Tool to solve in the most clean, concise, efficient and portable way.
Results, not Hype.
To realize this requires a broad and deep personal experience with computer architectures, OS'es, languages and tools (ie. you must have worked with complex data structs such as deep combined hashes&arrays and you must have wrestled with pointers/references in C, C++/STL, C#, Java, AWK, Perl etc. on DOS'es, UNIX'es and WindowsXX'es).
The Perl Way, or the Highway.
Maybe you just need a fast & flashy framework to put up a web site. Maybe you just need a large scale team framework to crank out a lot of heavy business objects.
Then, maybe you don't need the general power and flexibility of Perl to solve the tasks in your specific problem domain, or maybe you don't want to enter a long learning curve to master yet another general language with a large library. Then by all means: take The Highway that will solve your specific problem today!
"Who's inferior or dying?"
But don't think Perl is dying because the majority of developers may take The Highway to solve specific problems; The majority of developers do not have a broad and deep personal experience with computer architectures, OS'es, languages and tools, but the day they really crash&burn on The Highway with their slick&slim or obese&obstructing vehicles, they will either die, -- or they will go looking for an offroader like Perl to cruise the bush, just like wee did, back then when we needed it. And they will certainly not feel inferiorior for having a Hummer in the driveway
The Way i see it,