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This thread reminds me of that old song sung by Woody Guthrie about the cowtrail, about the drovers who hit the cowtrail for pleasure. "I can't tell you what level of trouble they give us as we drive these dogies along."
Perl continues to have respect and is widely used in startups where I work, because it gets the job done.
I work the gamut from Perl to Python to Java and even PHP when I have to. I can say that I truly enjoy working and thinking in Python and of course Perl. Each language environment becomes its own way of thinking.
Anyone who is going to work on the higher skilled teams that consult with startups in the valley today is going to be working in a hybrid environment, picking and choosing tools and using the languages that those tools are written in.
The startup that I am currently working with probably tells their investors and the world that they are all Java all the time. But of course, I'm doing nearly full time Perl hacking for them.
And last week I just switched over to using this really cool corner of Perl called Moose. ;-) I am enjoying it very much thank you Stvn!
So try and tell me that no one is using Perl anymore.
I use Java where and when I have to. For example I'd really only use Lucene/Hadoop for search and massive distribution of data. You don't use a sql database for that level of distribution.
But plenty of the glue will be written in either Perl or Python. In the *nix world, which is where all the startup are, Perl is used heavily.
Saying for example that Google only uses Perl for admin is like saying that they only use it for the core of their business. When you are all about massive distribution you are all about network admin. Network admin is not exactly exciting in a ruby on rails kind of way, but hey, who gets your dogies to kansas.
Moose is fun and it is Perl. I have the CPAN at my fingertips and the ease of Moose. I'm not waiting for Perl 6. I'm not waiting for Godot. I have to solve problems today as elegantly as I can using the best tools at my disposal. Who needs excitement when you can get the job done and have time for surfing!