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How can I convince my sysadmin/supervisor/employees to use version (5/5.005/Perl instead of some other language)?

by faq_monk (Initiate)
on Oct 08, 1999 at 00:15 UTC ( #575=perlfaq nodetype: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Current Perl documentation can be found at

Here is our local, out-dated (pre-5.6) version:

If your manager or employees are wary of unsupported software, or software which doesn't officially ship with your Operating System, you might try to appeal to their self-interest. If programmers can be more productive using and utilizing Perl constructs, functionality, simplicity, and power, then the typical manager/supervisor/employee may be persuaded. Regarding using Perl in general, it's also sometimes helpful to point out that delivery times may be reduced using Perl, as compared to other languages.

If you have a project which has a bottleneck, especially in terms of translation or testing, Perl almost certainly will provide a viable, and quick solution. In conjunction with any persuasion effort, you should not fail to point out that Perl is used, quite extensively, and with extremely reliable and valuable results, at many large computer software and/or hardware companies throughout the world. In fact, many Unix vendors now ship Perl by default, and support is usually just a news-posting away, if you can't find the answer in the comprehensive documentation, including this FAQ.

If you face reluctance to upgrading from an older version of perl, then point out that version 4 is utterly unmaintained and unsupported by the Perl Development Team. Another big sell for Perl5 is the large number of modules and extensions which greatly reduce development time for any given task. Also mention that the difference between version 4 and version 5 of Perl is like the difference between awk and C++. (Well, ok, maybe not quite that distinct, but you get the idea.) If you want support and a reasonable guarantee that what you're developing will continue to work in the future, then you have to run the supported version. That probably means running the 5.005 release, although 5.004 isn't that bad (it's just one year and one release behind). Several important bugs were fixed from the 5.000 through 5.003 versions, though, so try upgrading past them if possible.

Of particular note is the massive bughunt for buffer overflow problems that went into the 5.004 release. All releases prior to that, including perl4, are considered insecure and should be upgraded as soon as possible.

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