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perloin (v)

by bsb (Priest)
on May 06, 2008 at 04:23 UTC ( #684852=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

From WordNet (r) 2.0 [wn]: perloin v : make off with language features of others [syn: {pilfer}, {cabbage}, {pinch}, {abstract}, {snarf}, {swipe}, {hook}, {sneak}, {filch}, {nobble}, {lift}] From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 [gci +de]: Perloin \Per*loin"\, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Perloined}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Perloining}.] [OF. purloignier, porloignier, to retard, delay; pur, por, pour, for (L. pro) + loin far, far off (L. longe). See {Prolong}, and cf. {Eloign}.] To take or carry away features, syntax or for one's language; hence, to steal; to take by theft; to filch.

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Re: perloin (v)
by zentara (Archbishop) on May 06, 2008 at 11:29 UTC
    I don't get it. What does this have to do with Perl, other than the first 4 letters? It seems as if it is suggesting Perl is pilfering from other languages, or vice-versa. In my observation, there are certain tasks that we require computers to do, and each language has it's own implementation. When someone releases a hash library for C, does that mean he pilfered the idea from Perl? No. Hashes are a desirable data structure. and each language will find a way to implement it, independent of other languages.

    It makes me think of the horrible idea of software patents.

    I suppose something like Python's use of whitespace and indentation (yuck) could be something different and unique, but I wouldn't want Perl to perloin that idea.


    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. Cogito ergo sum a bum

      Oh, for FSM's sake. I do get it. It is a pun on purloin, it is humour.

      Taking features from other languages is a good thing. (Well, mostly.)

      Different maybe, unique not. For example Clean allows you to use either indentation or curlies (or at least did last time I looked). And it worked quite well and I can asure you that you do get used to it easily. And I bet there are other languages that use identation as well.

      "It makes me think of the horrible idea of software patents."

      I often wonder, whenever I open an Adobe product and notice that text on the info block that says "Contains an implementation of the LZW algorithm," if there's some set of intellectual property laws regarding algorithms and software that I should be aware of...

        From what I remember from the gif-lzw problem , the writers of the software that use it are responsible to pay any royalties, the end user is not. And there are leeways for free software too, like if you write a Perl program that used lzw, but don't charge for it, no problem.

        I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. Cogito ergo sum a bum
Re: purloin (v)
by footpad (Monsignor) on May 06, 2008 at 23:40 UTC

    For some reason, this post appeals to me (though I confess I prefer the more traditional spelling).

    Of course, in software engineering circles, we call this reuse and standing on the shoulders of giants.

    and then there are Ovid's thoughts on the matter.

    --f

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