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Re: Just Cant Win

by jima (Vicar)
on Aug 10, 2001 at 21:02 UTC ( #103951=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Just Cant Win

In the Perl discussions on The WELL, someone made this very point about using Perl as a system admin language. They compared Perl with C, and said that, once they learned C, they felt that they knew the whole language. With Perl, there's always more stuff to learn, and you never get the feeling that you know it all, and are constantly having to figure out the new tricks in other people's code. The argument ends thusly:

Don't get me wrong, I *like* Perl, but my ideal system language is finite.

Comment on Re: Just Cant Win
Re: Re: Just Cant Win
by kjherron (Pilgrim) on Aug 10, 2001 at 22:33 UTC
    The other day one of the other developers here was looking at some of my code where I'd done something like:
    if (-d $foo) { ... } elsif (-s _) { ... }
    He had never seen the _ file-test optimization and leaped to the conclusion that it was a syntax error. My response to him was not very kind--I literally told him to RTFM--but I can sort of sympathize with the position he was in. For whatever reason he was unaware of that particular feature, and it may not be immediately obvious where to find out about it. In hindsight, sure, go to the file-test-operator documentation, but it could just as easily have been some obscure variable/bareword syntax, or a call to a function named '_'. And for that matter, if you didn't know the right perldoc command to show the file-test documentation, it'd probably take a few tries to find it. I've been using perl since version 3.something, but there are lots of times I get tired of having to keep track of all the syntax idiosyncracies.

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