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Re^3: Why Perl?

by CountZero (Bishop)
on Jul 20, 2013 at 15:31 UTC ( #1045447=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^2: Why Perl?
in thread Why Perl?

CPAN is both bad and good. For example, how many XML parsing modules are there? Do you know which ones are best? Fastest?
Now that is a strange argument. Would you be happier if your choice was limited to only one mediocre module rather than 10 modules ranging from bad to excellent?

I have over twenty screwdrivers in my toolchest. None of them will be good for all jobs. Some are versatile, some are specialized; Some I may have used only once (but I was oh so happy I had the right tool at my disposal then), some are used almost daily. Will I throw them away when someone invents a screwdriver that can work more-or-less-somewhat-OK in all circumstances? Of course not! The more choice there is, the better. Yes, it will take a while to get used to your tools and you have to build up experience to know when to use which tool, but after a while your hand grabs the right one without thinking.

CountZero

A program should be light and agile, its subroutines connected like a string of pearls. The spirit and intent of the program should be retained throughout. There should be neither too little or too much, neither needless loops nor useless variables, neither lack of structure nor overwhelming rigidity." - The Tao of Programming, 4.1 - Geoffrey James

My blog: Imperial Deltronics


Comment on Re^3: Why Perl?
Re^4: Why Perl?
by wee (Beadle) on Jul 24, 2013 at 21:01 UTC

    It's a strange argument on the face of fit, but nonetheless true. It's easy to go grab the first module you find, and not realize that it's not been actively maintained, might have been superceeded by another module, etc. There's a lot of stuff on the CPAN -- that's good. But there's a lot that lain fallow on the CPAN -- that might not be so good.

    Your screwdriver analogy presupposes that all your screwdrivers work equally well. But what if you couldn't easily see the tips before selecting them? You can guess how big a screw one might be used for based on handle size, but what if you needed to pull each one out partway in order to make sure that the tip wasn't bent or stripped?

    There's no reason to throw anything away, but there ought to be something that prevents people from having to manually wade through a toolchest trying each tool in order to find what works. Perhaps a voting/rating system or something, not too sure what the solution is to be honest. But I've always felt the CPAN was a double-edged sword, expecially for newer users. Quite a few wheels have been re-invented there. And now I'm out of metaphors. :-)

      Knowing your tools is part of your craft. It is not necessarily handed to you on a platter.

      But, why don't you start a Perl-blog where you rate these modules?

      CountZero

      A program should be light and agile, its subroutines connected like a string of pearls. The spirit and intent of the program should be retained throughout. There should be neither too little or too much, neither needless loops nor useless variables, neither lack of structure nor overwhelming rigidity." - The Tao of Programming, 4.1 - Geoffrey James

      My blog: Imperial Deltronics

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