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Re: Re: Re: Perl Functionality in Java

by samtregar (Abbot)
on Nov 07, 2002 at 21:34 UTC ( #211243=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Re: Perl Functionality in Java
in thread Perl Functionality in Java

If this were strictly true Perl would not exist.

Hogwash. The problem presented is one of an experienced programmer in language X starting a new project in language Y. This is entirely different from the problem of a language designer, expert in both languages X and Y, creating a new language Z.

However, the importation of powerful idioms such as map, grep, foreach, et al, in no way restricts the expressiveness of Java. Quite the contrary, they have the chance to cut through the verbosity and rigidity of standard Java, thereby making the language more usable.

It's a possiblity, but I think the risk outweighs the potential gain. This might work out well for an experienced Java hacker that already has all the standard Java idioms at his fingertips. Mixing in some Perl might be a big help. However, for a Perl geek trying to swim in the Java swamp, these imported idioms will essentially act as a crutch. Worse, they will render his code unmaintainable by normal Java programmers. All in all, I think this is best avoided.

-sam


Comment on Re: Re: Re: Perl Functionality in Java
Re: Re: Re: Re: Perl Functionality in Java
by zaimoni (Beadle) on Nov 08, 2002 at 05:14 UTC

    Hogwash. The problem presented is one of an experienced programmer in language X starting a new project in language Y. This is entirely different from the problem of a language designer, expert in both languages X and Y, creating a new language Z.

    Neither of us know how many languages the querent is familiar with (as opposed to fluent). If he has already written programs in 10+ languages (like me), it is fully legitimate to consider starting a new project in language Y to be a variant of creating a new language Z based in both languages X and Y. Besides, he needs something to analogize from. Since he's Perl-dominant, he should analogize from Perl.

    ... However, for a Perl geek trying to swim in the Java swamp, these imported idioms will essentially act as a crutch. Worse, they will render his code unmaintainable by normal Java programmers. All in all, I think this is best avoided.

    After learning Java. Not now: don't "put the cart before the horse". It might be wise for the querent to review the Java and C/C++ sections of the perltrap doc "in reverse".

    Since his employers dragged him into a Java project, they implicitly asked for these imported idioms. Furthermore, the project may be assumed to either be very well planned (in which case this should be anticipated), or very behind schedule (in which case they won't care).

    Assuming both adequate comments and compliance to corporate style guidelines, Java programmers that cannot maintain the resulting code probably can't write code, either. Interpreting Perl idioms in Java is easy, compared to interpreting them in ML. (Ever try emulating a grep or map with no loop control structures, only recursion and branching?)

    He will have to Java-ize these idioms for performance reasons, anyway. Think of it as rapid code prototyping followed by conversion of performance bottlenecks.

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