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Re: Re: Re: Perl myths ?

by corenth (Monk)
on Feb 24, 2004 at 05:31 UTC ( #331317=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


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

I am patient. I listen to some of my workmates expressly prefere PHP to Perl. That's an understatement. "Deride Perl in favour of PHP" might be a better phrase for it. Now, I might prefere PHP to Perl on occasion if only for the fact that I am a novice to each. But I think that's beside the point.

The fact of the matter is, I prefere Perl on easthetic and social grounds. It feels "good". But that does not defend the language from its critics (AFAIK). (Though I think it should be a consideration when choosing your tools. Provided that what you choose isn't wildly inapropriate)

What bothers me is the insistant statement that "Language X sucks" etc, without supporting information, or very little. Further, when it occures in my environment, I am at a loss to really compare the two, and I feel that I shouldn't have to. So, Perl does not yet get a good defense from me, and thus gets less use. *sigh*

So, my reply is really a question:: What are the best social actions that can make these debates clear and without malice?

thanks,
    willy :)

$state->{tired} = "true";


Comment on Re: Re: Re: Perl myths ?
Re^4: Perl myths ?
by adrianh (Chancellor) on Feb 26, 2004 at 14:13 UTC
    What are the best social actions that can make these debates clear and without malice?

    Don't be malicious seems the simplest answer :-)

    Don't use emotional language over non-emotional issues. You cannot argue reasonably at somebody who says "Foo sucks", you can with somebody who says "Foo does X and it should do W because of Y".

    If somebody says "Perl sucks" (or "PHP sucks" or whatever), ask why. Deal with the reason rather than the emotion. If they're not willing to talk rationally then walk away. It's just not worth the trouble.

    Also remember that language choice isn't just one of "technical" merit. There are many, in a narrow sense of the word, non-technical issues in picking a language.

    If all of your previous development work is in C++, all your developers are experienced in C++, and your development infrastructure is built around C++ then (not very surprisingly) C++ might be a better choice than Perl - even if Perl is a better technical choice for a particular problem. The overhead of introducing a new language is more than any benefit it might bring.

    Why has PHP got such mind share? Because it's easily and securely installed by default on most ISPs virtual hosting boxes - and mod_perl cannot be - so there are a lot more people who can potentially use PHP code on their W3 site. Yes PHP doesn't have some features that make programming in the large simpler, but you can work around those with discipline. You cannot work around the complete absence of mod_perl. Because of this PHP has more of a lock on the low-end web site world that runs on shared boxes.

    Fortunately I don't spend a lot of time coding in that world, so I use languages that are more appropriate for my particular environment. However, I wouldn't criticise somebody else's language choice in a completely different context.

    As other people have pointed out other "bad" languages like COBOL and Forth are still in widespread usage because they perform extremely well in specific contexts.

    Hell, I'd probably be using Lisp in many of the places I currently use Perl if I could be guaranteed the same level of availability :-)

      Don't be malicious seems the simplest answer :-)

      Ahh :) the simple answer.

      I guess it comes down to looking at the emotional response vs. the rational one. It's hard for people to do so before responding to criticism or making criticism. I think it's a failing that most people have.

      http://www.theperlreview.com/Issues/v0i7.shtml

      was mentioned either on this thread or on one about perl stereotypes (i can't remember :P ) ... it's that kind of technical clarity that makes the discussion easier/more palatable.

      Also remember that language choice isn't just one of "technical" merit. There are many, in a narrow sense of the word, non-technical issues in picking a language.

      I agree heartily. If you don't like it, you won't learn it well and won't perform well. Same goes for availability and support.

      I think that about covers it.


      thanks,

      willy

      $state->{tired} = "true";

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