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The Tao of Perl

by tedv (Pilgrim)
on Nov 29, 2000 at 22:20 UTC ( #43970=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to The Secretary wants to Make LWP Requests too...
in thread Apparent Inconsistencies in Perl Function Naming

On one level you're right. Languages are designed to fit with our personal understanding and methods of thought. The early programming languages took none of this into account, which made software design difficult at best. Most languages take the approach of, "The reason software design is difficult is that you're not using enough (functions|variables|comments|linguistic_names|classes|libraries). In truth, the reason programming is so difficult is that thinking is so difficult.

Most people have a prefered method of thinking and do not want to change that. Programming opens you up to new ways of thinking, and Perl opens you up the most because it encourages so many different ways of attacking a problem.

So in some sense, princepawn, you're also wrong. That's because if the language doesn't make sense to you, the programmer, the problem is with the programmer for being unwilling to adopt the language's mindset. And this is as true of Cobol as it is of Perl, although Perl definitly encouages more ways of thinking about a problem.

Princepawn, I feel like your view of the perl mindset is, "Whatever makes sense to my mind should be easy to describe in perl." You're claiming that you are the "enlightened" one and that it's perl's job to enlighten itself. In reality, each time you say, "This doesn't make sense to me-- someone else must have done this wrong," you move further away from understanding the true purpose of perl.

The true purpose of perl is to serve others, but it can only do this if you humble your mind. But much like enlightenment, I suppose that needs to be experienced, not explained.

-Ted


Comment on The Tao of Perl
Re: The Tao of Perl
by princepawn (Parson) on Nov 29, 2000 at 23:04 UTC
    Princepawn, I feel like your view of the perl mindset is, "Whatever makes sense to my mind should be easy to describe in perl."

    The operative word in your statement is feel and certainly it must be, because the very first part of the attack I launched on the discrepancy between concept and naming in Perl syntax was to discuss my boss and his problems with the language. So, I wasn't saying it should only make sense to my mind.

    The true purpose of perl is to serve others, but it can only do this if you humble your mind.

    Hmm, well the over 200 submitted RFCs and the fact that Larry Wall is planning a complete rewrite of the language from the ground up should tell you something: even Larry Wall thinks that the current Perl has problems serious enough that they cannot be reconciled within the framework of evolution that occurred from @perl = (1..5);

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