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New to PERL but how is this better than DOS?

by Kevin_Raymer
on Feb 13, 2007 at 20:43 UTC ( #599773=perlquestion: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??
Kevin_Raymer has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

Hi All!

I am pretty much being forced to code in PERL these days when I really want to use DOS on Solaris. Can someone tell me what the benefits of Perl are over DOS?

I am still trying get PERL installed on my Sun machine..its not easy I have 22 years experience in IT

I spend most of my time coding
Thanks,

KR

Comment on New to PERL but how is this better than DOS?
Re: New to PERL but how is this better than DOS?
by jettero (Monsignor) on Feb 13, 2007 at 20:48 UTC

    I'm not prepared to sell you on the wonders of Perl (not an acronym btw); but I am really excruciatingly curious about DOS. I'm not finding anything really obvious in google... nothing that stands out anyway. If you could link to it, that'd be wonderful. I hope you don't mean ... er... MSDOS batch files...

    Once you use Perl for a few months, you'll really like it. I promise.

    UPDATE: oh, you do mean msdos. Honestly, I hope it's a joke. :) But if you're serious then the benefits of perl over dos are far too numerous to list.

    -Paul

Re: New to PERL but how is this better than DOS?
by ikegami (Pope) on Feb 13, 2007 at 21:03 UTC

    I'm assuming you mean batch files?

    Scripting languages such as a batch files serve a different purpose than programming languages. You can't compare a particular scripting language to a particular programming language. Inevitably, the difference you'd find would be the differences between all scripting languages and all programming languages.

    By the way, as for as batch files go, they're a very weak and poor scripting language. bash script can accomplish more with much less difficulty. I remember using the date command and a dynamically generated batch file to input text from the user into a variable. How silly is that? We have set /p now, but that's just one example.

Re: New to PERL but how is this better than DOS?
by marto (Chancellor) on Feb 13, 2007 at 21:19 UTC
    Perl (not PERL), is a language, DOS (capitals for this one) is an operating system. You don't use them for the same purpose. If you have had 22 years of experience I am sure you will have read the odd installation file. Have you managed to find the file you downloaded? From looking at your previous post, you don't get DOS on Solaris (well perhaps an emulator), so you want to open a terminal window on whatever graphical desktop you are running and follow the instructions from installation file. I recently built Perl on Solaris 10, so if you can provide sensible information (what stage you are at? Have you unpacked the tar file? Got a compiler installed...) let me know where you are at with this, and what you cant do.

    Update: Also check out the README.solaris file.

    Martin

      No, MS-DOS is an overgrown binary loader with a bad attitude. :)

      (NT and hence I'll grant the moniker of operating system (grudgingly :), though.)

Re: New to PERL but how is this better than DOS?
by johngg (Abbot) on Feb 13, 2007 at 21:43 UTC
    From your mention of Java Desktop it looks like you have a recent version of Solaris on your system. You should find that Perl comes already installed with the operating system. Unless you want to install extra modules that require compilation, the Perl that comes with the O/S should be sufficient for your needs. If you can start a terminal (I'm not sure where they hide them in Java Desktop but they will be on a menu somewhere) what happens if you type /usr/bin/perl -v at the prompt? If you get several lines printed with information about perl interpreter version etc. then you're in business.

    To get started writing scripts you need to create a plain file to hold your code, make it executable and then use an editor to add code, something like

    $ touch myscript $ chmod +x myscript $ vi myscript i (to enter insert mode) #!/usr/bin/perl # use strict; use warnings; print "Hello World\n"; <ESC> (to exit insert mode) :wq (save file and exit) $ ./myscript Hello World $

    Trivial example obviously but I hope this gets you started.

    Cheers,

    JohnGG

Re: New to PERL but how is this better than DOS?
by ysth (Canon) on Feb 13, 2007 at 21:48 UTC
Re: New to PERL but how is this better than DOS?
by gregor42 (Parson) on Feb 13, 2007 at 22:04 UTC
    I am pretty much being forced to code in PERL these days when I really want to use DOS on Solaris.

    A few other monks have tried to answer your question or have followed up with questions of their own, so I'll submit my request for more clarity along with theirs...

    Assuming that you are referring to MS-DOS, I am confused by you wanting to "use DOS on Solaris".

    Solaris is a flavor of Unix. It is an operating system with a command line prompt, as is DOS. They both have the command 'cd'. That would be where the similarities start to stretch considerably.

    Some might call refer to DOS as Bizzaro-Unix. Even the solidus (a.k.a. slash) is backwards!

    But seriously folks... You don't use DOS on Solaris - that would be redundant-ridiculous. (Of course, you could run Solaris under VMWare on Windows...)

    The Perl programming language is extremely expressive and is a natural compliment to any operating system. You can do a lot more with a lot less code with Perl than with either DOS batch scripts or even with Unix shell scripts. Perl runs on the Windows platform as well as Unix variants, so what you learn to do on one platform you can reuse on others.

    It is a natural reaction to distrust what is new and to be resistant to learning new things. This is a human trait. Even people enamored with technology find that they have a hard time giving it up when the New thing comes along to replace it. Change is Scary.

    You have however, come to the right place if you are starting on your journey as a Perl developer. There is no shortage of expertise here and you will not find it's like again elsewhere. My advice is to make liberal use of Super Search to help you learn, and only when you find yourself truly stuck - to then humbly ask the advice of the monks again. You may find your reception more to your liking.

    Whoever is 'forcing' you to use Perl is giving you the opportunity of learning something new and powerful. Look upon it as a gift rather than a curse and you will in time be rewarded.



    Wait! This isn't a Parachute, this is a Backpack!
Re: New to PERL but how is this better than DOS?
by TGI (Vicar) on Feb 13, 2007 at 23:59 UTC

    I do most of my perl development on a Windows system, and it provides a big boost in capability compared to what can be achieved using batch scripting.

    Probably the single biggest advantage Perl offers is the ability to easily check whether something you just did succeded.

    If you want something more MSDOS like, shell scripting is the Unix equivalent. Pretty much any Unix shell will offer tools and capabilities far beyond what you are used to from MSDOS. Common shells are sh, csh, tcsh, bash, and ksh. Any of them will readily allow you to achieve better productivity than batch scripting.

    Many people use Perl as a turbo-charged shell environment. In fact Perl excels at this task. For you, an big advantage of using Perl instead of shell scripting may be that you can easily run your perl scripts on Win32 systems. In my experience, the various unix shells don't work quite as well on Win32.

    As an experienced programmer, if you pick up a copy of Learning Perl, you should be able to breeze through it in way less than the suggested 40 hours (that's what the edition I learned with said, I don't know what the latest version says). This site is an excellent resource for additional learning.

    Good luck with the new endeavor.


    TGI says moo

Re: New to PERL but how is this better than DOS?
by aufflick (Deacon) on Feb 14, 2007 at 02:51 UTC
    I am very proud of the restraint and friendliness of my fellow monks.

    I must say, though, that this is surely a rev-up.

    Kevin_Raymer's home node contains gems like:

    "Glad to be out here I am willing to code for hire also you can message me in the chatterbox application (is that written in DOS?)"

    Someone who has figured out what their home node and chatterbox is for would surely not ask "is that written in DOS"?

    Kevin, if you are serious, then it's great that you have finally found a place where you will learn loads of great information about coding as a refuge from the land of DOS.

    Incidentally, you may all be interested in an old Sun Solaris humour usenet post: The Dosfish that sails upon the Pea Sea. Enjoy :)

      Kevin_Raymer's home node contains gems like:

      "Glad to be out here I am willing to code for hire also you can message me in the chatterbox application (is that written in DOS?)"

      How 'bout "****Here are some Perl tips for you newbies!*****"?!? Is this supposed to be a keep pouring your ideas thing?

      The "Perl" tips from the home node were copy and pasted verbatim from this page: http://www.allenware.com/icsw/icswidx.htm

      It's the syllabus for Lesson 8, from a course on MS-DOS batch files.

      Please don't feed the troll.

Re: New to PERL but how is this better than DOS?
by cdarke (Prior) on Feb 14, 2007 at 09:11 UTC
    I seriously suggest you get some solid training on basic UNIX skills.
Re: New to PERL but how is this better than DOS?
by derby (Abbot) on Feb 14, 2007 at 10:22 UTC
Re: New to PERL but how is this better than DOS?
by grinder (Bishop) on Feb 14, 2007 at 11:09 UTC

    Dear Kevin,

    Solaris is one of the platforms of choice for Perl, you should have no trouble installing it with the following commands (run as root, and assuming you've downloaded the source to the latest release, currently 5.8.8):

    bunzip2 stable.tar.bz2 # may require installation from sunsite tar -xf stable.tar cd perl-5.8.8 # adjust as appropriate configure -des && make all test install

    and you shall see, it is better than DOS.

    • another intruder with the mooring in the heart of the Perl

Re: New to PERL but how is this better than DOS?
by zentara (Archbishop) on Feb 14, 2007 at 14:14 UTC
    I've seen this "DOS" confusion before, from college grads who had a few IT classes back in the 80's, and use the term "DOS" to describe commandline batch operations. They think anything done at the commandline is DOS. Just another legacy of Microsoft destroying minds with Windows. I'd like to know who he works for, so I can make sure I don't own any of their stock. :-)

    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. Cogito ergo sum a bum

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