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Re: RFC: How to survive your first few months of Perl

by blazar (Canon)
on Nov 12, 2008 at 18:36 UTC ( #723245=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to RFC: How to survive your first few months of Perl

I personally believe that while it is certainly true that CPAN is one of the major points of strengh for Perl and similarly important are the communities, you're stressing too much the accent on tools as opposed to the basic language itself, which is the starting point for the latter ones, and everything else.

For example, when I once gave a presentation myself about Perl I took a very personal approach, that perhaps was best suited to the environment I was talking to: namely a universitary one as opposed to the $job one you're most likely to refer to... However I started writing the proof a combinatorial identity in two ways: i.e. respectively with managing fussily all indices on sums and omitting (most of) them on assuming null values for certain quantities outside of certain ranges, which made the latter just as sound and as unambiguous as the former, but much more readable at the same time. I did so to illustrate an analogy for dwimmeries. Then one should necessarily talk about contexts. Talking about natural language principles in Perl, especially in terms of statement modifiers, or at least hinting at them would be very important to either get one intrigued about the language itself or letting her decide that it's "not for her." Also, I think that it would be wrong both to omit OO programming in Perl altogether and to refer in detail to any model in particular, be it the one extreme of the DIY "standard" which may scare some or the opposite one of, say, Moose. OTOH one should mention that both exist, and hint to the full spectrum of intermediate possibilities, but above all... now yes: the huge amount of CPAN modules, be they "procedural" (please let me pass the term for lack of fantasy finding a better suited one!) or OO or... whatever!

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Re^2: RFC: How to survive your first few months of Perl
by mpeever (Friar) on Nov 12, 2008 at 18:51 UTC

    I personally believe that while it is certainly true that CPAN is one of the major points of strengh for Perl and similarly important are the communities, you're stressing too much the accent on tools as opposed to the basic language itself, which is the starting point for the latter ones, and everything else.
    I'm with you on this one, but I'm wondering whether the complete context of the talk might make the approache(es) mentioned so far more applicable. If the talk is "How to survive..." and the audience is people who've already decided to learn Perl but are bewildered at the tool choices, then listing resources and tools is entirely appropriate. On the other hand, an introduction to Perl for those interested but not yet crying for help would be much more profitable (IMHO) if it centered on the language itself.

    A friend of mine tells his junior administrators, "The most important thing about Unix is experience, but it doesn't have to be your experience: learn from mine!" I think that applies equally well to Perl. Demonstrating Perl's elegance to people generally piques their interest better than anything else will. Showing how simply Perl solves a real problem is a great segue.

    Along those lines, clear, non-obfuscated Perl is also a great hook. Perl can be very ugly and still run, but it can be beautiful too. Showing Perl's pretty side can really surprise people who've heard the horror stories of write-only code.

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