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Re: Get me excited about perl

by fluffyvoidwarrior (Monk)
on Sep 20, 2012 at 09:18 UTC ( #994614=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Get me excited about perl

Perl is huge and it can do everything. Even speed is rarely a problem these days. But the real clincher for me is text handling. The world runs on a few hundred characters at almost every level and Perl lets you control this system in almost any way imaginable. Meaning is abstracted from external reality into this system to be manipulated by Perl. On more than one occasion I have solved problems in Perl that teams of cleverer people than me couldn't solve without it.

Hilarious though it may sound to The Monks, it is not rare for me to be referred to as a computer genius (I kid you not) but the reality is simply that a combination of Perl and real world experience makes one look good to people who don't have either. Perl stands you on the shoulders of giants and gives you intellectual gearing like no system I have encountered in 30 years of programming. It's a problem solving framework, if you can conceive of a thing then with Perl in your toolbox you can usually find a way.

For example, text handling lets you orchestrate unix systems as problem solving facilities. This gives you almost all the power of the world of modern computing to do with as you will - for the price of a download. Hell, with Perl you can even write systems that write themselves as they run. How cool is that?

If you think I'm talking too big about a "scripting language", just ponder for a few minutes what Turing could have done with Perl. Having "Many ways to do it" gives you evolutionary options, many pathways are open..



Maybe you can use some of that?


Comment on Re: Get me excited about perl
Re^2: Get me excited about perl
by sundialsvc4 (Abbot) on Sep 20, 2012 at 22:21 UTC

    Yes, it might be worthwhile to mention the tasks that Larry Wall was originally faced with, all those years ago, when awk wasn’t quite cutting the mustard for him.   Perl has always been exemplary about ripping text strings apart, really doing just about anything with character data, and we all know that we all do a lot of that.   Anybody who’s ever received a wacky file from a client, or who needed to vet it for the mistakes that the client didn’t bother to fix, will instantly identify with any power-tool in that department, especially one with this long of a pedigree.

    I still wince when I read on other forums about what people manage to do with “Bash scripts.”   To me it feels like boasting about being able to cross a raging river on a floating pie-pan (just to show that you can do it?).   Perl gets a lot of use as a simple scripting language, but to that use-case it brings a rich existing-code base and tremendous built-in firepower.

    I think that you get people excited about this language most by showing people things that they know they need to do all the time, and to simply show them what Perl can bring to that requirement.   You don’t have to bury them in detail.   Perl has been doing exactly these things, for people just like them, for a very long time now.   It’s an experienced language ... and people keep choosing it.

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