as a reply to a post which included C, C++, Java, Python and Haskell source code.
A belated post to the thread caused me to look back at it, I found this which I missed before, and would like to respond.
I didn't offer PHP because I've never used it. I have used all of the languages I posted samples of. (Albeit that my "use" of Haskell has been quite limited.)
Whilst I might have found equivalent examples on-line; I would not have been able to judge a good example from a bad.
My point is that Perl is not unique in its ability to provide concise solutions to text processing problems.
I don't think I claimed it was "unique".
The PHP solution is a little longer,
Actually, quite a lot longer.
but is arguably more readable
One-liners aren't meant to be readable. (No one is going to be code reviewing my console history:)
Just as a carpenter doesn't use a dovetail joints for shuttering; I don't waste time and effort for one-off tasks.
not needing to rely on idioms
I don't "need to rely" on idioms; I choose to make use of idioms.
Have you ever watched a professional cook peel & slice or dice an onion? The skin is removed in one or two seconds; the slice and dice is done with a stupifyingly fast knife action. Contrast that to a beginner performing the same task.
In the isolation of a TV cookery program or demo, the professional's actions may be seen as a 'neat trick'; or 'a bit of flash'. But in the context of the professional kitchen where onions are prepared in quantities measured in 10 kilo sacks; the speed is a necessity.
Likewise, it behooves the professional programmer to learn and use the idioms of his chosen language.
And the more of the idioms you master, the more often you'll see the one-line solution to what might otherwise be a week long programming task.
With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.