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A meditation for a rainy day.

I was chatting with a friend about the "rites of passage" that people go through with various programming languages, and we got onto the topic of the things people build "just because", instead of using an off-the-shelf package. Back in the day, many people I knew who worked in Fortran built their own 2D or 3D APIs (mostly for driving plotters or Tektronix displays). It wasn't as cool to use someone else's--you had to build your own to get street cred. (Mine did backface culling. Woo hoo!) Over the years, I've built at least two parser generators in C (one LALR(1), the other LL(1)) when otherwise good alternatives were available, and I cringe to think of the wheels I've reinvented in Perl.

When you look around at what you and your cohorts are doing in Perl, what wheels have you reinvented just because you wanted to have built it yourself?

Here's an incomplete list of wheels I've reinvented in recent history:

  1. Several lightweight templating packages, instead of using HTML::Template or TT (though I use HTML::Template a lot now)
  2. Several chunks of code that make HTTP requests on raw sockets, instead of using LWP et al. (What was I thinking?)
  3. At least one HTML tokenizer/parser (using regex's, of course) instead of using HTML::TokeParser.
  4. A package for constructing XML document object models.
  5. A Wiki (instead of using any of the available ones)

What's on your list?


In reply to "Rites of Passage" wheel reinventing by dws

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