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The Spirit of Perl

by john1987 (Acolyte)
on Jan 27, 2001 at 04:39 UTC ( #54683=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Perl is one of the best languages to date. It is this because of the people who made it. Saint Larry Wall, creator of Perl (for newbies), made Perl so things can be much easier for the normal programmer. Perl can be interbred with almost every language. HTML is what it is used for mostly in my view. The essence of Perl is its programmers. Without programmers, there would be no such thing as Perl. From the regexes, to the modules, to the packages, to whatever else there is, Perl at its core was meant for the people. As I sit here and write this, code fills my head. Perl has saved my life on the web and it will in the future. No one language has the capacity to do what Perl has done, and no one laungauge EVER will. Some people have been doing perl since 1987. Saint Larry Wall has done good for the programming community. As a community of leaders and followers, we have made Perl as prominent as HTML, but more popular. With the event of perl 6 at short hand, the community of Perl Programmers surrounds the area with join waiting for Saint Larry Wall to release it.

To those who are looking into Perl, i suggest you look around this site. Perlmonks is a community in it self of Perl programmers who are more than willing to answer any of your questions. In my short time here, I haven't seen one person who wasn't willing to help me. Perl is the best laungauge, hands down. Join our community of Perl programmers. Perl is your way of programming.

One person can change the corse of history. One person can destroy the human race. That one person is out there, I intend to find him.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: The Spirit of Perl
by flay (Pilgrim) on Jan 29, 2001 at 17:46 UTC
    A nice sentiment. A few minor points though:

    > No one language has the capacity to do what Perl has done, and no
    > one laungauge EVER will.

    That's a bit over the top. There are programming languages that used more than Perl. There are programming communities every bit as strong as Perl's (Python's, say), though on a smaller scale. Assuming that Perl is the be-all and end-all of programming language evolution blinds us to those areas where Perl can be improved. If no language can do what Perl has done so far, what's the point in Perl 6?

    > Without programmers, there would be no such thing as Perl.

    The same would go for every programming language, no?

    > With the event of perl 6 at short hand,

    It's in the works. I wouldn't hold your breath though.

    > Perl is as prominent as HTML, but more popular

    Um, it obviously isn't. The use of HTML is much more common. If you mean that Perl users love Perl more than HTML users love HTML, I would agree with that, but that isn't what you said.

    > Perl is the best language, hands down

    It depends what the problem you're trying to solve is. If you always reach for Perl first without thinking about how best to solve the problem, you are probably ignoring valid alternatives.

    I'm not trying to flame you here. Your heart is clearly in the right place. There is, however, a fine line between advocacy and fanaticism, and I think you're just a touch on the wrong side there. Demonstrating cool uses of Perl and ways in which it can save people time will always go much further in convincing people that it's a Good Thing, IMHO.
Re: The Spirit of Perl
by deprecated (Priest) on Jan 30, 2001 at 04:00 UTC
    Hi, John.

    I wanted to contribute a little to this thread. As flay mentioned, your heart is clearly in the right place. But (yes, there is a 'but...'), it is very important to keep an open mind. One of perl's major colloquialisms or mottos is "TIMTOWTDI" or, "There Is More Than One Way To Do It," or, as I like to say, "Several Methods Exist For The Accomplishment Of Your Task" SMEFTAOYT. < grin >

    flay's observations are correct. To say that no one language is as good as perl or will ever be as good as perl is painting with an awfully big brush.

    Im going to give you a couple examples, and I hope the rest of the monks realise I'm not trolling here.

    Languages like Python and Pascal are excellent languages to teach with. I think most professional programmers learned on one of those, though many also learned on C. Perl is often very confusing to novice programmers because it is so loosely typed, and things can appear vague. In some cases, "One Way To Do It" is easier to understand than others.

    While Perl is a truly cross-platform language, sometimes its necessary to have a cross-platform compilable program. I work daily in the OpenNap server package, which is written in C. More information is available on my home node. It simply isnt practical to write that software in perl. Sure, perl could do it, and there *is* a napster server written in perl, but one begins to wonder why you would use perl for that task rather than something a little more appropriate. (as an aside, pircd /* an IRCd written in perl */ is excellent!)

    I had a question, a couple hours ago, about behaviour of the Bourne-Again SHell (bash) in unix. I was trying to figure out what this command would do:

    bash$ echo "foo" >*
    Would it overwrite all the files in the directory with "foo"? Would it overwrite the first file in the directory? To test it, my solution was thus:
    bash$ for i in foo bar baz bletch ; do cp /dev/null $i ; done bash$ echo "foo" >*
    The first line is my example. Sure, I could have done that in perl:
    foreach qw(foo bar baz bletch) { open I, ">$_"; print I $_; close I }
    But one has to wonder why somebody would go to the trouble to do that when, in this case, clearly, its quicker and more concise to whip it up in a shell oneliner.

    I love perl just as much as the next guy. I've got the bumper stickers and t-shirts. Im a #perl chanop and the whole shebang. Sometimes, however, perl is just not the right tool for the job. Sometimes, something else can do that job better than perl. Perl is not the biggest programming language out there, or the most popular, or the best, or any of that. Perl just happens to be a language that we all love a great deal.

    Before I step down from this Soap Box, I wanted to give you a link thats been tossed about this great perl community of ours for a while.
    http://www.perl.com/pub/2000/12/advocacy.html

    Keep the shiny side up,
    dep.

    p.s., for anyone interested, the shell loves you. we get "ambiguous redirect" in bash if we pass it '*' as our redirect filename.

    --
    i am not cool enough to have a signature.

      foreach qw(foo bar baz bletch) { open I, ">$_"; print I $_; close I +}
      Not to detract from the excellent points you make, but you could have also done:
      `touch $_` for qw(foo bar baz bletch);
      SMEFTAOYT ;)
Re: The Spirit of Perl
by m i k e (Initiate) on Jan 27, 2001 at 06:34 UTC
    encore, encore. it sounds like u wrote that out of a book. people who arent into perl and are curious about it, read this a bunch of times and you will join sooner or later.
    -mike
      yes m i k e i did write this, i felt like expanding the perl community. so we will jus clean that up. i wrote this from the heart, no book can express that.
Re: The Spirit of Perl
by damian1301 (Curate) on Jan 27, 2001 at 04:41 UTC
    Great job, John. This is the most inspirational piece of writing I have seen in a while. (intro, intro?) Keep up the good work, enjoy your stay here and evangelize the word. /msg me for any problems you may have :-)

    Wanna be perl hacker.
    Dave AKA damian
Re: The Spirit of Perl
by sierrathedog04 (Hermit) on Jan 27, 2001 at 23:46 UTC
    I agree with you about how helpful people are. Larry Wall has said that a language is more than a syntax, it is the community of people who use it.

    I got hooked on Perl because someone wrote a perl module to automate the RCS versioning system. (I think it is called RCS.pm) I then started hanging around this site, and it seems that if I post a question on Seekers of Perl Wisdom I get a bunch of answers in a few hours.

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