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Re^2: Why do people say 'Perl' is dead?!?!

by bitingduck (Chaplain)
on Nov 12, 2012 at 02:40 UTC ( #1003358=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Why do people say 'Perl' is dead?!?!
in thread Why do people say 'Perl' is dead?!?!

I think you'll find that CPAN and support here make a strong case for using Perl as your QA-testing language of choice.

After wading through the whole thread and reading quite a lot of interesting comments, I'm surprised at how little emphasis CPAN has gotten in the comments. It's mentioned several times, but usually almost in passing. It's the thing that really makes Perl amazingly useful for me. Even if the language doesn't evolve, CPAN is packed with useful modules that are very stable and/or well maintained.

Most of what I do with Perl is "quick hacks" that are a page or two of code at most, but I think most of what makes them quick hacks is that there is a module in CPAN that does 90% or more of what I need done (usually the heavy lifting part, with decent exception handling) and all I need to do is wrap my specific problem around it. Need to pull a particular fraction out of the whole Wikipedia dump? Working code in about 5 minutes, big file of useful stuff in an hour. Need to mess with some XML? Pick your library- simple ones for simple problems, and comprehensive ones for the tougher ones. Need QR codes? A couple minutes. And more...

I also do a fair bit of Ruby, and while there are a reasonable number of gems for it, it's nothing like CPAN, and the stability/compatibility of them can be a headache. And they're often not as complete as CPAN counterparts. Ruby is still pretty young, and there still seem to be enough holes and bugs that you get many more version compatibility problems than I've seen with Perl.

Python may be somewhat better, but I haven't gotten the impression that it has a CPAN equivalent that's as comprehensive, either.

C and it's variants have a lot of libraries available, but they're at a whole different level than CPAN, and not nearly as useful for solving problems quickly.

Regarding the other part of that sentence ("and support here")-- I've posted very few questions here because Perl has been around long enough that nearly everything I've had trouble with or couldn't sort out could be resolved with a search. I end up using Perlmonks as a place to see what other things Perl can do that I don't need yet.

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