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Re^3: The future of Perl?

by sundialsvc4 (Abbot)
on Nov 04, 2014 at 21:46 UTC ( #1106118=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^2: The future of Perl?
in thread The future of Perl?

Now that’s a most peculiar “paraphrase,” good sir!   And you yourself know it to be a lot of bilge, so there.   (You’ve got plenty of industry experience.)

Software takes a fairly huge amount of money to get right, but it costs next-to-nothing thereafter to keep it that way.   Sometimes people make the serious error of rewriting an application that works, in a “new and improved” language, only to discover ... the hard way ... that three things were true:

  1. They didn’t actually know all of the things that the original application did, nor exactly how it did them.
  2. That they seriously under-scoped and under-estimated the project, and failed to identify all of its subtle interactions with other parts of the business.
  3. That, when the du$$t finally $ettled, what they’d come up really wasn’t “–er” than the system it replaced ... or, as the case may be, failed to replace.

If you have a system in Perl-5 that right now is doing exactly what you need it to do, there is little cost and little business risk in keeping it that way.   Whereas, if you set out to replace it or even to move it to a different language platform (or version), both the costs and the risks go sky-high.   You’d better have a rock-solid business case for that.

These “popularity contest” polls merely explore what programmers say they would prefer to use, when embarking on a new project, all things being equal.   As such, they’re really not worth much at all.   Call it “maintaining what you’ve got” if you want to, and decry it if you want to, but that is most of what any production shop actually does.   As you know.

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Re^4: The future of Perl?
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Nov 04, 2014 at 22:27 UTC

    Funny thing is, if you read Re: The future of Perl? (The why, and my take.), you'll see I was agreeing with you.

    A rare occurrence I know, but you really should read what is written rather than just reacting to who is speaking.

    As for your 'point' in this post, it really is garbage. Of all the lines of code written in the last 10 years, I doubt more than 10% -- and would guesstimate <5% -- has been written to add to or replace code existing prior to that period.

    I would estimate that the code that makes up the 2 million smartphone apps -- all of which have been written (and simply could not have existed prior to) since 2007 -- make up fully 1/3rd of all the code written. And be they good or bad; not a single line of it was in Perl or COBOL. And nothing that exists inside Google, Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, Baidu, Alibaba, ... nor any of the other huge companies that came into existence in the last 15 years, could have existed before 15 years ago. And much of that will have been rewritten several times in the last 10 as the companies grew and had to change to completely new technologies in order to scale out.

    Unlike the code of yore, the projected life of new projects, now and over the last 10 years and more, has been measured in years, not decades. And that life expectancy is shortening, not lengthening. Like most everything else in your knowledge-base, you're basing your stance upon the experiences of your youth; which is 30 years and 3 generations out of date.

    And whilst maybe 2% - 3% of the entire code in use around the world might be written in Perl; that is unlikely to grow much in real terms and will steadily and inexorably decline in percentage terms over the next 7 years; and again in the next.

    There are only so many Perl maintenance jobs around, and their number will decline year on year. They may be enough to keep old farts like you and I in pocket money for a while, but it ain't gonna make the fortunes of anyone in the 20s; nor even keep those in their 40s in a living income for the rest of their careers. There simply isn't enough Perl code installed to warrant anyone taking it up on the basis of a 'steady maintenance gig'.

    And there was no 'popularity pole' involved. Neither my post itself -- which was aimed at and mostly only seen by Perl insiders -- consitute same, nor was any mentioned within it.


    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.

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