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Terrifying Beauty

by eyepopslikeamosquito (Bishop)
on Jan 28, 2021 at 05:59 UTC ( #11127559=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Perlmonks is a strange beast.
It's largely a newbie-help site,
but also contains a handful of
Things of Terrifying Beauty

-- Erudil quoting robin

I just noticed the fascinating quote above on Erudil's home node ... yet what did gifted British perl hacker robin mean by Terrifying Beauty? Asking either monk seems problematic because they've not visited us for many years now. I might add that a site with overly constraining rules (such as SO) is unlikely in the extreme to produce a terrifyingly beautiful post.

When I think of terrifying beauty, I think of:

What do you think of? And what is terrifyingly beautiful Perl?

I can personally vouch for the terrifying beauty of robin's Roman to Decimal Perl golf work of art, whipped up in days, led a fiercely contested golf competition for months, (accidentally) improved years later.

What about Erudil? This celebrated Canadian hacker, biker, musician and pilot seems well qualified to answer - after all, though he penned a mere thirteen nodes in eight years, every single one of them earned 100+ rep! Erudil also composed the highest rated PM node of all time, the famous camel code ... which I see has received 13 down-votes, perhaps from devout followers of prophet paco.

Miracle-worker paco is unquestionably a terrifyingly beautiful Perl monk. After writing a mere 31 words, in just one node, while spending just 64 minutes at this site, his celebrated solitary node has gone on to garner a record 868 upvotes! ... though, sadly, paco's terrifyingly beautiful question has been desecrated by antipaco vandals down-voting it 95 times ... thus demoting it to second place on the all-time PM hall of fame with a rep of 773 (+868, -95), just a whisker behind Erudil's camel code with a rep of 791 (+804, -13).


A random selection of other nodes that caught my eye:

  • Coy (module docs written in haiku)
  • cpan japh file (search for Robin Houston to see his Oulipo-inspired JAPH)

Feel free to let us know of other hidden gems I've overlooked.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Terrifying Beauty
by VinsWorldcom (Prior) on Jan 28, 2021 at 13:18 UTC
      Hello VinsWorldcom

      > I found the Stereogram Perl script

      This gem is already included in The Top Ten Perl Obfus of the above post. And yes it is the top of the top in the terrifying beauty category.

      See also my call to restaure it: challenge: Perl's art restauration no one posted a solution atm :)


      There are no rules, there are no thumbs..
      Reinvent the wheel, then learn The Wheel; may be one day you reinvent one of THE WHEELS.
Re: Terrifying Beauty
by LanX (Sage) on Jan 29, 2021 at 17:56 UTC
    > Things of Terrifying Beauty

    I’ve seen things you people wouldn’t believe.
    Attack ships on fire off the shoulder of Orion.
    I watched C-beams glitter in the dark near the Tannhauser Gate.
    All those moments will be lost in time like tears in rain

    - Roy Batty, Bladerunner

    Cheers Rolf
    (addicted to the Perl Programming Language :)
    Wikisyntax for the Monastery

Re: Terrifying Beauty
by zentara (Archbishop) on Jan 28, 2021 at 20:08 UTC
    I logged in just to reply to this node. :-) All is well on the far side of Titan. I still consider Perl/Tk as the simplest, most dependable quick gui out there. It only depends on a few standard X libraries, so the Tk code is easy to put thru security scrutiny. I wonder if Wayland will run Perl/Tk? Hello to all, keep a stiff upper lip as we transform into SpaceShip Earth. :-) BTW, the last thing I saw of terrifying beauty was the B1-B Bomber flying, I felt like the mouse looking at the eagle.

    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. ..... an animated JAPH
Re: Terrifying Beauty
by talexb (Canon) on Jan 28, 2021 at 21:03 UTC

    Fun node. I hung out with Erudil at some rooftop bar at the end of YAPC::NA 19100 in Pittsburgh .. that was pretty cool. Because he works (or worked) for the federal government, I got the impression that he was pretty much barred from posting here, so did so only on his own time. Check out the post that details how his Perl code generated Javascript code, which was what actually ran.

    You meet the coolest people at the these events.

    Alex / talexb / Toronto

    Thanks PJ. We owe you so much. Groklaw -- RIP -- 2003 to 2013.

      I enjoyed Erudil's The day I met Larry Wall anecdote. Apparently, Larry used to work with a Steve Jenkins at NASA JPL and naturally assumed the Steve Jenkins on the YAPC list of attendees (i.e. Erudil) -- also listed as working in the aerospace industry! -- was his long lost work buddy ... so when they met at the lunch table Larry was shocked ... and bewildered poor Erudil with an unexpected greeting "You're not the Steve Jenkins I was expecting"! :)

      Which reminds me, I have an Eating Lunch with Larry anecdote too. I've only ever been to one Perl conference (OSDC Sydney 2008), and experienced a moment of terrifying beauty when I found myself, by chance, sitting right next to Larry at the lunch table! Not sure how that happened, maybe others were paying more attention and took care not to sit right next to him. As you might expect, I was terrified, which Larry seemed to notice ... and as soon as he learnt I was a physics nut, he deftly swapped chairs with his son (who was studying post graduate physics at the time) so we could talk physics together! Based on that brief lunchtime encounter, my impression is that Larry is both a gentleman and a gentle man, very family oriented.

        Heh .. I've told this story before, but I met Larry at the Montreal YAPC::NA. I was sitting with Mike Stok during lunch, and Larry was sitting with two guys at the next table. The two guys got up and left, and Larry was just sitting by himself, content, and I thought, Hmm, well .. maybe I'll .. go over and talk to him.

        Anyway, instead of spending the next twenty minutes thinking about it (typical neurodivergent behaviour), I just went over and started a conversation. You might think a guy who'd created a whole programming language might have a little attitude, but nope -- wonderful guy, very mellow. It was delightful to chat with him, and, of course, to thank him for creating such a cool language. Good times. :)

        Oh, also, I remember Larry telling that story .. "You're not the Steve Jenkins I was expected." -- hilarious, with a sort of absent-minded professor kind of vibe. So Larry.

        Alex / talexb / Toronto

        Thanks PJ. We owe you so much. Groklaw -- RIP -- 2003 to 2013.

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