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The Slashdot Interview With Larry Wall

by Arunbear (Prior)
on Jul 18, 2016 at 13:02 UTC ( #1167962=perlnews: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Read Larry's answers to questions submitted by Slashdot readers. The questions included:
  • What's your computer set-up look like ?
  • How can we get Perl into the browser?
  • Why isn't Perl more windows friendly ?
  • How to think in Perl 6
  • Rationale behind the major syntax changes in 6?
  • If you got a 'Do Over' for Perl 6..

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: The Slashdot Interview With Larry Wall
by Erez (Priest) on Jul 18, 2016 at 13:30 UTC

    Here's the post asking for questions. Quite a barrage of FUD there, which I find both odd and a bit ignorant.

    Principle of Least Astonishment: Any language that doesnít occasionally surprise the novice will pay for it by continually surprising the expert

      But some answers are hilarious, e.g. to someone asking about why Perl syntax is so bad:

      > Perl and "Rizla fine rolling papers" should have a common tag line: It's what you make of it

      ($q=q:Sq=~/;[c](.)(.)/;chr(-||-|5+lengthSq)`"S|oS2"`map{chr |+ord }map{substrSq`S_+|`|}3E|-|`7**2-3:)=~y+S|`+$1,++print+eval$q,q,a,

        ...and:

        "What do you say about this criticism and the exploited flaws?"

        LW: "Doctor, it hurts when I do this!"

        "Well then, don't do that."

      I really liked this comment, myself:

      shaitand ( 626655 ) wrote:
      The primary internet usage of Perl was coded for CGI. That usage is almost non-existent now. But Perl usage as part of a modern stack is on the rise again even if it is one of the less popular choices it is technically one of the better non-blocking highly parallel solutions able to handle thousands of concurrent connections without breaking a sweat. Actually the concurrent non-blocking thread model that is needed to break 10k connections which is being newly adopted everywhere else was the heart of the now ancient POE system in Perl. There are newer and more shiny solutions like Mojolicious being used these days.

      It's nice to see there's still someone else out there correcting things that are Wrong On The Internet. I don't always have time myself.

        it is technically one of the better non-blocking highly parallel solutions

        That is far from being true!

        Perl as a language is very bad suited for that task as it lacks the high level features required to do that comfortably, i.e. coroutines (aka cheap threads), continuations, generators or even some minimal syntactic sugar. Also, the lack of a proper garbage collector and the callback-programming style commonly used by non-blocking frameworks is a bad combination, prone to produce reference cycles and so, memory leaks. The programmer needs to take care of that explicitly (for instance, using curry::weak).

        Programming using callbacks is horrific, it is not for nothing that people have coined the term "Callback Hell"! It requires discipline and structuring the code artificially. Also, code (or modules) not designed for being used asynchronously can not be used freely without workarounds (for instance, forking).

        That Perl frameworks so good as Mojolicious exists, is not because of Perl being a suitable language for that. It is because the authors are really geniuses that have been able to overcome its limitations an provide a foundation that the rest of us can use easyly and even enjoy doing it!

        Hopefully, asynchronicity and the high level features cited above are available (or planed) in Perl 6 so that would be a complete different history!

Re: The Slashdot Interview With Larry Wall
by perldigious (Priest) on Jul 18, 2016 at 20:31 UTC

    This one made me smile.

    Perl has always considered itself primarily a programmer-centric language, while Python has always considered itself to be more institution-centric. So in a sense it's a bit dumbed down, much like Java. You'll note both of those languages make their greatest appeal to managers.

    I love it when things get difficult; after all, difficult pays the mortgage. - Dr. Keith Whites
    I hate it when things get difficult, so I'll just sell my house and rent cheap instead. - perldigious
      Yes! It made me giggle out loud and I underlined those exact three sentences in my print-out.
Re: The Slashdot Interview With Larry Wall
by doom (Deacon) on Jul 19, 2016 at 00:26 UTC

    I thought the unicode remarks were pretty funny, especially including the dig at slashdot, which didn't deal with unicode at all the last time I looked.

    (With slashdot you can cut-and-paste a quotation you're replying to into a blockquote, and then discover that there are encoding problems, because slashdot can't understand the characters displayed on a slashdot page...)

Re: The Slashdot Interview With Larry Wall
by dmitri (Priest) on Jul 18, 2016 at 20:32 UTC
    The interview is very funny and enlightening: it made me consider learning Perl 6... again.

      Agreed, but I'm usually a very late adopter. He mentioned there is a lot of opportunity for optimization still, so I may give it a few years and see what happens there before deciding to take the plunge. It is obvious that he is very proud of it and has a lot of faith in its future success.

      I love it when things get difficult; after all, difficult pays the mortgage. - Dr. Keith Whites
      I hate it when things get difficult, so I'll just sell my house and rent cheap instead. - perldigious

        I've been messing around with Perl 6 again lately, just because I'm interested in the built-in set operations.

        It's concurrency features are clearly very advanced, and it'd be on my list of contenders for those kind of applications. I'd actually like to see a serious comparison between it and, say, Go and Elixir/Erlang to see how it stacks up on ease of use (and how big the performance penalty is at the moment...).

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