|There's more than one way to do things|
Re: The Decline of Perl - My Opinionby derby (Abbot)
|on Feb 02, 2002 at 23:00 UTC||Need Help??|
I agree with your timeline and general ideas about what brought perl into focus. I also agree with perl being adrift in a sea of choices and with the rush subsiding in 2000. I whole heartedly disagree with your arguments about why perl will decline. Let's not look at your summary but at the pillars of your summary.
1. Perl is thought of as a UNIX administrative tool.
You really don't have much support for this summary. You state that system administrators love it but so do a whole lot of developers!
2. There are not enough professional organizations or guilds to bolster confidence with corporations that investing in a Perl solution is a good long-term plan.
Well you're at one of the most professional guilds right now. I don't see a cold fusion monks site? What do you want? Certification? I think more of my BS and BA then I do of any certification. As for "good long-term plans" - very few business see past the quarter. While I think this is generally bad, I think it's going to work wonders for open software. Where can you trim the budget to ensure profitability - cut those huge $$$$ software licenses down to nothing.
3. Perl doesn't have large scale advertising and full time advocates that keep Perl in major computing publications and remind companies that when they chose, chose Perl.
Hmmm ... not sure I want to base my IT selection on what the mags have to say -- I've seen a whole lot of shelf-ware that was bought due to what some wags say in the latest issue of some Ziff Davis trash.
3. There is no official certification. I have seen Larry's comments on this and I agree with him, but lack of certification hurts in the corporate world.
The are only two certifications that count - one is years of experience and the other is a sheep skin. Anything else is pure garbage. As long as you have the fundamentals of algorithm design down - then who cares what the cert is.
4. Lack of college or university Perl class, or maybe better-stated lack of Perl promotion by colleges.
I wouldn't expect anyone right out of college to be productive in any language. I would expect them to know what makes a good algorithm - and that my friend is language agnostic. Be it VB, C, C++, or perl - you have to know big-o.
It sounds like you're a little worried about a corportations perception about our language of choice. I wouldn't be. Given the current perception of corporate management (ala Enron), I think the people who make the (ehh) long-range plans may be around a lot less than us tech weenies. Bring it in back doors if you want. Rename it if you have to - an SOAP enabled back-end XML processor may be more appealling then an apache/mod_perl engine (that's where the BA comes in).
It also sound like you're worried about overseas chop shops. Ed Yourdan rang that bell about ten years ago with "The Decline and the Fall of the American Programmer." I must say I lost a lot of respect for Ed on that one. Farming out development to India has proven to be more of a lead egg than the golden hen - time zone headaches and culture clash has proved very hard to overcome.
Perl is moving on ... it seemed static because everyone was catching up to it. That being said, some day other OSS languages may overtake it but Python and Ruby are still in perl's review mirror.
Just like loved ones, we tend to ignore those which are around us everyday. For this Valentines day, do us all a favor and by some chocolates and a few flowers for our hard-working and beloved partner - We love you perl.