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Re: The Decline of Perl - My Opinion

by beebware (Pilgrim)
on Feb 03, 2002 at 19:48 UTC ( #143096=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to The Decline of Perl - My Opinion

I agree with most of this, but a major problem that I have noticed is that with the recent 'dot.gone burn', the (job) market is literally flooded with experienced Perl programmers, but there are no positions for them. Mostly this is due to Perl being free. To learn C++, C#, Java you've got to spend a lot of money. Courses do not come cheap, the software doesn't come cheap and certification (where it is offered) isn't cheap.

However, if anybody with just programming knowledge in anything from BASIC upwards and the willingness to learn can get hold for software that is free to use, free to download, free to 'learn by example' (the quickest and easiest way to learn IMHO) - you can probably have a Perl programmer that can make a basic script in next to no time. He runs his own website off it and other scripts he wrote, learns, looks at other scripts and before you know it, he's writing a complete Intranet based Management Information System in it... If that person had to get C++, learn by reading books and going to courses (and the associated costs - there isn't that much code available to read and learn by), it would have taken so much longer and if you are on a budget - it isn't an option.

Compare Linux+MySQL+Apache+Perl to (shudder) Windows 2000 Advanced Server+MS SQL Server+IIS+ASP. Which costs a lot more in the set up costs, staff costs and maintenance. Let alone security holes? But which do big corporations go for (even though ever techy knows which is the best one to go for). Why? Because 'oh, things are free for a reason - if we've got to pay lots of money for it it has got to be damn good - just look at all those ASP programmers asking 60,000UKP upwards, it must be good if they are charging that much'.

All in all, if Perl6+ had a licence fee charge for it and a 'certification' was made available AND Perl programmers put up their 'minimum wage', Perl would take off again big time. Of course, it's all IMHO, but you did ask for my opinion :-)

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Re (tilly) 2: The Decline of Perl - My Opinion
by tilly (Archbishop) on Feb 03, 2002 at 20:11 UTC
    If you really think that by asking money and shutting up Perl, you would make it more popular and profitable, then I challenge you to go out and try to do it.

    If you read the licensing terms, you can take Perl, take advantage of the artistic license, rename it slightly, and make your own version which can be proprietary if you want. (See oraperl and sybperl for examples where this was done with Perl 4.)

    My prediction based on both theory and observation of past examples (particularly examples of what people in the Lisp world do wrong time after time again) is that you will put in a lot of energy, lose money, and never achieve popularity. For some of the theory, the usually referred to starting place is The Cathedral and the Bazaar.

    Of course if you want to charge money for something and can get away with it, go ahead. No less than Larry Wall has said that, It's almost like we're doing Windows users a favor by charging them money for something they could get for free, because they get confused otherwise. But I think that as time goes by it is becoming more mainstream to accept that it is possible for software to be both free and good at the same time.

      I know, but that's how head of departments and corporate management think: these are the people that believe the FUD that Microsoft put out ('XP is more secure - we best get it then', never mind that Linux is more secure and the Windows 2000 machines are also secure). Sometimes it's just the brand name which also helps - I know of a certain sausage manufacture who makes sausages for two major supermarkets. People say 'Oh, that's from Supermarket X' upon tasting, although it is just the same sausage.

      All in all - it comes down to packaging. 'Tart' something up by packaging, brand names and high prices are, despite the rival product being better in every respect, the 'well packaged' product will win.

        Issues of branding and so on are more complex than we techies seem to often think.

        If you really want to learn more about how they work, I have heard Information Rules by Shapiro and Varian (both well-known and respected economists) be highly recommended by people who should know. I haven't read it myself, but it is on my list of books that I really should get around to one of these days. (Particularly since I got a copy for my brother and he liked it...)

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