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I agree with you that comp.lang.perl.misc is a bit of a junkyard. It's where programmers who have tried to force their way up the Perl learning curve can post their messes instead of buckling down and doing some reading and hard work.
But I believe Perl is easy to learn because Perl does little things for you like allow you to enter
and get it up and running in no time. Sure, you get '0123456789' as the output, but there were no include files, no compiler or linker to deal with, and no memory management or window management to worry about.
Perl is a very elegant language, but it can also be really gross (e.g., obsfucations) -- but that's OK, at least it's flexible. I programmed in Pascal for a while and wasn't really thrilled every time I had to cast a char to an integer in order to do some math with it, then cast it back to a char. Ugh. Or deal with the nervous nelly compiler errors.
I really can't imagine starting with Java -- it's not my idea of a lightweight language. I find it rather dense, and I spent many years programming in C. Even starting with an OO language is a bit of a jump -- I expect that people want to jump right in and start trying things. Writing clean, Object Oriented code can come later.
I don't think Perl has a bad name -- it has a pretty good reputation. Sure, it may be hard to learn, but then :) I'll take that any day over something as trivial as Pascal.
"Mud, mud, glorious mud. Nothing quite like it for cooling the blood!"
In reply to Re: Re: Learning Perl as a First (programming) language