I have to agree that this directly reflects my own learning experience. When I started out with Perl, I was vaguely aware of CPAN but not familiar with its contents. As a result, my first programming ventures involved (amongst other things) handrolled templating systems, DIY date conversions, XML & HTML parsing with regexes, and many still worse horrors.
I view this now as no bad thing, since the shortcomings of my own solutions have allowed me to appreciate the complexity of the issues involved in these seemingly (to a beginner) simple tasks. When faced with a problem, I will now always look first to a module, since I understand the value of a tried and tested solution.
Surely it all comes down to the issue of abstraction. The essential benefit of a module is that you don't need to understand its internal workings in order to use it. For me there is no difference between using a module, and using Perl's built in 'sort' function versus writing my own - I don't need to concern myself with the underlying alogarithm in order to benefit from it. Of course, if I wanted to, I could look at the source code of either. But the point is I don't need
I see no problem in using an interface without worrying about its implementation. Is this not the entire philosophy of OO programming? And taken to its extreme, is this not the reason we all use Perl (or any other language) versus telling our computers what to do by constructing the correct sequence of '1's and '0's ...?
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