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I'd been developing with Perl more or less on the sly for a couple of years. Oh, I was the senior developer so it wasn't explicitly verboten, but neither was it officially approved. I used Perl largely for a lot of quick, necessary tasks -- parsing strange text files, moving ftp files around, zipping files/id for storage, and the like. No one really knew I used Perl for many of these tasks except the other developers. Since they were all from the MS background, they generally shied away from the things I'd done. A friend of mine, a solid C#/VB.NET developer, and I used to banter back and forth over the verbosity of .NET and the inscrutability (from his perspective) of Perl.

A few months ago for various *cough* PHB *cough* reasons, I left the firm. I knew my Perl would live on for at least a while, and instructed a couple of the developers on what to do if something changed. On leaving the firm, my friend said to me, "I'm sorry, but PERL must die!" I told him it was his decision, and that if he wanted to rewrite the things I'd written he certainly could, and that I probably wouldn't want a language around I knew nothing about either.

A week ago or so he contacted me -- he'd been charged with writing a new asp page, and had looked at one of my asp pages written in perlscript. He liked it, saying the way I'd done it was "like .NET in concept" (I think this was because of the Response->Write syntax and that I'd declared a bunch of tags at the top of the script that I knew I'd use -- it wasn't really spectacular work). He was also surprised by how clear it was to him. He had a few questions to ask about regexes and split (I'd turned him on to regexes months before leaving in a project, noting that he could use them in .NET for a file parsing engine he was developing). As we ended the conversation, he said he was going to try developing the page in Perl.

A small bit of evangelism, perhaps, but it left a warm feeling in my heart. It just goes to show that you never know when people might be listening.

In reply to seeds... by SamCG

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