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For instance no matter how long I wait, I doubt that anyone will put on CPAN any of the reports that I need to write next week, all of which are very company specific.

While the specific items you need will never be on CPAN (because they're specific), you can definitely find a lot of glue code. When I write reporting apps, I reuse the following:

  • Application framework
  • Database access
  • Creating output formats (HTML, XLS, PDF, CSV, XML, etc)
  • Parsing input formats (xSV, XLS, PDF, XML, etc)

So, maybe the actual report doesn't reuse anything from CPAN, but everything around it does.

Also I would like to point out that the 10 to 1 productivity differences with Perl are relative to very low-level languages, like C. Even a language like Java closes a significant fraction of that gap. Plus I don't believe that Perl is significantly more productive than, say, Python or Ruby. (In fact I believe that Ruby is actually more productive than Perl!) However I'll also admit that it is hard to find many real-world examples of really long programs written in highly productive languages.

I agree with you, but Perl is definitely very productive. And, frankly, I'm trying to shift our main development to Ruby, so I agree with you on that, too. :-)


My criteria for good software:
  1. Does it work?
  2. Can someone else come in, make a change, and be reasonably certain no bugs were introduced?

In reply to Re^4: What Perl CAN'T do? by dragonchild
in thread What Perl CAN'T do? by sanPerl

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