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Seven good reasons for Perl

by Wassercrat
on Jun 14, 2004 at 17:36 UTC ( #366632=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

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Re: Seven good reasons for Perl
by FoxtrotUniform (Prior) on Jun 14, 2004 at 18:12 UTC

    Why should you use Perl?

    • it's compact
    • it's sophisticated and helps clarify my thoughts
    • it's flexible and more open-minded than certain perlmonks
    (...) Anyway, I hope Perl 6 will not be too complex. Now Perl has all its advantages, it's quite comprehensive. Make it too complex and the people will turn to other languages. Maybe we need even simplify Perl. But then it's losing its flexibility instead.

    On the subject of compactness and simplicity vs. complexity: Scheme is, syntactically, insanely compact. (So is Common LISP, MacLISP, and all those other parenthesis-laden languages with lambdas and macros -- real macros, not silly preprocessor text-substitution crap -- and continuations and first-class functions and....) LISPen are comprehensive, flexible, terse, and sophisticated. Add true lazy evaluation to a LISP with real (not hygenic) macros and you probably have the most powerful programming language ever constructed. But everyone's afraid of them: why? My guess is, because they look weird to people trained in C-like languages. It's difficult to write Scheme that looks like C (or Java, or whatever), so moving to Scheme when all you know is procedural programming takes a lot of effort.

    Perl 6 doesn't need to be simple (if it did, Larry could just slap a regex special form onto Scheme and call it a day) to be accepted by mainstream hackers: it needs to admit standard procedural programming. I don't know about the rest of the monks, but my first Perl programs looked very much like C (it took me about three months to realize that I could get more done with string interpolation and print than with stdlib-style printfs scattered around my code, and longer to learn how to use foreach-style loops instead of explicit indexing). When you want to get something done now, being able to fall back upon familiar habits is a virtue for the new language.

    The bottom line, though, is that languages aren't what make programming hard (although a language that doesn't let you do what you want will make your job harder); programming is intrinsically hard. See also Choose the most powerful language.

    --
    F o x t r o t U n i f o r m
    Found a typo in this node? /msg me
    % man 3 strfry

Re: Seven good reasons for Perl
by Shinwa (Beadle) on Jun 14, 2004 at 21:51 UTC
    As Perl's becoming less popular

    I strongly doubt that Perl is indeed becoming less popular over the net. During my stay here I have seen countless amounts of people who are new to the language and in search of help. If anything, Perl is still growing strongly. In my own community I have had over two dozen people begin coding in Perl after they were first introduced, and they happen to love every minute of it.

    Now when the issue of Wassercrat comes into play, this will of course take a very different turn. I can understand dragon's aggravation towards Wasser, but still, we shouldn't continue to feed his own ego in a sense. If someone decides they think Perl isn't the greatest thing since sliced bread, then fine, everyone is entitled to an opinion. But when it gets to the point that people begin to feed him, a game is made out of it, which seems to torment a majority of the community. We cannot automatically reap all of the nodes Wassercrat creates, this would be un-fair towards him reguardless of his current opinions. As much as I have read so far, he hasn't said anything racially offending, threatened others, or done anything overly offending in those senses.

    Just don't feed him when it comes around to it. It only creates more strife.

    --------------------------------------------
    Shinwa : Did that penguin just meow at me?
    Snuggy : What hunny?
    Shinwa : nuffin' luff...
      Perl is becomnig much more popular for me and my colleagues.
      Mr. Lee
Re: Seven good reasons for Perl
by Abigail-II (Bishop) on Jun 19, 2004 at 05:25 UTC
    As Perl's becoming less popular, webspace with real perl interpreter can be quite costly.
    Man, they have been saying that Perl is becoming less popular for at least half a dozen years. I only wish it to be true. But certain channels are still flocked with non-programmers doing webby stuff who think that Perl == web. I wish they'd go away. I'd wish someone would tell them Python and Java are much better languages for them.

    Abigail

Re: Seven good reasons for Perl
by tbone1 (Monsignor) on Jun 16, 2004 at 13:12 UTC
    Perl less popular? Based on what?

    I can only follow my own nose, of course, but I work for a company that deals with medical information. (I'm not sure I'm allowed to mention the name, so I won't. Shakespeare had the right attitude about lawyers.) Recently we started offering our data to customers in new formats with our home-made Perl parsers. The customers have jumped on it with both feet, and those who are new to it want to learn more about Perl, because it is so compact and (for what we're doing) simple.

    Again, this is a small anecdote from someone who programs in Perl (among other languages), but taking one thing with another, I'd hardly say Perl is 'less popular'. It may not garner attention from journalists, but by and large, journalists are journalists because they can't be trusted with snake control in Ireland. Has anyone ever noticed that when a technology writer gets an idea, he generally gets it all wrong?

    --
    tbone1, YAPS (Yet Another Perl Schlub)
    And remember, if he succeeds, so what.
    - Chick McGee

Re: Seven good reasons for Perl
by Wassercrats on Jun 14, 2004 at 20:46 UTC
    Incase Sporty didn't make it clear enough, Wassercrat isn't Wassercrats. In the beginning, I wasn't sure if Wassercrat was defending me or kidding around or what, but his accound has now been suspended.
Re: Seven good reasons for Perl
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 17, 2004 at 04:24 UTC

    ...webspace with real perl interpreter can be quite costly.

    Actually, I've found that this isn't true. You just need to shop around, like you do with anything else...

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