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Not Everyone Likes Perl, I Guess

by dyer85 (Acolyte)
on Oct 12, 2004 at 23:01 UTC ( #398725=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I have heard of before, and now, I finally made my way here! =) I already received help on a big problem I was having!! On most other forums in which I have participated, it seemed like people were not knowledgeable of Perl, let alone experts with it. In fact many people believe that Perl is going "the way of the dinosaur."

Actually, using CGI protocol with Perl, is probably much safer than using PHP or ASP (as long as you know what you're doing) ; ). I'm glad there is a good community around that gives Perl programmers a place to go, to express themselves, and receive help when they need it. If I hadn't found, I'd probably be spamming Larry Wall for help, or something (j/k)!

Thank you, Perl Monks,

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Re: Not Everyone Likes Perl, I Guess
by jaldhar (Vicar) on Oct 12, 2004 at 23:19 UTC

    The big problem is Perl has gotten so identified with CGI. In fact it is used for many different things other than CGI. The last 5 things I did with Perl were:

    1. Convert a romanized representation of Sanskrit text to UTF-8.
    2. Talk to an XML-RPC based web service.
    3. Build a search engine for mail boxes.
    4. Convert documents in a proprietary format into DocBook XML spell checking them along the way.
    5. Write a version of the classic game 'trek'.

    Only 3 involved CGI and that will probably move to modperl soon. Yet Perl eq CGI is indelibly locked-in to many peoples minds :(


Re: Not Everyone Likes Perl, I Guess
by perrin (Chancellor) on Oct 13, 2004 at 00:01 UTC
    Welcome, dyer85. Many people who use PHP on a shared hosting account are actually writing CGI programs, although they often don't realize it. Running PHP as CGI is common practice for hosts because of the safety issues you referred to.

      Thanks, jaldhar and perrin!

      That's some pretty amazing stuff you have done with Perl, jalhar. Unfortuanately, my skills as a programmer aren't anywhere near any of those things. I don't know why so many people think CGI and Perl are the same thing, or that Perl is only used for the Web. As you have demonstrated, Perl is much larger than that!

      perrin, I didn't know that many shared hosts ran PHP as CGI, although, it does make more sense, now that you mention it. My favorite aspect of Perl is Regexps, and although I'm not too good with them yet, I think they are implemented in the best way for Perl. I'm using PHP on my site right now, because I seem to be better at it for now. On my local server, when Perl was running, I usually come up with ideas and implement them in Perl.

      PHP isn't just for the Web either, it has a nifty extension of itself called PHP-GTK, which is for writing desktop apps. I have never used it; just read about.

      Thanks, guys!

        PHP is great. Lots of extra skills is even better. Learn everything you find interesting and understand what a great leg-up the Perl community and code base is.

        CGI is not any one technology. It's just the Common Gateway Interface; the interplay between server and client while passing more than simple requests. CGI can be in Lisp, Ruby, modperl, C, shell, Perl, whatever. The trick with Perl is that has become synonymous with CGI.

        And probably the greatest, and concurrently the most terrible, part of Perl is that you don't have to be a great programmer to use/code pretty heady stuff. I'll quote/paraphrase dragonchild again: 90% of every Perl application is already written. Just cutting and pasting SYNOPSIS sections from CPAN POD you can write daemons, 2-way client/servers, graphs, robots, HTTP servers, RTF converters, XML feeds, Wikis, Excel parsers, and the list keeping rolling.

Re: Not Everyone Likes Perl, I Guess
by zentara (Archbishop) on Oct 13, 2004 at 13:28 UTC
    Not Everyone Likes Perl, I Guess

    I find that it's usually the same people who don't like calculus. :-) Seriously, it's a fantastic tool/language, but it isn't handed to you on a "silver platter", and that's what most people want now-a-days.

    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. flash japh
      That's not quite a fair assessment. I don't like calculus, but I do like Perl. Of course, Perl itself is almost entirely unlike calculus. Whereas Perl is heavy on the algebraic logic (which is to say: it's very similar to the discipline of formal symbolic logic), calculus approaches statistics in its philosophy of application. Actually, to be more accurate and precise, statistics approaches calculus. I'll stick with Perl, thanks.
      - apotheon

      CopyWrite Chad Perrin
        'not like calculus'?

        i am shocked, shocked i say.

        next thing someone is going to say they don't like statistics, or claim they don't enjoy trig, or relish graph theory, or delight in stochastic processes, or revel in real analysis.

        heresy, i say. apostasy. impiety. blasphemy. scurrility, let us all shout.

        'not like calculus' -- how can such a statement even be uttered? i lack words to convey my disbelief.

        (perhaps i misunderstood your post, apotheon, when you wrote you didn't "like" calculus, perhaps that is because "like" is too mild a word, and you prefer something stronger and more appropriate, like "revere" or "love". if so i apologize sincerely and thoroughly for misunderstanding and taking your post of context.)

        math is power



      Calculus? sounds like math ...

      When I was in school, at first math was boring. Later, it became difficult but interesting.

      Our local west German school system allowed for selection and deselection of certain classes (Note: deselection possibilities have since then been restricted, even before the Pisa report about below-average German pupils was published). So when I examined my timetable, my marks throughout the years (declining math marks), and the selection rules, I discovered that if I keep physics and biology classes, I can deselect math, thus raising my mark average and reducing homework. Of course I did it.

      Luckily, later at the university I took classes in statistics and the like, topics that I should have learned in school years ago, but somehow hadn't. Nowadays I sometimes wish I had learned even more math, maybe it would make me a better programmer.

        My story?I always had a knack for algebra, but when I first encountered Calculus, I couldn't stand it and ended up "passing by memorizing". Very unsatisfying. But I ended up on a "winter camping trip" in the mountains one year, and there was nothing to do except read, and all I had was a Calculus book and some old newspapers. I would spend a whole day just reading and mulling over a single chapter, and something "clicked", and I finally got the idea of limits, differentiation, and integration, then spatial integrals of solids, and ultimately integrals in multidimensional space. After that, it was fun, and clear. I think people just have to be given time to let the concepts "sink in". They are rushed in schools nowadays.

        Now I think learning what numbering systems are, and set theory, are probably more important for most programmers, unless you are in engineering-programming...then calculus is a must.

        I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. flash japh

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