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Re^2: Perl credited with changing the rules

by etcshadow (Priest)
on Oct 20, 2004 at 01:38 UTC ( #400733=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Perl credited with changing the rules
in thread Perl credited with changing the rules

Absolutely. Perl is, in some ways, a big monstrous tool (it is, after all, a complete language). However, perl is also (and frequently) just a material from which many tools are built.

perl -lne '$x+=$_; END{print $x}', for example, is a simple tool (you might even alias it to "sum"), much like sort or grep. Heck, if you're on a system without sort or grep, maybe you create an alias for perl -lne 'push@x,$_; END{print sort @x}' (yeah, i know it doesn't support all the options that typical GNU sort would... but if you know perl, you can do that easily), or for: perl -ne 'BEGIN{$pattern=shift@ARGV} print if /$pattern/' (same arguments, and many more, etc).

Anyway, the point is that perl isn't just a universal tool. It can also be a set of many simple tools.

For the record, no, I never make aliases for stuff like this, I just do 'em on the fly... for example, who needs a -n option to a sort alias, if, rather, you just add {$a <=> $b} in the sort?

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Re^3: Perl credited with changing the rules
by Anonymous Monk on Oct 21, 2004 at 16:11 UTC
    The advantage of having a -n option to sort meant that sort users had an optimized numerical sort from the start. It took Perl more than ten years to optimize the common {$a <=> $b} such that one doesn't need to enter/leave a scope for each comparison.

    Oh, and -n types a lot faster than {$a <=> $b}.

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