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Re^4: Update: Teaching Perl in the Humanities

by Anonymous Monk
on Feb 25, 2005 at 22:34 UTC ( #434687=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^3: Update: Teaching Perl in the Humanities
in thread Update: Teaching Perl in the Humanities

Nice idea, but I doubt it. I think Perl will always be around, despite what Python advocates say.

I certainly hope not. That would imply that centuries or millenia hence, we won't have a decent artificial intelligence yet. Hopefully, in hundreds or thousands of years, we'll have a higher level language with which to communicate with computers than Perl. A sufficiently powerful computer should be able to optimize it's own code to solve problems: given a reasonable understanding of human desires (a hard problem), and how those desires are stated (another hard problem), a computer should be able to generate code to solve that problem.

To an extent, we do this already with existing programming languages: optimizing compilers generate assembly language that no human wrote, and genetic algorithms have created circuits that no human engineer could ever design (or maintain).

If Perl is the best we can do, then I'd just as soon give up now. Perl is useful, but it's a long way from the optimum interface to advanced technology.

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Re^5: Update: Teaching Perl in the Humanities
by wolfger (Deacon) on Feb 25, 2005 at 23:37 UTC

    I never said it would still be Perl 5.8, or even Perl 6. But there will always be some derivative of Perl, I'm quite sure. We may design higher level languages to solve overly complicated problems, but Perl will be a better fit for the day-to-day small problems. You don't need to program an AI to write complex algorithms to automate your data archival routines. Nor do you need all that fancy stuff to do something simple like an HM (Holographic Messaging) client. There will always be a perl, just like there will always be some derivative of shell.

    And besides... you just can't do a proper JAPH in any other language. :-)

    Linux, sci-fi, and Nat Torkington, all at Penguicon 3.0
    perl -e 'print(map(chr,(0x4a,0x41,0x50,0x48,0xa)))'

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