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Re^5: pissed off about functional programming

by Roy Johnson (Monsignor)
on Apr 25, 2005 at 15:06 UTC ( #451223=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^4: pissed off about functional programming
in thread pissed off about functional programming

I can certainly understand Perl-flavored syntax errors, but I can't very well see a Perl accent in writing valid code in other languages. I think an accent comes from moving from a less feature-rich language to a more feature-rich language, and not using the new features. Because Perl is so feature-rich, and especially because of TIMTOWTDI, there is no Perl accent. Instead, a Perl programmer might exhibit a C accent or a shell-scripter's accent.

Caution: Contents may have been coded under pressure.
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Re^6: pissed off about functional programming
by adrianh (Chancellor) on Apr 26, 2005 at 08:05 UTC
    I think an accent comes from moving from a less feature-rich language to a more feature-rich language, and not using the new features.

    While Perl is a nice wide language it still has it's restrictions, corners and peculiar mind set. I know I have to unbend my mind from Perl when I wander off into other languages. Some examples of my Perl accent include:

    • I keep forgetting about meta-classes when I amble over to Python or CLOS.
    • I have to remind myself that macros are useful in Lisp
    • I have an awful temptation to sling everything into the local equivalent of a hash even when more appropriate data structures are available.
    • Since currying is such a pain in Perl I tend to forget to use it in languages that support it nicely.
    • etc.

      You are right that Perl lacks (or discourages) certain things from other languages, so maybe the feature-rich distinction isn't so important as the TIMTOWDI distinction. Many languages try to do everything with one or two key tools. Because Perl borrows tools from so many other languages, I still question whether it has its own accent.

      You can look unfamiliar with a language without having another language's accent. Of the things you list, throwing things in a hash might be one that is distinctively Perl-tinged — something that might make someone who reviews your code say, "You're trying to write Perl in Mumble!"


      Caution: Contents may have been coded under pressure.
        You can look unfamiliar with a language without having another language's accent.

        I don't really understand what your definition of accent is then ;-)

        For me it's using one language in a non-idiomatic manner because your approach to solving problems has been pushed in one direction by another languages idioms.

        For example, I'm not avoiding meta-classes in CLOS because I'm unfamiliar with the concept. I started learning OO with CLOS and other languages that supported meta-classes long before I came across Perl. I'm avoiding them because I've spent a lot of time coding type in Perl over the last few years, and Perl doesn't support classes in the same way as other OO languages.

        Another example is when I started learning Ruby. I definitely wrote Ruby with a Perl accent for some time before I learned the more natural Ruby idioms. I had people comment on that fact because I was doing things like explicit loops rather than using iterators/continuations.

        Of the things you list, throwing things in a hash might be one that is distinctively Perl-tinged
        Don't forget the very Perlish "every problem can be solved with a regex" mindset.
Re^6: pissed off about functional programming
by Anonymous Monk on Apr 25, 2005 at 16:37 UTC
    (define print display) (define $scalar 9) (define @arr #(4 3 2)) (define %hash '((a . 1) (b . 2))) (define (main args) (print (+ $scalar (vector-ref @arr 1))) (newline) (print (assoc 'b %hash)))
    Macros to turn @arr[1] into (vector-ref @arr 1)) are left as an exercise to the reader.

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