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Re^3: Developer::Perl::Find

by Adrade (Pilgrim)
on May 31, 2005 at 23:56 UTC ( #462257=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^2: Developer::Perl::Find
in thread Developer::Perl::Find

Wise sages, I compel your wisdom - I have questions and am confused... If I may - for reference, disply the portion of perlfaq1 in discussion:
    What's the difference between "perl" and "Perl"?

    One bit. Oh, you weren't talking ASCII? :-) Larry now uses "Perl" to signify the language proper and "perl" the implementation of it, i.e. the current interpreter. Hence Tom's quip that "Nothing but perl can parse Perl." You may or may not choose to follow this usage. For example, parallelism means "awk and perl" and "Python and Perl" look OK, while "awk and Perl" and "Python and perl" do not. But never write "PERL", because perl is not an acronym, apocryphal folklore and post-facto expansions notwithstanding.
Well, if this was the bible or some other religious text, we could read it as such - wait a second, I'm in a monistrary... err... I take that back.

Restart: Ok, my read of the Perl Bible, the book of perlfaq1, is as such... given that the text distinguishes between the use of Perl and perl, we can assume that they are divided concepts, each holding separate meanings, 'Perl' attaching itself to the meaning { the language as an entity or conceptually } and 'perl' to the meaning { the interpreter of Perl } (the things in brackets representing ideas - and that ideas are vague and nebulous, vague and nebulous ones). Despite allowing an individual to freely choose personal word usage (You may or may not choose to follow this usage.), the text gives the instruction to never use the term 'PERL', but appends an important mention: "apocryphal folklore and post-facto expansions notwithstanding", minimally giving recognition to the existence of those two things. As metaphors, parables, and allusions abound in religious texts, could it be perhaps that this may imply that at one time the letters p, e, r, and l may have had been bundled together as acronymic representation. One, of course, cannot help but notice that on man pages from the first version until now, the name has been given as perl - Practical Extraction and Report Language, but of course, as PERL can be found nowhere in the texts, we cannot assume anything other than coincidence - attaching meaning that isn't there could be subverting these precious words. But it still mentions those things that could compel a person to PERL, assumptions made after the fact and folklore that it calls apocryphal – could it be that it wants its followers to adhere to a standard in contradiction to something that may have existed long ago (perhaps in the time of Abraham - ie., what is any type of folklore anyway, and what does it take for a person or thing to call it apocryphal).

Although post-facto expansions would include ideological expansions of written text, it would not the written text itself, should something surface. This part of the Perl documentation may not write of Perl as an acronym, but I would like to cite from the book of Linux Magazine, October 1999, wherein The Larry writes:
    Perl not only stands for the Practical Extraction and Report Language, but it also stands for the Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister.
What is this? The Larry writes of not one acronym, but of two! Even the main perl manpage mentions this latter acronym (dare I say). I wonder – what then is an acronym if it isn’t a word that stands for a phrase with words the first letters of which make up the acronymic word. In fact, the Merriam-Webster dictionary defines it as such: word (as NATO, radar, or snafu) formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term. Yet, the perlfaq1 explicitly explains that Perl is not an acronym - is the manpage trying to express an (perhaps the) innate contradiction of our universe - is it covertly trying to say that two opposing sides can both be correct, or wrong, is it opposing moral dichotomy - is morality multidimensional? Please, saints, monks, shed some light on this troubling issue. Perhaps it is expressing that the whole essence of community counterindicates dogma, especially as it relates to the Perl community, for which the major founding principle of timtowtdi guides this premise.

Monks, oh wise sages of our era, enlighten!


P.S. This is facetious - nobody now get all explosive. As The Larry says in the Linux Mag article: Anyone who can't laugh at himself is not taking life seriously enough. - Perfect!

Impossible! The Remonster can only be killed by stabbing him in the heart with the ancient bone saber of Zumakalis!

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Re^4: Developer::Perl::Find
by merlyn (Sage) on Jun 01, 2005 at 12:44 UTC
    It's all about history. The name started as simply Pearl, but then Larry found a language also called Pearl, so he dropped the "a". The "definition" of "what Perl means" came afterward, only because people would ask it. Thus, it has never been written as PERL as anyone in the know, because anyone in the know knows the name came before the "meaning".

    -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
    Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

      Since I arrived late to the party, I think I first discovered this tidbit in the Wiki article, which I believe explains it pretty well:
        Perl was originally named "Pearl", after "the pearl of great price" of Matthew 13:46. Larry Wall wanted to give the language a short name with positive connotations, and claims he looked at (and rejected) every three- and four-letter word in the dictionary. He even thought of naming it after his wife Gloria. Before the language's official release, Wall discovered that there was already a programming language named Pearl, and changed the spelling of the name.
      I downloaded Version 1.0 to look at the man page, and lo and behold, the "old"|"new" name was still there:
        perl - Practical Extraction and Report Language
      , so I don't think that this could really be considered a post-facto expansion (so long as we would consider v1.0 the first real Perl "event", so to speak - if we didn't, we would need to search deep within the bountiful caverns of Larry Wall's mind for guidance, during the time that the primordial ooze was congealing). Consistent with the current man pages, the 'a' is in lower-case while the other initial letters are in upper-case, suggesting (but not saying) that someone once thought of this as an acronymic representation of something (perl|pearl), notwithstanding the fact that it was created independently and after the assignment of the name Perl.


      Impossible! The Remonster can only be killed by stabbing him in the heart with the ancient bone saber of Zumakalis!

        so long as we would consider v1.0 the first real Perl "event", so to speak
        Ahh, but this is also denying history. Perl version 0 was used within Larry's workplace before the first real release.

        -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
        Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

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