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Promoting perl classes

by zer (Deacon)
on Nov 21, 2007 at 06:24 UTC ( #652067=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Good evening,

I am currently pushing for a new perl oriented course in my university. The current course being taught is a internet technology course where you learn CGI programing primarily with perl and a bit of php.

I have used perl for some time and hold a big bias towards it. So what i could use help with is some good arguments that would support another course on perl. Preferably something outside of the CGI realm of things. Good references would help as well. For example, LAMP.

The question is, why perl vs other technologies. What truely makes this a language worth learning vs others

Thanks in advance for your input!

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Promoting perl classes
by dwu (Monk) on Nov 21, 2007 at 06:34 UTC
Re: Promoting perl classes
by angiehope (Pilgrim) on Nov 21, 2007 at 08:57 UTC
    From my own experience, the following points come to my mind:
    • Perl implements many concepts relevant to programming classes (references, regular expressions, threads e.g.)
    • Perl can be used for other internet-related tasks besides cgi: parsing log files, processing XML, writing web robots etc.
    • You might check out "Mastering Algorithms in Perl" ISBN 9781565923980 which has been reviewed on this site.

    Good luck with your classes!
Re: Promoting perl classes
by Erez (Priest) on Nov 21, 2007 at 11:46 UTC

    What truly makes this a language worth learning vs others

    I'd ignore the "vs others" if you please, I have no idea why should you teach Perl over any other languages, and in Web-Development the choice is very usually not what academy would like it to be.
    I would teach Perl in college for its linguistic virtues. The use of a syntax that allows you to say what you mean, and the whole "There's More Than One Way to Do it" philosophy. You may also hear Perl-hackers use terms like "fluent in Perl", "how to say in Perl".

    Read Perl as a Natural Language for some more insights on this. It's a very unique experience, especially if you have some experience in other languages that attempted to have a natural language syntax.

    Software speaks with tongues of man; I debug, therefore I code.

Re: Promoting perl classes
by philcrow (Priest) on Nov 21, 2007 at 14:31 UTC
    To convince faculty I would appeal to their desire for a broad curriculum. They may not know Perl, since they probably didn't learn it in in school. For instance, they may not realize the ease with which they could demonstrate functional programming with it.

    If they only want an easy web tool, that's a different story. There are many easy tools only some of which involve Perl.


    The Gantry Web Framework Book is now available.
Re: Promoting perl classes
by zby (Vicar) on Nov 21, 2007 at 10:37 UTC
    You might try to tie it with some other courses popular among the attendees by showing them the applicable libraries and solving some example problems.

    And by the way if you teach them about web programming use some modern framework (Catalyst, CGI::Application, Jifty) not the bare

Re: Promoting perl classes
by blahblahblah (Priest) on Nov 22, 2007 at 03:29 UTC

    I was just searching around my own alma mater last week, curious as to what the curriculum is like these days, and wondering if they had any Perl content. I didn't find any Perl. Looked like it was almost all Java. (They were starting that switch while I was in school, from C to Java for most courses. I considered myself lucky to get a little exposure to both.)

    You might have some luck easing Perl into a broader course, rather than pushing for an entire Perl course. A few of the upper-level CS courses that I took allowed us to write the projects in whatever language we chose. I think that would be tough on a grader, but maybe the TA's liked a challenge. I remember doing a big group project in Perl. Another required class we had was "programming languages", in which they exposed us to prolog, lisp, etc. You'd have to highlight the unique and interesting points of the language.

    I was first introduced to Perl in a free one-night class given by a fellow student. Do you have any type of student organization, linux user group, ACM chapter, etc., that would be interested in a free presentation? You could teach it yourself.

    By the way, I'm curious what university you're at?

      i was thinking of runing a class on it but i wouldnt even know where to start. It is an option though. 3rd semester students learn perl in their course so i can take from that and continue in any of a million directions.

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