I'm not sure if this belongs here but it didn't seem that anyone else had posted it so I thought I'd point it out. In a recent Fast Company
article about rarly recognized revolutionary technologies mentioned Perl.
The whole article can be found here
Here's the snippet about perl:
What: The Perl programming language
When: December 18, 1987
Where: Santa Monica, California
Who: Larry Wall, former employee of Unisys Corp., currently affiliated with O'Reilly & Associates Inc.
The Internet economy has its share of stars, from John Chambers to Steve Case. The Perl programming language also deserves a place in the pantheon of Web heroes. Known as the "duct tape of the Internet," Perl has been hailed as the single most important tool for expanding Web sites quickly and for minimizing development times. More than half of the sites on the Web are built using Perl as the foundation, or "glue," that holds together text files and other applications.
How Perl was created, and how it works, is as important as what it does. Perl is a poster child for the open-source software revolution -- volunteer programmers from all over the world work to make it better. And unlike most computer languages, which are based on a strict logic and prescribe a single "right" way to code for an outcome, Perl was created by linguist Larry Wall to mimic natural languages. "There are many ways to say the same thing, depending on what you're optimizing for -- elegance, speed, simplicity," says Wall. This allows Perl programmers a large measure of creative expression in the way that they build sites -- a quality not often found in computer coding.
Like any major computer innovation, Perl has its share of quirks and eccentricities. For example, the most popular physical symbol of this software triumph is ... the camel. Years ago, O'Reilly & Associates put a camel on the cover of Programming Perl, the bible of Perl developers everywhere. The camel has become so popular that the O'Reilly Web site devotes a section to the ways in which the finer points of trademark law apply to the Perl camel.
It's one of the many indications of the cultlike following that has sprung up around the language. Wall encourages the culture, in whatever strange forms it may take. "With my linguistics background, I've learned that a language without a culture is a dead language," he says. "Encouraging programmers to feel creative in their coding process means that there is a real base of mind power there when we go out and ask them to help us solve technical problems with Perl."
one thing i can tell you is you got to be free