Sorry, but this really comes across as, "Without knowing the alternatives, I'm confident that your criticism applies equally to everything else. So don't complain."
This impression is not helped by many things that are easy to criticize in your response. Here are a few instances.
- You incorrectly spotted what Ovid was bothered by in that open. It isn't the global filehandle reuse (though that is bad), it is not checking system calls. Lexical filehandles do not solve the problem.
- You identify Yukihiro "Matz" Matsumoto as a former Perl hacker and suggested that he was motivated by what Ovid was. I'd like a source for that because I've never heard it, and it doesn't fit what I know about him. I've seen him describe himself as a Lisp hacker. I've seen him admit to knowing Perl 4 (and disliking it - he says that it feels like a toy language). I've also seen him criticize Python for not being OO enough. Yes, lots of Ruby people used to be Perl hackers. But I've never heard that Matz was.
- Ruby was emphatically not designed to address shortcomings with Perl (although I've seen Matz say that the lack of a scripting language that could handle Japanese character encodings is part of what got him to actually write Ruby). You can read this faq item to find out what he claims motivated Ruby's design.
- There are hundreds of different solutions for writing objects on CPAN. Better is in the eye of the beholder. The fact that standard documentation, top Perl programmers, and examples that you'll find online generally reach for hashrefs first strongly suggests that you can't dismiss that solution as just having a stupid programmer.
My impression is flavoured by one significant fact. I know Ruby (if not nearly as well as I know Perl) and I am in full agreement with Ovid
My considered opinion is that there is nothing that I consider a significant strength of Perl as a language which Ruby does not share. There are many things that I consider significant weaknesses of Perl as a language which Ruby does not share. The things that I consider weaknesses of Ruby which Perl does not share are relatively minor. If I had control at the start of a large project, I'd choose Ruby instead of Perl. I'd solve the programmer availability problem by being willing to hire good Perl people and retrain. The cost of rewriting wheels to be found on CPAN I believe would be paid for by savings elsewhere in the project.
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