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My name is Joe. I'm a Solaris admin. I have decided to sit down and get out my feelings and explain to you perl users why I so despise this language of yours.

I have a large heterogeneous network of computers. We have macs, suns, and pc's all around. We have exchange servers, print servers, calendar servers, internal proprietary application servers, database servers, a storage area network, a wan link to maintain, and all manner of other things that I wont mention just now.

We also have software developers.

Software developers are the worst. If I could manage this network without developers, I surely would. Why, every single one of them has a different way of doing things. Every single one wants this shell or that editor. It's not just as simple as having the vi that comes with Solaris -- or even better, Notepad that comes with windows. No, they want vim, or Emacs, or nedit, or Ugh!!...

Then they want their specific flavor of programming language. Perl. It's not just enough that they want to develop in perl -- perl is NOT a programming language! Perl in fact is a scripting language used for extracting and reporting from log files. Like nuclear awk and sed. It was just never intended to run web applications, command databases, and send e-mails. No sir.

So my developers, bless their hearts, write perl 'programs'. Worse, they developed a culture about it. They like perl. They refuse to think that perl could be the cause of any of their problems. It's Oracle, they say. It's the server. It's the bandwidth. Its Netscape or IIS or Apache. Never perl.

They not only get accustomed to having their own environment -- one that is exactly as tab-completion, syntax-highlighting, right-paren finding as they want -- but they extrapolate that and expect EVERYTHING to work the way they want. They learned perl back when people thought of it as just an afterthought to Awk. They dont keep up on when things change. They dont even monitor sites like this one here.

So what really irritates me is when they blame me for things they are stupid and careless enough to do. They blame me for upgrading to perl 5.6.1, which really should be done. Features are deprecated, syntax is different, new wording is planned, and they expect to continue to use the code they have been using since perl 4. Well that isn't the way it works. And don't come to me, guys and gals, when your perl breaks because you did something stupid. If I upgrade to perl 5.6.1, and your scripts break, its because YOU are using incorrect syntax. YOU arent using -w and strict.

Phooey to you, and to perl. Perl is nothing but problems. Software developers create problems. They occupy my day with gripes and whines about why their software doesnt work, or why their scripts are now broken. If you must be one of these software-developer-flies-in-my-ointment, be responsible. We're all hackers here. I dont leave perl where you dont expect it:

# so you can use: #!/usr/local/bin/perl # and dont have to use: #!/joe/hates/perl/programmers/so/use/this/perl
You have to meet me half way. We work in the same building. We spend eight hours a day together, five days a week, fifty weeks a year. We went to the same schools, and we both call ourselves IT professionals. But how professional is it for you to code so irresponsibly? How professional is it for you to not know unix to the degree that you have to ask me for a symlink so you can use the programming language you purport to be an expert in?

As fellow slaves to the One True Operating System, you owe it to me to learn how to use unix. You owe it to me to take care of your own code. You owe it to me to not use deprecated syntax and features. You owe it to me to use -w and strict, so that I dont come over and fix your catastrophic problem (which you attributed to me) by changing:

my $qery = new CGI; # to... my $query = new CGI;
So you see, I hate perl. I hate software developers. I really wish you would all grow up and learn how to be the professionals we pay for. I'll even go as far as to say that neither of us will have a job if you guys dont shape up your act. Our bosses hate both of us. They think I'm an intolerable jerk, and they think you're incompetent. But if you write your code responsibly, and use the resources available, EVERYTHING will be more stable -- the servers AND your applications.

My name is Joe, and I am the representation of all the people out there who hate perl. Listen up, or we're all in trouble.

<!- so maybe I'll get a ton of --'s for this. maybe i'll get a ton of ++'s for this. I dont care. See, I've been a unix admin for longer than I've been a perl programmer. and now I have a unique perspective into why some of the software here sucks. these unix guys are totally competent. these programmers are also totally competent. but the programmers are set in their ways. my job as a programmer is to be flexible to my environment, just as the unix admin has to be able to have an IRIX or AIX system around. They cant just throw up their hands and say ack!! this sucks!! this is what our developers are doing. I hope you guys read this and learn something from it. I'm a unix admin, and I've got my eyes on all of you. I'm going to tell you when youre doing something stupid even though im a perl programmer and I love the language and the community. Because you guys are not holding up your end of the deal. You need to be professional about this. you need to be flexible and you need to move and grow with the times. ->

brother joe.

--
Laziness, Impatience, Hubris, and Generosity.


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