I was recently having to defend Perl in a bar discussion with some techie friends. I was hearing everything from "the syntax is horrible - all those %@$~/" to "Perl is slow and clunky for doing web stuff, look at CGI".

Most of the arguments I was using can be found here with a search. Some of my responses were admittedly vague - "Don't worry, that will be fixed in Perl 6".

I was wondering whether anybody has put together a list of Perl advocacy arguments, either on Perlmonks or elsewhere. If this is missing, maybe this thread could form the basis. I did find this node, but it is a year old, and probably out of date.

Also, the discussion homed in on websites. I was having to explain how ModPerl is streets ahead of the competition in terms of performance, and does not need rocket scientists to program it (just careful programmers who are prepared to follow rules).

I also contend that CGI is perfectly adequate for single user development (i.e. unit test), and IMO is superior to ASP and JSP as its very clear what is happening server side. However, the technologies are not interchangeable.

The discussion moved to security and Perl was in the firing line. I was pleased to be able to give an update on Matt's Scripts and NMS. I also started to explain about taint mode checking, but was faced with guys insisting that no special mode is needed if you program in Java as everything is secure anyway...

At this point, I realised that my seeds were falling on parched earth, and I managed to shift discussion away from technical subjects. I could have done with a few Perl Mongers or Monks backing me up, then I would probably have continued the discussion.

Still, I'm looking for advocacy arguments for Perl, and for CGI and ModPerl versus the rest.


In reply to Perl advocacy, CGI/ModPerl vs ASP/JSP by rinceWind

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