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Closing arguments.

by JanneVee (Friar)
on Jun 17, 2000 at 13:35 UTC ( #18621=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to RE: RE: Perl: Survival of the Fittest
in thread Perl: Survival of the Fittest

All your statements are true.

I have a little expirience with COBOL and the conclusion I came to was. The long development times of COBOL is an effective Anti-Hack mechanism.

The design thing(tm) in Perl is make it fast to develop. But after a hour of coding you end up with code that works and does everything that the COBOL program does(after say 4 hours of coding). Under that hour you're most likely to take the solution that first pops up. Compared to the knowledge you're going to waste alot of time if you pick the wrong one. With COBOL you plan your work different.

And as for Buss sensetive code (if the programmer gets run over by a buss -> no one can figure out the program). You can write COBOL extremly Obfuscated. You can write Perl Obfuscated. (true statements?) . Cobol is hard to develop with!(true statement). Perl is easy to develop and deliberately obfuscate (to keep support or what ever.). All these staments lead to That if it is hard to develop it should be hard to "waste" time on deliberately obfuscate the code. The horror story of Perl, a really good Perl programmer writes code that he says it is the best code he ever written. It is about 200 lines of Perl. The guy quits and no one can figure out the script. A rewrite was nessecery and they ended up with code that was about 300 lines. He was indispensable but he didn't work much to get the code impossible to understand. It is a little more work to do the same thing in COBOL. It can be done and usually done for a reason. The perl-programmer did not intend to write the code hard to understand.

The defense rests!

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RE: Closing arguments.
by Ovid (Cardinal) on Jun 17, 2000 at 15:02 UTC
    JanneVee, I can see your point and actually gave you a ++ for it.

    In my last job, no code was permitted into production (in theory) unless a senior PA analyzed the code and declared that it fit standards -- including documentation. Now, I admit that Perl is not the easiest language to learn and can be difficult to understand if the programmer is haphazard. That's where shop standards come in. Before any code gets moved from test to production, it should be reviewed. If a particular programmer has a habit of writing obfuscated, undocumented code, that programmer gets the boot.

    That's the perfect world. The reality is, many of the newer organizations that I see shoot from the hip and standards are a nebulous dream. Documentation? What's that?

    As compared to COBOL, I will definitely concede that Perl is sometimes more difficult to maintain on a line by line basis. But, Perl programs are usually so much more compact and efficient that trying to sort through 10 lines of normal code, however dense, is much easier than following the logic of 80 lines of clear code (IMHO).

    Now that I stop to think about it, I can't think of a single significant COBOL program that I've worked on that wouldn't be at least 50% shorter in Perl, usually considerably more. I would estimate that most COBOL programs could be shrunk by 3/4 if written in Perl. That makes the logic more compact, and thus easier to control. (This is due, in part, to COBOL's poor capabilities. I've actually worked in quite a variety of languages and I cannot think of one that is as feature-poor as COBOL. If you can name any significant ones, be my guest)

    That ad hoc 3/4 smaller estimate does not count the JCL that must be added to make the COBOL work.

      Perl is efficient that is why i'm a member of Perlmonks. ;)

      I have nothing against replacing COBOL with Perl. But to replace all lines of COBOL would be far to expensive. And not to mention mixing enviroments(that is really "buss-sensetive").

      As for Shop Standards. Must be always there independent of programing language.

      Feature poor as COBOL? Assembler pops into mind!

      The most valid point *we* had through this discussion. The world isn't perfect. Companies have a reason to exist. That is to turn a profit. Not to make it easy for anyone but them selves!

      End this thread please!

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