|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
My job requires that certain things be done in a certain time with a certain budget. That means (obviously), that I have to work with whatever tools I have at my disposal to get the job done. That would be simple if I was as much of a Perl hacker as japhy. However, I'm still far away from that level of Perl knowledge, nor do I have a problem with not being as skilled a Perl hacker as the rest of the monks. I'll achieve the skill one of the days (maybe years...).
I only have experience with Assembler (theoretical experience mostly, very little code...), FORTRAN (lots of experience since I'm a physics major), VB (I thought I'd learn some VB for fun...), and C (again, theoretical mostly, some actual code). The language I know the most about (even with my limited knowledge) is Perl. However, since Perl is very closely tied to C/C++, it's no surprise that I'm coming to understand C/C++ a little more. Of course, now it's time to get back to the subject at hand.
Since most inputs are fixed for most projects, effieciency is what you make it out to be. The only thing your project manager/boss/whatever will care about is that the project gets done. It does not matter how you get to the end of the road, only that you get there. If you can use Perl to do it in one day, and still meet all of the requirements, use Perl (even if it is bloated). If you can do it in 15 minutes in C/C++ with astonishing speed, then do it.
I don't think the question is whether or not a programming language is efficient. The question should be whether or not the language is suited for the task (every so often, machine speed will rule certain languages out). In most cases, any language will do (most of the time, the machines running the code are fairly strong. e.g., P133 or better). It then becomes a case of preference, as well as knowledge of that language. One person might say "Java is my sword!" and decide to code every application in Java. That's all fine and dandy. If someone can code the same thing in C/C++, then that's just the old TMTOWTDI motto so common in the Perl community.
With all else beind held equal (the infamous Economics line), use what you know best and chances are you will be "efficient." If you always have to spend 80% of the time trying to figure out which language to pick from the 15 you know, then you definitely are approaching problem solving from the wrong angle. I guess the fact that I only know Perl makes picking languages quite easy for me. ^_~
"Never ask what you can do for a language. Only ask why the language was made for you."
Theodore Charles III
Los Angeles Senior High
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