I have to say this post is a really awesome opportunity for intelligent discussion. When I started programming in perl about 6 years ago, I ran across ppl who only saw it was a "Scripting Language". I started out in that context, but as I learned more and more, I became slightly annoyed that perl had to carry the label of "Scripting Language". Its like calling a Damascus Steel, Full Tang, Hand Forged Samarui Sword a "letter opener". Sure, it _CAN_ open letters, but in the hands of an experienced user, it really is a beautiful thing.
I began doing a lot of CGI. I started out just using CGI.pm for parameter parsing and using heredocs with html all over the place. Of course, at this point I began using the DBI as well. Over the years, I became disgusted at how hard to maintain heredoc generated code was. I was also using perl for a lot more than just CGI/DBI stuff. I was using it to communicate with a modem over the serial interface (Device::SerialPort
in complex daemon programs that had to watch memory usage and clean up after children. Then I picked up Damian Conway's amazing book, Object Oriented Perl
and I began to develop modules for use with my daemons on the backend and my CGI interfaces. I found it easier to make my own cgi module that housed some fairly repetitive code that I could jsut reference across my many CGI interfaces. Around the time even this became tedious, my job fell out from underneath me and I no longer had all of the perl code to maintain.
I'm finally back into a position where I'm going to be doing a lot of perl, and as such, I'm going to start looking into Template::Toolkit and HTML::Mason. I highly recommend that you learn OO perl and the concepts behind it and that you immediately start looking into Template::Toolkit or HTML::Mason if you haven't already. There is far more to perl than I'll ever be able to digest, but I'm not gonna stop stuffing my face with all its goodness.
Bottom line, if you ever think "hey, this shoudl be easier". Perl either already has something to make it easier (most of the time on the CPAN) OR it provides the necessary building blocks to make your life easier. That is something I have looked for in other languages, and never found.
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