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Re: I want you to convince me to learn Perl

by pvaldes (Chaplain)
on Sep 25, 2013 at 14:40 UTC ( #1055696=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to I want you to convince me to learn Perl

Just another opinion

Having C, I think that Perl is a good value investment, easy to learn, easy to use, and easy to read. Yes easy to read!. After some time you can write indecipherable code in any language you want, but you can write clean code in perl easily, and you can (and should) document your code so this is not a problem at all. If you want unreadable code try lisp.

If you want to manage your home system, you should add at least some basic perl tricks to your toolbox. Point.

Python is useful also, but python code can be brittle. You can destroy your entire program just copypasting it to another place (Yes this is possible) and definitely is more restrictive. When you write perl code you can paint yourself in orange dancing nude at the highway at 4 AM. Some people will tell you that this was not your brightest idea, but if you want it, you can do it... With python not. You can not break the law. You must write your code exactly as python wants, and this is either marvellously fantastic or a real pain in the ass. Your mileage experience can vary.

With lisp you need first to build the road, and it will be a very nice eight-lane highway... someday.

Lisp is fragmented. Last time I was exploring it, I had stopped after counting more than 6400 symbols (functions, constants, structures) available; probably there are much more. Learning Lisp is complicated also, but IMHO at the end offers you more value and power for each gram of effort than you invest in Python. If you are a "C guy" looking for new challenges you definitely should consider expose yourself to a language that is more or less "the opposite" to C. You probably will hate me for saying this.

Let say that C "is" iron, perl is clay, python maybe glass-fiber, and lisp is... mmh, dunno, water?, air?. IMHO you should try Perl, and test the waters also with one of those: Python OR Lisp.

  • Comment on Re: I want you to convince me to learn Perl

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Re^2: I want you to convince me to learn Perl
by Jenda (Abbot) on Sep 25, 2013 at 15:11 UTC

    If you want unreadable code, try XSLT!

    Enoch was right!
    Enjoy the last years of Rome.

Re^2: I want you to convince me to learn Perl
by kasxperanto (Acolyte) on Sep 25, 2013 at 15:20 UTC

    I actually have looked into a little bit of Scheme, but it will have to take back seat for something more practical (and more used). I like what I've seen of the functional programming model, though.

Re^2: I want you to convince me to learn Perl
by shmem (Chancellor) on Jun 25, 2015 at 20:41 UTC

    perl is a baroque forth engine.

    perl -le'print map{pack c,($-++?1:13)+ord}split//,ESEL'
Re^2: I want you to convince me to learn Perl
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 25, 2015 at 20:07 UTC
    > 6400 symbols. What on earth are you talking about?

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