Interesting Quote

Hans Fugal hans at
Fri Aug 12 11:03:58 MDT 2005

On Fri, 12 Aug 2005 at 10:47 -0600, Nicholas Leippe wrote:
> On Friday 12 August 2005 10:36 am, Hans Fugal wrote:
> > On Fri, 12 Aug 2005 at 09:33 -0700, Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> > > On Fri, 12 Aug 2005 10:28:55 -0600, "Hans Fugal" <hans at> said:
> > > > I wouldn't go so far, in any case, as to say that TMTOWTDI has been
> > > > conclusively proven to be a Bad Thing.
> > >
> > > Yeah, but you're a sysadmin. :)
> >
> > Who happens to have a BS in CS and is headed for grad school in CS.
> No need to get hoity-toity on us--we all have credentials.

Just pointing out in the most succinct way that I do have programming
experience and interest in da code, which I felt was what he was
challenging by calling me a sysadmin (which I also am, and yes they are
distinct skills).

> > > The only difference between good code and bad code is exactly "what it
> > > looks like inside."  Perl5 makes it easy to write bad code and from what
> > > I've seen of perl6 that won't change.
> >
> > Yeah, but you're a programmer. ;-) The real world mostly cares about
> > what your program DOES. If perl programmers prduce a good volume of
> > working quality programs, perl can't be all bad. Not conclusively proven
> > bad, anyway.
> Sure, one perl coder can produce gobs of useful code quite quickly.
> Two can produce twice as many gobs of code as quickly.
> But can they easily swap gobs of code and maintain the each other's code?
> IMO, perl is pretty far out on the spectrum from the 'nearly self
> documenting' language holy grail.
> In my experience, if I have to read a line of code more than once to 
> understand it, it's poor code and is taking up my time.

Yup. You're absolutely right. I say these things all the time. I don't
see how it negates the fact that a lot of smart people write a lot of
useful programs in perl, which is my point. They do it in java too, and
python, and ruby, and C and C++ and even Cobol. A language is just a
language. Some are better than others to those of us that are knee-deep
in it, but in the end a language that fosters enough of a following that
smart people solve real problems with it, is an ok language by me.

 .O.  Hans Fugal            | De gustibus non disputandum est.
 ..O | Debian, vim, mutt, ruby, text, gpg
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