Interesting Quote

Stuart Jansen sjansen at
Fri Aug 12 11:34:07 MDT 2005

On Fri, 2005-08-12 at 10:03 -0700, Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> Having used languages that allow flexibility and expressiveness without
> encouraging unmaintainable "what the hell does this block do" 6 months
> later, it's not an either/or.  Perl zealots like to try to make it seem
> like it is, but it isn't.

Okay, cite a counter example.

I just think you've only read amateur Perl code. C has none of the
complexity of Perl, but the ugliest code I've ever seen was written in
C. The language wasn't at fault, it was the programmers (plural) that
hadn't bothered actually learning the language.

Java -- Don't make me laugh. Maybe you've just gotten used to doing 100
XML pushups every morning then walking around on an Intellisense crutch
all day. Java has a great environment of tools built around it, but the
language itself is hardly expressive.

Lisp -- Nice language. You have to find a balance and for mainstream use
the community is too small. For academic and advanced technical use, a
good choice and cleaner than Perl.

Python -- A language only gets to betray me once. Perl has also done
what I expected. Python broke at the edges when I started exploring.

Ruby -- Has a bright future. My preferred language, but you can't claim
yet that it is as mature and feature rich as Perl. Nor does it have a
large a tool chest yet.

C++ -- *gag* All of the danger of C, none of the simplicity.

C -- A fun, simple language. Hardly expressive.

D -- Too new.

PHP -- All of maintenance problems of Perl, none of the beauty,
consistency, or expressiveness. If you're going to say mean things about
Perl, you'd better hate PHP with a deep and constantly burning loathing.

VB -- Okay, I threw this one in because I was having trouble thinking of
major languages.

Stuart Jansen                   e-mail/jabber: sjansen at

"XML is like violence: if it doesn't solve your problem, you aren't
using enough of it." - Chris Maden

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