perl [was: in defense of Java, again]

Mister E Mister.Ed at
Thu Jan 26 13:00:53 MST 2006

Jonathan Ellis wrote:

>>Other that code written very clearly, perl is one of the easiest
>>languages to write unreadable code in that a future maintainer will have
>>no hope of understanding.  It's not the one always implies the other;
>>just that it's more probable.  One of my CS professors said it best.
>>Perl is a great language for doing lots of things quickly, and it's very
>>powerful.  However in the hands of most people perl is a "write-only"

Where you one of those this professor directed this comment at?  Just 
wondering, since you seem to be one with issues about the Perl language, 
not to mention any other language discussed that doesn't start with 
"py". I thought I might see an intelligent or thoughtful response that 
might help me see aspects I haven't found/noticed in Perl about the 
maintainability others encounter inthe platform (despite using it for 7 
years), per chance I might see someone elses view on this subject and 
improve upon it.  Instead, I saw a professor's opinion algorithm that 
was obviously embraced and deformed when you were "coming of age" in 

I am just happy to see so many great tools to work with, for the most 
part. I do remember the old days, and they were fun despite coding 3 
weeks to make a computer go beep. However, I like the capabilities of 
the current timeframe and the value I can create with those programmign 
tools (and I will hopefully continue to evolve as they likewise do so).

> Often, perl fanboys will respond to this with something like, "but you
> can write unmaintainable code in any language!"  That's true.  However,
> as Erik Naggum said, "It's not that perl programmers are idiots, it's
> that 
> the language rewards idiotic behavior in a way that no other language or 
> tool has ever done."  (From a semi-famous post on perl:
>  Warning: bring a thick
> skin if hearing "perl is broken" brings emotions similar to "your
> daughter is ugly.")

Well my daughter(s) are not ugly, so anyone saying such a comment 
regarding my daughters would make me laugh outwardly.  Perl is not ugly 
either, and since I do not own it emotionally (fer pete's sake, it a 
friggin tool), I would need no skin at all ;)

If you notice the date of the post (March 2000), I could then compare 
this argument, against any language mind you, to someone dismissing the 
current Intel cpu architecture as a broken platform based upon the 
capabilities of an outdated 486SX cpu.

Any truly dynamic language will have aspects that will reward idiots. If 
it does not, maybe it is not as dynamic as it appears.  Python's appears 
to be arrogance ;-P

Any weak person can latch onto negativity, but unlike a weak-minded 
person, a strong one will look for the positive in in tool or person 
they encounter.  If the tool does not suit their immediate needs, they 
will not use it and then retain it in their arsenal until depreciated, 
should a need arise to use it.

> That's why these days you mostly see sysadmins and other not-really-
> experienced developers using Perl.

I think you have Perl confuzzeled with PHP.

It must be pretty lonely where you sit: One tool and all others be 
damned ... as well as those that use them.

Mister Ed

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