I want to learn a new language...

Mark Higbee mark at impactprocessing.com
Wed Feb 14 16:03:04 MST 2007

If you want to learn a fun language that doesn't require an IDE and 
minimal typing Perl is the language for you. 

I would caution that if you do too much Perl programming you may become 
less excited about Java at least that is what happened to me.
I found my self saying all the time Wow I wish you could to that in 
Java.  Not that I was ever into Java as much as you are but Java was my 
first programming language.

I do agree that many Perl programmers write code that can be hard to 
figure out and maintain, however it is possible to write code that is 
easy to maintain and follows good coding styles and standards just like 
any other language.

Bryan Sant wrote:
> Contrary to popular belief, I'm not a complete and total Java bigot...
> Okay, I lied, I am.  Java is the shiz-nigget.  However, I'm honestly
> wanting to invest in a new language for fun and profit.
> I have a decent background in bash/shell, Perl, and I've played with
> Ruby and Python.  One of the reasons that I'm so passionate about Java
> is because it gets ganged up on by all of the scripting language
> enthusiasts collectively.  Java is pitted against the best features of
> Ruby, Perl, Python, Lisp, Smalltalk, PHP, and even Haskell, OCaml, D,
> and C/C++.  Is Java going to beat the collective power of all of these
> languages?  Of course not (but it would be close :-).
> Collectively the development language landscape is lush.  But if I
> (the operative word is *I*, I'm speaking for myself) peel off any one
> of those languages and evaluate it by itself, it loses it's appeal
> compared to Java.  I sincerely want to learn a new language well, but
> as I start to dig in to each language, I find warts that are even
> uglier than the step-child that is Java.
> I'd like to learn one of the following well:  Python, Ruby, or Perl.
> Here are my problems with each language respectively:
> Ruby.  You'd think this one would be a slam dunk for me.  It's OO,
> it's hip, it gets all the press.  But Ruby is the
> SLOOOOOOOOOOOOoooooooooooowest freaking language ever invented.  It's
> not just kind of slow it is so slow that it's embarrassing.  For MOST
> tasks, I'm sure that doesn't matter.  When dealing with the web, the
> bottleneck is the network.  Utilities or shell-ish scripts don't need
> to be fast.  I could be convinced that speed is less important than
> some other uber cool features in the language.
> Perl.  I like the fact that Perl is everywhere.  You can't swing a
> dead cat by the tail without hitting into a Perl interpreter.  I like
> that Perl is mature.  One word, CPAN.  All of this is great, but I
> DON'T like the whole, "there's more than one way to do it" deal.  More
> than one way?  That's a I nice way of saying that every Perl program
> is as unique as a snow flake.  I'd like to use a language that others
> (and even ME after 6 months) can read.  My own experience backs up the
> claims that Perl is a "write only" language.  This may be overly
> dramatic, and Perl may be more readable than I think if I spent some
> more time with it.  Help me learn to love Perl.
> Python.  Python is the front runner for me.  I like speed and Python
> is comparatively fast.  I like that Python is on most Linux systems
> (but no UNIX systems in the entire world).  I like that Python is very
> readable and confines developers to use a similar layout and style.  I
> like that Python is named after a Monty Python.  I think snakes are
> cool.  On the down side, I heard that Python didn't originally have OO
> capabilities and that this was later bolted on (the same is true for
> Perl).  I get my OO, so what am I complaining about?  Well, when you
> don't have to use OO, you often find code snippets and other
> developers who haven't bothered to learn and write OO code, so you're
> stuck with crap semi-OO code or none at all.  Ruby being OO from the
> start seems like it would have a better object oriented standard lib
> and a more OO competent user community.  I also don't like that Python
> has Zope, TurboGears, and Django.  Ruby seems to have just one popular
> web framework instead of three to learn  (yes, I don't have to learn
> all three, but I will come across them sooner or later).
> Please advice.
> PS > Don't say, "You should use each one for what it's best at."
> Screw that.  I'm not interested in learning to create "Hello World" in
> 20 languages.  I want to pick a language and acquire a deep
> comprehensive knowledge of it.  I'd rather be awesome at two or three
> languages than so-so with 15.  I want to pick ONE -- please make sure
> it's the best.
> Thanks in advance,
> -Bryan
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