scripting languages

Alex Esplin alex.esplin at
Mon Nov 8 10:02:21 MST 2010

On Mon, Nov 8, 2010 at 09:23, Victor Villa <vvilla at> wrote:
> Greets,
> I recently shifted career focus from web dev to sys admin.
> As I learn Bash i'm finding more and more that knowledge of a scripting
> language is needed, though i'm seeing some talk about PERL and some talk
> Python.
> If my work environment really hasn't taken advantage of a scripting language
> (nothing predefined), which should I choose?  PERL or Python?

While it's true that you can write clean, easy-to-understand and
maintain code in Perl, it takes more effort to do so than in Python.
While it's also true that you can script anything in Python that you
can in Perl, sometimes Perl's backtick (``) operator and built-in
regex capabilities make it a lower-friction interface to automating
system scripts.

That being said, when I write a script that I'll be keeping for a
while, I'll take the extra effort (it is a little extra effort) to
write it in Python. If it's a script I'm using to make life easier for
me for a day and would require extensive use of Python's subprocess
and re modules, I may write it in Perl. It all boils down to being
able to use the appropriate tool for the job. And being proficient in
both Perl and Python has never caused anyone harm that I've heard of.

Alex Esplin

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