scripting languages

Jacob Albretsen jakea at
Mon Nov 8 10:05:41 MST 2010

Quoting Michael Torrie <torriem at>:

> On 11/08/2010 09:23 AM, Victor Villa wrote:
>> 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?
> You will likely need to read and maintain both languages.  A lot of
> scripts out there are in Perl that you'll likely need to use and
> possibly modify and update.  On the other hand, a lot of new scripting
> is being done in Python.  So whichever one you choose to write your own
> scripts in, you will probably have to deal with others' scripts written
> in both languages.

Seconded.  It's good to know bash, perl, and python.  Sometimes one  
will be a better to for the job than another.

I once had to script something that would run based on the sunrise and  
sunset times of where the machine was located.  Since we live on a  
spherical planet that is tilted 23 1/2 degrees, sunrise and sunset  
times don't stay the same.  Of course since I knew math and astronomy,  
I was given the task to figure it out since the previous solution of  
just periodically modifying a cron job was not going to cut it in the  
long run.  Rather than write some serious calculations in bash, I  
poked around for perl modules and found someone had already done that  
hard part for me.

And behold, my first ever perl script came to life and the customer  
was very happy.

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