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Re: Introduction

From: <cmpilato_at_collab.net>
Date: 2001-03-02 16:23:39 CET

"Eric S. Raymond" <esr@thyrsus.com> writes:

> I used to write a lot of Perl, but have almost completely abondoned
> the language. The problem I have is that Perl is a maintainability
> disaster, very nearly a write-only language at program sizes over
> a few hundred lines.

I've heard/read this statement on more than a few occasions, and each
time I seem to have failed to understand the basis for the statement.
In my experience, the maintainability of a piece of software is tied
far less to the language of choice or the size of the program, but
instead is directly proportional to how that language was weilded, and
how thoroughly that code was documented.

In any language with somewhat lax type-enforcing, the opportunity
arises for an advanced programmer to exploit this to do amazing things
in a really obscure fashion -- such programmers fail the Community by
not taking the time (and a few lines of textfile real estate) to
comment about the little tricks they're using to do Big Things. They
bypass the opportunity to share their knowledge with others, perhaps
out of laziness, perhaps out of pride, perhaps out of some twisted
attachment to being mystical.

I'd love to hear some more in-depth reasons why people oppose Perl
*outside* of suffering through situations as described above. Note
that I don't have any type of love affair with the language--it does
what I need it to do, and since I'm not an advanced Perl demigod, I
never return to my code and say, "What the *hell* was I doing here!?"
(although there've been plenty of times where 'the morning after' a
long night of coding brings the phrase, "What the hell was I *trying*
to do" to my lips...)
Received on Sat Oct 21 14:36:24 2006

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