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Re: Introduction

From: Deven T. Corzine <deven_at_ties.org>
Date: 2001-03-05 05:47:28 CET

On Sat, 3 Mar 2001, Greg Stein wrote:

> Your defensiveness of the language is not required. Every response that I've
> seen has recognized Perl as a "force", although people dislike it
> personally. Those people will recognize that it has utility. Case studies in
> its success are not required. Even if every response was that people hate
> it, it still does not discount that it was useful in certain environments.

I love Perl. I've programmed in many languages for many years, but none
have approached the power and expressiveness of Perl. Sure, the language
can be abused, but what language can't? (How many years has the IOCCC been
running now?) It's easy to write bad Perl OR to write good Perl.

> Personally, I think Perl is great for short text transform applications.
> Once you need data structures, though, it really breaks down, and I'll
> absolutely recommend Python. For myself, I know Python and its libraries
> well enough to do text transforms efficiently and effectively in Python. I
> don't expect that of others, so Perl is typically recommended.

This was true for Perl 4. Perl 4's lack of references made it very hard
(though not impossible) to implement a large application. Perl 5, on the
other hand, is quite adept at manipulating data structures of arbitrary
complexity; this is one of Perl's strengths, not a weakness.

Perl is excellent at text transformations, of course. But to suggest that
covers the applicable domain of the language is as inaccurate as suggesting
that Emacs is only good for basic text editing. Yes, it's good for that,
but it's only the tip of the iceberg.

I don't know where all this hostility toward Perl is coming from here; the
complaints about "Other People's Perl" are a poor way to evaluate the value
of the language -- a bad programmer will write bad code, regardless of the
language used. I've seen bad code in every language I've used. You can't
force bad programmers to write good code, after all...

Deven
Received on Sat Oct 21 14:36:25 2006

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