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Ovid (2709)

Ovid
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Stuff with the Perl Foundation. A couple of patches in the Perl core. A few CPAN modules. That about sums it up.

Journal of Ovid (2709)

Tuesday October 02, 2007
02:56 AM

Baby Perl (killing babies)

[ #34587 ]

Why do we say that "baby Perl" is OK but then we flame people for writing it?

Personally, I don't mind baby Perl so much; what I mind is two things:

I see lots of both and they frustrate the heck out of me. I guess I'm less tolerant than I used to be.

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  • Is it a level of Perl coding?
    • Oy. Given that I often ask for definitions, I guess I deserved that question :)

      "Baby perl" generally seems to refer to using a small subset of the language to get things done even though the full expressiveness of the language would allow a task to get done cleaner and simpler. Unfortunately, that "subset" might not include things like "strict", "sub" and other commonly used bits of the language. And what's the cutoff for "small"? Larry has said more than once that there's nothing wrong with using Bab

      • I think that Larry's comment about baby Perl is kind of like saying that there's nothing wrong with babies.

        Babies are wonderful. Babies have their place. But you don't want them driving heavy machinery. (Though letting them think they are driving heavy machinery can be a lot of fun.)

        Similarly it is good that people can learn some baby Perl and make their lives easier. I think that's wonderful and nobody should object. The problem comes when the baby graduates to programming toddlerdom and tries to insi
      • Larry has said more than once that there's nothing wrong with using Baby Perl, though others seem to disagree.

        I guess that without a clear definition, it's not an easy to question to ask or answer.

        To me, Baby Perl always feels like it's written by someone who learned BASIC in the 1970s from a bad book or a class with low expectations. Maybe some subs, but generally large ones. Lots of if/elsif/elsif cascades (with nested ifs). No references, objects or regexes. Cut and paste design. Use and abuse of flag variables. Many non-local references (either globals or lexicals defined way above the fold). Lots of code...

        btilly got it right: you want babies, but you don't want babies driving heavy m

  • it's like shooting fish in a barrel which is the primary form of ego boosting around these parts. Even Shakespeare wasn't hugging himself quite so smugly for his own cleverness.
  • Babies are useful because they tend to grow into functioning adults.

    It's just fine to write "baby perl" when you're getting started (or don't need the whole language because you're only doing small tasks) I think this is what Larry was getting at.

    It's not acceptable to have a 1-year-old's grammar at 20. You're supposed to *learn* as you go. Yes, babies should learn to use strict and warnings pretty early. But you know how kids are about taking advice from their parents: "You don't own me!" ;-)

    The impor