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Shlomi Fish (918)

Shlomi Fish
  shlomif@iglu.org.il
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I'm a hacker of Perl, C, Shell, and occasionally other languages. Perl is my favourite language by far. I'm a member of the Israeli Perl Mongers, and contribute to and advocate open-source technologies. Technorati Profile [technorati.com]

Journal of Shlomi Fish (918)

Friday May 09, 2008
03:04 PM

Why People Are Passionate About Perl

[ #36372 ]

Well, Per brian d foy's blog post, I'd like to answer the question "Why I'm Passionate About Perl". First of all, I should note my "The Joy of Perl" essay, which I wrote back in 2004. It gave a lot of good reasons why I like Perl so much and am still passionate about it. But now to answer brian's questions:

The person who introduced me to Perl showed me that... - I still remember him (Ran) telling me that one can write a TCP/IP client in 4 lines, and a TCP/IP server in 10 lines. (Or something like that). I ended up not understanding what regular expressions were all about and he explained that they matched patterns in texts. Back then, I had to learn perl 5 from perl*.pod (what are now the perldocs).

I first started using Perl to... - had to learn Perl (and Unix) because I wanted the job working for Ran's company. I liked both Perl and Unix so much that I understood why I had not been content with all the technologies I encountered previously. (DOS and Windows 3.11).

I kept using Perl because... that was what I knew and I was comfortable writing it, and found that most various techniques were readily available in some form or another. For example, after reading SICP I was able to easily implement the closure-based techniques shown there in Perl. Then after I learned Object-Oriented Programming in Perl, I found out how nice it was, and how much better it was than C++. (Which if you ask me now supports Object-Oriented Programming roughly as much as COBOL supports Functional Programming.)

I later on learned how to effectively use the CPAN, use accessors, and many other tricks and techniques. I got involved in the Local and International Perl community, which was also a lot of fun.

I'm not a Perl fanatic and see myself sometimes using, learning or experimenting with other technologies. But I still like Perl 5 the most.

I can't stop thinking about Perl... - actually I often can. The amount of time I spend coding is small, and Perl is even less than that.

I get other people to use Perl by quietly telling them how Perl is important and how it is enlightening and useful, and also telling them about the things I'm doing with Perl.

I also program in Bash, C/C++, PHP and a little Python (and small experimental stuff in many other languages) but I like Perl better since: 1. It's a real, and safe programming language unlike Bash. 2. It's much more easier to write than C, C++ or Bash. 3. It's more comfortable to me than Python due to the TMTOWTDY, use strict and other factors. (Though I can understand why Python has its appeal to some people.) 4. It's much less hacky than Bash and PHP. 5. The Perl community is great, and has a very healthy attitude.

Note that I'm still using bash for the command line and for some really minimal scripts, and am happy with it, and prefer it over Perl.

Comments are welcome. (I leave the comments open, as I almost always do).

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