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ank (5971)

ank
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Journal of ank (5971)

Monday June 14, 2010
02:10 PM

Perl and line noise: an objective comparison

[ #40395 ]

We've heard over and over again that perl is like line noise - especially by people who don't program perl and are not used to seeing its code.

I think it's time to take a scientific approach to this problem, and figure out how "line-noisy" perl is. I believe that by comparing character frequencies in perl files versus C/java/plain English/etc we can ascertain once and for all which language looks more like English, which one more like line noise, etc.

The only problem I see with this is, just what exactly is line noise? Well, for perfect line noise, I would expect any character to be as likely as any other at any given time; so I think that by using that definition, we can easily compare.

I'm not going to do it right now because I'm awfully lazy, but I will soon. I'm more than ready to hear comments and criticisms on my approach, and on which code to use.

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  • Used to be that you'd get line noise when using a modem to get data over a voice line. Now, most people get their voice over a data line. I haven't seen a modem used in the wild in over a decade. Kids today don't even have a concept of line noise.
    • Yes, I only remember line noise from the BBS days - so I had to make a few assumptions - for instance, that line noise is like white noise.