Sunday October 26, 2003
If Macgyver programmed, he'd use Perl.
While setting up for a Halloween party at my daughter's school, a bunch of helium balloons escaped to the temporary safety of the auditorium ceiling. Now imagine some Dads standing around looking up at the balloons, thinking "What would MacGyver do if his wife wasn't around?" The answer involved a tall ladder, a broom, and a large cardboard tube with tape on the end of it. Ten minutes later, the balloons were down, and all evidence of the hack had been erased.
I think this is why Perl gets a bad name in some quarters. One sweet spot for Perl is the set of quick-and-dirty problems that invite quick-and-dirty solutions, evidence of which is best erased. But our solutions live on, in periodic cron jobs that scare the bejeezus out of the unwary soul who trips across them months or years later, long after the immediacy of the original problem is lost from memory. Then, instead of a "Wow, that's elegant" reaction, we get "What is this crap!?!"