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gav (2710)

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Hacker in NYC.

Journal of gav (2710)

Thursday March 20, 2003
12:37 PM

An update to the previous posting...

[ #11130 ]

The thing I didn't like about Rafe's comments was that it allowed people like Dave Winer to make idiotic remarks:

Rafe Colburn explains why Algol-like languages are far superior to Perl for working on large scale, multi-programmer, long-term projects.

My feeling is that it's unfair to consider a 135-line script like Blosxom and use that as an example of things that would be bad for larger projects. You can get away with a lot in a short script and I consider that one of the strengths of Perl. Some of the Blosxom code is a bit more compact than I'd write but that isn't the point, you'd not get much done in 135 lines of Java.

I also find the one line of Perl a lot easier to understand than the 15 lines of Java. I think it is a lot easier to maintain shorter programs even if the code is more complex (though there is an upper limit to how complex it can be before this isn't the case). I would definitely have put wrapped the code in a function if I was going to use it more than once.

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  • And blosxom is not really the most lucid code around.

    It's full of some very 'unclean' code. It works, which
    is great. I don't intend to disparage Rael, but his
    code is somewhat crufty and is also (slightly) hindered
    by it having to work on early perls, not just 5.6+.

    I keep meaning to do some tidyups and submit them to
    Rael, including having it able to run under
    Apache::Registry, but never get around to it.
      ---ict / Spoon
  • "why Algol-like languages are far superior to Perl".

    I thought Perl is an Algol-like language. It's been ages since I heard the term "Algol-like", but I always took it to mean syntax mostly like C or Algol, with blocks with statements inside, as opposed to very different syntaxes like Lisp or Forth, or the mush that is COBOL syntax.

    • I've always thought Pascal more Algol-like than C style languages. I guess Java is like Algol [] to the same degree that English is like Latin, that is after you drink several beers and squint.
  • reading his followups [] It seems he still doesn't get it.

    blosxom is a drop-in perl script you certainly can't use it represent a project in which a novice is taking part.

    Worse he misses the point about abstracting code in functions - essentially your senior or experienced developers will encapsulate harder code and the the junior or novice developers will use the API's provided.

    This means the senior developers can use perl to full effect while juniors can be productive with simpler perl.


    @JAPH = qw(Hacker Perl Another Just);
    print reverse @JAPH;