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mr_bean (3802)

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Journal of mr_bean (3802)

Saturday December 31, 2005
02:37 AM

perl attack by Amazon programmer

[ #28182 ]
A disturbing read by someone apparently involved in language wars at Amazon. Apart from list flattening and clunky references, his main problem seems to be Larry Wall. But because he may have been drunk at the time, perhaps the style hides a plea to Amazon management not to head in perl's direction. Larry Wall, over my dead body.

The issue of whether your personal atttitude to the language is determined or not by your attitude to Larry Wall is an interesting one, however. A lot of prominent perl people seem to have a zany sense of humor, zanier than that of other language proponents. But perhaps they acquired it as they learned the language. Perhaps proponents of other languages have a sense of humor too, but are funny in private, rather than in public.

Here's another URL I want to bookmark, David Hume's History of England, vol 6:

The skeptical Scottish philosopher's account of The English Civil War of the 17th century, fought over religion, warns of the dangers of sectarianism. It's fascinating. Never again will you ridicule Third World political developments, having read this.

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  • the personalities are what matter. Perl is the island of misfit programmers. I've felt very alienated and offended at times about the overt religiosity of Larry, too, which I don't think many Americans as a whole understand how oppressive it is until they leave Jesustan with Jerry Fallwell calling Katrina divine retribution, and enter the world where the deep scars of such sorts of religion have made such public ovations of religion a reasonably unwelcome happenstance.
  • I concur I'm afraid.

    Weird I can deal with, quirky I can deal with. Having met and had the amazing fortune to go for dinner with Larry (and Damian and Uri) he really is a very humble and nice guy, if somewhat shy.

    But the religious it tweaks some very deep red flags, and it's the bit of him (in his writings at least) that makes me very nervous. In person of course, he's just very geeky.

    I was very much worried for the future of Perl too.

    But fortunately now that the lamdacamels are taking stronger and stronger
    • ... and god damn we have to stop publishing those state of the onions in text form. They really are unintelligable muck without the on-stage delivery.
    • I'm a dirty atheist and seem to do alright ignoring the religiosity. This, on the other hand, worries me a bit:

      But fortunately now that the lamdacamels are taking stronger and stronger hold over the the structure of Perl 6 (no global variables, inside-out-haskelly-no-sideeffect-optimisation-everywhere stuff, fundamentally sane parser -> lexer -> backend structure and so on.

      It is precisely the absense of both software engineering preachiness and worship of internal structure that to me define Perl

  • Hmmmmm. I'm probably the atheist who has worked most closely with Larry over the past half a decade. I have never once been preached at, nor felt in any way oppressed by his occasional quiet references to his faith. In my observation, if Larry seeks to convert at all, it's by example rather than by evangelism. I only wish that more Christians were like him (i.e. actually tried to live according to the beliefs they profess).
    • I don't know that they are quiet references, Damian and I can understand how they might scare people off, especially now with the US being rather divided over such things as "Merry Christmas" vs. "Happy Holidays."
      • I guess my main point is that I've never heard Larry say to anyone: "You must believe what I believe". Only ever: "This is what I believe". And that's the defining difference for me between preaching and exemplifying.

        And, yes, I can well understand the trepidation that non-believers and believers-in-other-gods experience in the U.S., given the coercive perversions of Christian faith that seem to dominate there. But if our reaction is thereafter to fear or censor mere statements of personal religious belie

        • Bravo, thank you Damian. Belief should not threaten us, nor Statement of Belief. To condemn someone for Belief is as bad as would be for them to condemn us for non-belief or wrong-belief. To assume that all fervent believers condemn the differently-believing is itself a harmful mistaken prejudice. (Although with the politically active portion of the US Religious Right, it may be the safe way to bet -- we can not extrapolate safely to the equally religious folks who have better things to do than persecute h
          # I had a sig when sigs were cool
          use Sig;
  • Is Weak Typing Strong Enough? [] is an interesting companion piece...