Last night on #p5p Alan Burlison talked about how Perl is viewed inside Sun. Alan is a Perl 5 Porter from way back and is deeply involved with dynamic languages at Sun. He talked about how Solaris is currently struggling to reshape itself after losing lots of ground to Linux and the parallels this has with Perl vs PHP and Ruby.
It wasn't a formal interview by any means, just a late night IRC bitch session. I've posted the whole conversation (don't think anybody minds, it is a public channel and there's good stuff in there). Here's some highlights.
<alanbur> They care about being able to do things quickly, not how they are
done. PHP is proof of that
<alanbur> Web2.0 types
<Schwern> I was musing about PHP. I think PHP has something we lost, and
that is that its ok to be sloppy.
<alanbur> I subscribe to a local mailing list of web designers and
developers. It's been interesting - virtually *all* the conversation i about
either ROR or PHP. perl has never even come up.
<alanbur> Perl stared off with a massive head start in the webworld - it was
*the* de-facto langiage for CGI, it integrated really well with Apache. What
happened, and why?
<alanbur> I see close parallels between the problems we had to address with
Solaris when confronted by Linux and the problems perl has.
<alanbur> Any of these sound familiar:
<alanbur> 1. Being displaced by a new kid on the block who has inferior
<alanbur> 2. Losing you place on CS teaching courses
<alanbur> 3. Concentrating mainly on existing users rather than obtaining new ones
<Schwern> I don't understand #2.
<Schwern> My place?
<alanbur> Do people teach your stuff in CS courses?
<Schwern> No, but they never did. However, I see your point.
<alanbur> 4. Valuing technical beauty over pragmatic usefulness
<alanbur> 5. Concentration on solving existing problems rather than new ones