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scrottie (4167)


My email address is Spam me harder! *moan*

Journal of scrottie (4167)

Wednesday May 21, 2008
08:28 AM

Why I'm passionate about Perl

[ #36482 ]

Why I'm Passionate About Perl

The person who introduced me to Perl showed me that...

One large group in a large companies introduced me to Perl, and showed me that such a group can and will do everything in Perl.

# I first starting using Perl to...

My very first assigned task was to find all of the other Perl installs referenced from the she-bang lines of thousands of user's scripts. The powers that be, for security reasons, declared that Perl would not be centrally installed, so hundreds of versions were installed in home directories, some of them old even for Perl 4.

# I kept using Perl because...

Almost all of my programming up until that point had been programming games on the Atari 8 bit home computer and then later Amiga, which was *fun*, and programming games on Unix, which was *fun*. On Unix, I was programming in the language would become Pike but it wasn't yet stand alone. awk was neat, and I knew ed and some sed, and I'd learned C on the Atari and was happily assimilating the Unix manuals. Perl just proved to be a fantastic intersection from my wheelin', game programmin', hackin' past and my Unix present. It was another language that emphasized possibilities and creativity and it was one I felt I could express not only my business problems in, but my own personal madness.

# I can't stop thinking about Perl...

It's major artillery for me. When you're packin' this kinda heat, you can't stop thinking about it. I could conquer the world with this baby.

# I'm still using Perl because...

It's almost performance art. My friends show me their bits of cleverness, I try to match them. We look for problems to solve. It's almost like we're a roving band of level 20 D&D characters, way too powerful for our own good, just searching for anything that moves so we can take it on. Some times the cleverness is short examples, other times, modules. Sometimes they graduate from one to the other.

# I get other people to use Perl by...

Telling them not to use Perl. This doesn't always work. I mostly tell people to use Ruby or C# (*not* because it's similar but usually it's one of these two). Of course, I tell them I use a lot of Perl. Is this mean and hypocritical? No. One does not reach enlightenment by being pandered to. Before I was given Perl, at another outfit, most of the outfit used Perl and they sized me up, and decided I would program VBA/ASP. And it's probably better that way -- I would have written wretched Perl. I wasn't ready. Arguably, most VBA/ASP programmers need to spend a whole lot of time with assembly language first, not because it's a better language, but otherwise they're going to make a mockery of VBA. That's not to say that Perl can't be a first language, but as a Huffman coded summation of Unix, it's a big dose. It would be like giving a baby a fine wine.

# I also program in ... and ..., but I like Perl better since...

Java, Pike, 6502, Forth, ... too many to list.

The problem with hype is that the camp originating it starts to buy into it long before anyone in any other camp does. Look at Microsoft and how out of touch personal on that campus are -- it's legendary. Jobs' reality distortion field seems to be proximity based. While this might be useful for creating converts, the affects on those already in the camp are terrible -- it breeds circular logic, isolationism, piety, and, ultimately eyes-closed ignorance. I do not want that. In my mind, this was one of the worst features of Java.


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