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A Perl Virtual Machine in Every Pot

posted by pudge on 2000.06.04 20:50   Printer-friendly
ptimmins writes "I wonder as I wander:

1. Why isn't Perl on every networked computer the way jdk or jre is?
2. Why can't I interact with this 'Perl VM' via some Perl code and GUI that runs in an Applet within any popular browser?
3. Why isn't a there subset of Perl that can be embedded in HTML and recognized by most browsers and executed?
4. Why aren't more pointy hairs aware of the significance of the role of Perl within their own organization?

I guess I'm interested in opinions regarding the validatity of the above statements, as well as any ideas about how to make each of them a dark and foggy memory of sillier days."
"I'll talk to myself, just in case no one else is interested:

1. OK, I suppose other than Win32 this is pretty much already the case, and maybe this is even starting to happen on Win32. It probably would all have been a moot point by now had their been something running in a browser to drive it forward (see #2).

2. I can understand why Netscape wouldn't have been chomping at the bit in regard to something like this, but why did't MS ever seize (or 'sees':) the opportunity?

3. On the client side, I don't see why Netscape would have ever felt threatened by this. They could have still had their server-side javascript, but in the browser, they would only have made their client more popular by having something like this in addition to javascript. Similarly, why didn't MS ever do this? They could have forced Netscape's hand.

4. Speaking of hand, I wish someone would tell ActiveState about the invisible one, made famous by Adam Smith (The Wealth of Nations). Like pornography, I'm not sure how to define it, but I know it when I see it ... and I suppose propaganda is required to make the pointy hairs take notice. But the socialist imagery turns me off (you know, it *really* was/is a Big Lie ... don't get me started :). I think ActiveState will have to change their tack on this fairly soon ... imagery like this will only serve to further confuse the pointy hairs (the Open Source Software Movement vs. the Free Software Movement), and it isn't going to make them think Perl is cool or valuable to their organization ... not the way an abstracted drawing of a steaming cup of coffee does, anyway."
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  • ... which isn't quite ready yet. Besides, to implement all of Perl, you basically need a Perl compile-time environment.

    I think the key point is the security sandbox, which I think Java has done better, especially WRT the fine-grained nature of control. Perl's control by opcode isn't quite the right level.

  • Huh? (Score:1, Interesting)

    jdk or jre is on every networked computer? When did this happen?
  • Some reasons (Score:1, Interesting)

    I guess there are several reasons why Perl isn't available as a language in browsers like Netscape and Internet Explorer.

    Both Netscape and Microsoft suffer from the NIH (Not Invented Here) syndrome. Perl wasn't invented by either Netscape or Microsoft. Furthermore, if either of Netscape or Microsoft implements something that they didn't invent, like Java, they insist of making it non-compatible with whatever is already outthere. But, to do that for Perl, they would have to make their own implementation of

  • Re:Huh? (Score:1, Interesting)

    I mean from the pointy hair's perspective ... " Oh ... you have a web browser and you want to run Java applets? Oh, by all means, download whatever jdk/jre you need. I've seen that steaming cup of coffee ... Java is good. Here ... we'll even put a copy of the latest stuff you need on a local web-server, and give you instructions on how to install it on your '' NT 'workstation' ".
  • Re:Some reasons (Score:1, Interesting)

    I guess there are several reasons why Perl isn't available as a language in browsers like Netscape and Internet Explorer

    Actually you can use Perl inside IE for a couple of years already. PerlScript as included in the ActivePerl distribution is nothing more than an ActiveX scripting language wrapper around the standard Perl DLL. It allows the same kind of client side scripting that VBScript and JScript does. Of course you need to have PerlScript installed on the client. You should only enable PerlScrip

  • Evidently Mozilla is going to support Perl scripting on the clientside. That'll be fun, except it's unlikely that IE will jump on the bandwagon. See lkback.html?article=1421 []

    Chapter 20 of Advanced Perl Programming talks a bit about the difficulty of creating a byte-code translator, among other things. I suggest checking it out if you're interested....

  • Internet Explorer will allow you to exeute arbitrary embedded scripting languages, provided you have the correct Active Scripting host installed. When you install the full ActiveState (at least, it used to be this way) you got the PerlScript ASH installed if you had Windows Scripting Host installed already (WSH is a generaly purpose scripting framework, which supports JavaScript and *shudder* VBScript by default). So you could embed Perl, Python, or a made-up language into your HTML pages, provided your use

  • Re:Some reasons (Score:1, Interesting)

    Perl isn't for the light of heart

    Faint of heart perhaps - but I know plenty of lighthearted Perl programmers (and some fairly light headed ones too :)


    • 4. Why aren't more pointy hairs aware of the significance of the role of Perl within their own organization?

    For the same reason they're not aware of the significance of the roles of Sendmail, or BIND, or IOS. It's just not publicized, and probably should not be.

    When it comes down to it, language choice is very often a matter of preference, and it's definitely an implementation detail -- nothing the general users of a product/service/system/whatever need to know about.


  • Java is not even close to being installed in as many machines as Perl is. If you have a Unix machine, you can download and compile Perl yourself (an investment of a few hours, max). If you want Java, you have to wait until Sun decides to release it for your platform.

    Funny thing, Sun now releases Windows versions ahead of Solaris versions...

  • Evidently Mozilla is going to support Perl scripting on the clientside.

    Although this is certainly a longer term goal, the immediate development effort will concentrate on enabling Perl and Python to create XPCOM components. This will allow Mozilla components to be written in Perl/Python but doesn't make these languages available at the HTML level. The JavaScript integration seems to be pretty much hardcoded deep into the system and cannot easily be augmented to support additional languages. Changing th