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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • ... people seem to be so intent on tossing something together as quickly and inexpensively as possible that they don't consider the long-term issues they may be causing.

    In the past, people also wanted something done quickly and inexpensively, but two factors made the difference in the old mainframe programs you saw.

    First, the economics were different when those programs were written: computer time cost more than programmer time. It behooved people to get the most out of their allocation, so they set up tests and diagnostics from the beginning, and spent more time going over design, doing desk-checking, and so on. During the dot-com boom, "HTML programmers with Notepad" were more expensive than the potential damage caused by insecure web sites, so there was no incentive to spend resources on security and robust design.

    Second, most mainframe programs have been around for umpty-ump years, and have grown into spaghetti code over that time by being patched, fixed, and tweaked. Most web sites have been not been around more than a few years, so their bugs are still fresh and near the surface. In another twenty years, security features will become the norm. (In Perl 7.2, strict will be the default, and you won't be able to turn off taint mode or warnings. ;-)