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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Increasingly, science is discovering that humans are really really good at making the correct decisions about small niggly things by thinking about them a lot, but really really bad about making large sweeping global decisions by thinking about them a lot.

    So the ideal scenario is obsessing over the details, and going with your gut on the big decisions.

    And Perl for the most part seems to keep getting this right.

    And pugs (and Audrey) has done WONDERS for that in Perl 6, because now we don't have to just talk
    • by bluto (225) on 2006.04.24 11:01 (#47395)
      Increasingly, science is discovering that humans are really really good at making the correct decisions about small niggly things by thinking about them a lot, but really really bad about making large sweeping global decisions by thinking about them a lot. So the ideal scenario is obsessing over the details, and going with your gut on the big decisions.

      I'm not sure the latter follows, but it is certainly used by most PHB's use to justify global decisions. Just because big global decisions are hard doesn't mean that thinking about them in detail is worse than following your gut. For example, where I work people aimlessly clicking on email attachments was becoming a big problem. There are two likely solutions (1) examine the problem in depth and come up with a detailed solution to the problem which may include some programming, training and/or punishing users that continue doing stupid things, or (2) ban all attachments.

      Of course (2) was chosen because the cost *appears* much lower (well that and a good portion of the offenders were managers :-). Unfortunately, the cost is very high, perhaps 10x to 100x higher over the entire population than (1). By following their gut, where bookable costs are important, it appears better to waste 1 hour of time per year, every year, for 10,000 people than it is to come up with a one time, 500 hour solution.

      • > the cost *appears* much lower

        It does seem that most decisions to spend money are only made under duress or lust. Invisible money is so much easier to spend. Thus, if you propose to save someone invisible money by spending an identifiable sum at a specific time, you will almost always fail to convince them.

        What we have is good enough right? OK, I guess we don't need perl6, VectorSection, subversion for the CPAN, or much else of anything new. In the same vein, we could just live in trees and eat bugs
        • What we have is good enough right? OK, I guess we don't need perl6, VectorSection, subversion for the CPAN, or much else of anything new. In the same vein, we could just live in trees and eat bugs. Shrug.

          FWIW, I'm all for moving forward. I was merely zeroing in on a specific misconception I've personally seen a lot of. Sometimes I get rather pedantic and divert whole arguments ...