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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • but going against the mainstream often makes people mistake insight and truth for anger. His comment:

    "perhaps Perl's biggest advantage is in having libraries for the most obscure tasks.

    Yes, that is my point. It's biggest advantage has nothing to do with the language itself, but rather the social/historical context. And that context could as easily have been/be established for Haskell, if people (had) want(ed) it to be that way.

    (I'm sorry but I really need to get this off my chest, again:) Scripting languages thrive on hype because they have no other advantage; their advantage is the hype, and the popularity which accompanies it. Sure, Perl may be an improvement on sh (frankly, I am not so sure :) but it is hard to find a strawer man. (Man, what the hell kind of marketing campaign is that? "Perl: Better than sh!"??? How about, "Bush: Better than Osama!" or "Spam: Better than starving!" Then again, spam is considered a delicacy in certain countries...) Consider Scheme: Scheme has been—for, what, fifteen years now?—superior to extant scripting languages in nearly every way as a programming language, and continues to be so, even though it has changed only a little, but no one wants to use it, simply because it isn't popular. Scheme was a great language, even when Perl was still a glimmer in Larry Wall's eye. But, no, we can't use Scheme for scripting tasks, right, because it was already invented, and moreover by academics, and it has far too many parentheses. Instead, we need a new language like Perl, which is based on sound principles like DWIM, TMTOWTDI and Mr. Wall's personal theory of natural linguistics. Brilliant.

    Most programmers don't want better tools as much as they want self-validation and a veneer of novelty. Inasmuch as library size is a measure of popularity, it doesn't reflect on the usefulness of the language itself. "

    This contains quite a lot of truth, particularly in the social/historical context of perl and CPAN. Seeing how one module installation tends to suck in half of CPAN at a whack these days, even that may be eroding. Why do people sneer at Perl6? Probably for a lot of reasons, but I believe a big reason is because those who talk most about 'community' have the attitude that approximates to 'we don't care if people leave as we will build perl6 and more will appear as if by magic.' And they haven't and it's unlikely that they will. Aside from the rot from within, unanswered questions also plague P6 as those who might have been interested but are too jaded to care.

    I'm not familar with Atanassow, but he seems to be paying more attention and understanding a lot more than those who perhaps should.

    • I don't think Frank et al are sneering at Perl6 because @Larry are taking a 'we don't care if people leave as we will build perl6 and more will appear as if by magic.' attitude. That seems to be your issue. Frank is sneering because Perl does not measure up to his ideals. It is no different then some literary writers sneering at mass-market or genre writers while bemoaning that the stupid unwashed masses don't recognize their genius (while conveniently forgetting that Shakespeare and Dickens were in fact