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NOTE: use Perl; is on undef hiatus. You can read content, but you can't post it. More info will be forthcoming forthcomingly.

All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Note that the question is not "Why is Perl better than PHP", but rather "Why should I use it?"

    Off the top of my head:

    1. Perl is used in places that PHP isn't. You'll find Perl applications everywhere from unix system administration to car parking. Learning Perl gives you the opportunity to work in more places doing different things.
    2. In many cases somebody else has written most of your application for you. CPAN is a stupidly useful resource.
    3. All languages make some things easier and some things harder.
    • (Attempting to channel a recalcitrant, skeptical PHP programmer....)

      Perl is used in places that PHP isn't. You'll find Perl applications everywhere from unix system administration to car parking. Learning Perl gives you the opportunity to work in more places doing different things.

      That's fine, but why should I care? I'm never going to use a Sequent, port my application to AIX 4 or DYNIX. It's nice that sysadmins can use Perl, but if I don't care about writing sysadmin scripts, what's the point?

      • I noticed you addressed points 1 and 3, but not point 2. I notice also that point 2 has the best chance of achieving the ">33% increase in productivity" someone else mentioned.

        Also, if there are any benefits from Perl (or any other language), why should I be the one who wastes my time learning Perl with the explicit purpose of not using it?

        Not answering the question of why, but the idea of learning things you won't use doesn't exist (much) since you can learn a minimal subset of Perl easily and in

        --
        J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers
        • by ziggy (25) on 2005.10.20 15:07 (#44059) Journal
          I noticed you addressed points 1 and 3, but not point 2. I notice also that point 2 has the best chance of achieving the ">33% increase in productivity" someone else mentioned.

          The benefits and drawbacks of CPAN are well known. And, as a devil's advocate, my point isn't to be Mr. Internet Politics Debater and natter on with "you're wrong and here's why", but to highlight some flaws in your argument that need to be addressed.

          Not answering the question of why, but the idea of learning things you won't use doesn't exist (much) since you can learn a minimal subset of Perl easily and in general won't ever have to learn something unless you are interested in using it, right now.

          Um, the point of learning a new language is to learn how to think differently. The point of learning a minimal subset is to use your existing skills with a new syntax, and forego the effort to learn how to think differently. So if your approach is to do as little work as possible learning Perl, you're going to go through a lot of effort with practically nothing to show for it.

          The parts of Perl that are going to be truly labor saving devices aren't the kinds of things that are found on page 7 of Learning Perl. And if you're going to take the slacker's path to learning Perl, you're probably not going to find and/or understand them, either.

          • It was Adrian's argument, not mine, and I was just trying to point out that CPAN was definitely a selling point that couldn't be spoken against.
            --
            J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers