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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Indentation versus curlies is, as I'd long suspected, a bogus issue.

    There are a couple of real issues with indentation, but mostly in Python's favor.

    Indentation without line noise is a major convenience for those typing with their voice or quite possibly other adaptive technologies.

    Indentation without line-noise lacks the redundancy that braces and a "tidy" reformatter can provide, but gets a similar effect directly. Editors that have been trained to match brackets may have a harder time skipping back to the top of the loop or block, although the eye can do it easier if it is on page. At least the lack of redundancy avoids the infuriating "missing close-bracket and die" message. (Having had PL/C systems try to repair syntactically flawed programs to ill result, I don't really wish Perl would insert the missing } for free, as Internet Exploder does with malformed HTML. But it still is annoying.)

    Most tellingly, the Ubuntu team feels the simpler visually obvious syntactic indenting is a major feature of making the language end-user friendly, which is why they've selected Python and not GAMBAS or Perl or Ruby or BASH as the single scripting, install, and extension language for Ubuntu. See long essay [] which this comment reminded me to make.

    # I had a sig when sigs were cool
    use Sig;
    • the eye can do it easier if it is on page.

      Not these eyes, alas. It was messing me up bigtime when I closed a bunch of blocks at once (if in a loop in a loop). No doubt I'll get used to it, but don't make the mistake of confusing familiar for intuitive. Nothing about these infernal machines is actually intuitive, and eyes can no doubt learn to see the invisible indents the same way that fingers can learn to hit the match-curly key sequence.

      Most tellingly, the Ubuntu team feels the simpler visually obv

      • I've had new programmers revel in Perl the same way I've seen new programmers revel in Python.

        As a new programmer I revelled in QBasic, but it doesn't meant that was a good language. Programming is fun, people can enjoy it in nearly any language. Maybe not COBOL... submitting batch jobs isn't satisfying. But all languages that aren't soul-eating are fun.

        But new users aren't all equally successful in what they are trying to do. Moreso, they don't even know how to judge their success; they don't have