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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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  • The situation with Java comes down to one thing. Protection before execution.

    Java has a simple structure, it's easy to parse. So the editors and toolchain can be made SO much more rich for Java than for Perl.

    Then do extra checks at compile time, that we can't do.

    They have the equivalent of strict and warnings on by default.

    All of these checks are aimed at weeding out evil as early as possible, and managing it when it happens (exceptions).

    Of course you can write evil at the level above where the toolchain can currently check. But that means that if you help improve the toolchain even more, you pick up more problems.

    I'm hoping that the PPI-based toolchain (as it slowly comes together) will help out with this. The "Perl Refactoring Editor" will be as much about telling people where they are screwing up as it will be about helping them do their job faster.

    Adam K
    • The situation with Java comes down to one thing. Protection before execution.

      Don't forget lackluster abstraction possibilities, a huge standard library, the mad rush to standardize on One Giant API To Do Things, and programming, configuration, and deployment mechanisms that emphasize Lots of Little Fiddly Bits .

      The amount of damage you can do has some correlation to the amount of productivity you can achieve.

      (There's probably a more profound point related to the idea that there are very few system

      • Don't forget lackluster abstraction possibilities, a huge standard library, the mad rush to standardize on One Giant API To Do Things ...

        And that's perhaps part of the reason why many seem to prefer Java. Yes, it can shackle programmer creativity, but then, it's harder to hang oneself while wearing shackles. If this analogy is valid, then it suggests that it really is safer for some (not all!) companies to pull the average Java programmer off the street instead of the average Perl programmer.

        However

        • ...we can't correct people's perception of Perl by bashing other languages.

          Certainly not, but any perception program ought to be realistic about features of Perl as compared to other languages.

          People criticize Perl for allowing people to write quick one-offs, yet that's an explicit design goal of the language! If people can do that productively, maybe Perl's easy to learn, especially for non-programmers. If Perl's easy to learn, maybe finding decent Perl programmers isn't as hard as it seems -- if y

          • [I]f you can find a decent programmer, he can learn Perl without too much trouble.

            Somehow, I doubt that. I don't have any evidence as to why that would be false, but in my experience, that's not as true as it would seem.

            Python, too, was designed to be easy to learn. And it seems that any decent programmer who tries to learn Python does. But Perl seems to evoke a viseral sense of distaste in many capable programmers. Python and Ruby, as languages of a similar vintage, do not engender that reacti

          • In retrospect, I think I phrased what I said poorly. I hope it didn't sound like I was "bashing" your comments. That wasn't my intent.

            For the record, part of the reason I value your input on this subject is because you and I tend to have strong differences of opinion.

          • Every line of code you don't have to write is a line of code you don't have to debug or maintain.

            Yeah, but that doesn't say anything. Lines of codes is a non-measurement. It doesn't anything. You might as well argue that NASA is a simple shop as they only have a two vehicles to maintain - much less maintainance than the farm with five wheelbarrows.

            A single complex line of code can be much harder to debug (and maintain) than five simple ones.

            Perhaps it's possible that you need fewer programmers tha

      • Don't forget lackluster abstraction possibilities, a huge standard library, the mad rush to standardize on One Giant API To Do Things, and programming, configuration, and deployment mechanisms that emphasize Lots of Little Fiddly Bits.

        The key isn't to live in what Brian Eno would call the "small here" or the "short now". Computing is an evolving story, and what we've seen so far is just the opening chapters.

        If you look back 20 years, microcomputers were a stifling platform, because of their anemic

        • > Another way to look at it is that Java is solving a problem
          > of managers who would rather reduce risk at the expense of
          > increased power and productivity.

          That's a very negative way of looking at the problem.

          One thing managers are used working with that we aren't so much is the element of Trust as a malleable entity.

          When you work alone, or in small teams, you can learn a lot about people, and trust isn't a big issue.

          When you have big teams of people, or work with dozens of outsources, then you sim
          • That's a very negative way of looking at the problem.

            Not at all. It's the engineer's lament that the best solution frequently doesn't win. This is just a case where superior technology (e.g. Perl) is loses out to an inferior technology (e.g. Java).

            Trust is a significant part of the social issue here, and it's not something that open source can generally solve on its own. Linux and MySQL are thriving in large part because of the corporate umbrella provided by RedHat (et. al.) and MySQL AB that ma