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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Just look at it:

    msg = ' spacey string ';
    msg.replace(r'^\s+', '');
    msg.replace(r'\s+$', '');

    That’s clearly orders of magnitude easier to read than the Perl version.

    • Oh wait, it has to be this:

      msg = ' spacey string ';
      msg = msg.replace(r'^\s+', '');
      msg = msg.replace(r'\s+$', '');

      Or possibly chain the methods.

      msg = ' spacey string ';
      msg = msg.replace(r'^\s+', '').replace(r'\s+$', '');

      Perl can’t hold a candle to any of that.

      • Wow ... I've seen many complaints about lack of readability, but this has to be the dumbest one (not yours, of course, the original). Just wow.

        • BTW, the "blogger" is apparently only 15, acc. to his profile. After reading the rest of his post I figured he was a dumb kid. So he is.

          Sometimes I worry that the chorus of "Perl, in a Nutshell" will damage Perl's reputation ("it's so easy to write, but it's not always easy to read"). Then I think, if only I could be so lucky!

          • As a new Perl programmer, and (I will disclaim now) having never written any PHP, I'd like to point out that no computer language has intrinsic "readability". Do you remember your first time ploughing through "Learning Perl"'s 'A Stroll Through Perl'?

            No programming language is readable until someone invents a programming language that reads like a native language. Think Pseudo-code, and THAT is readable (or at least you'll get the idea...) However, no-one has made a REAL language like that. Yet.

            I've been to
            • I agree with much of what you say, but some quibbles:

              No programming language is readable until someone invents a programming language that reads like a native language.
              I don't accept that: I am fluent in Perl. It is nearly as a native language to me. I'd say no programming language -- or any language -- is readable to a person until they, simply, learn that language.

              I've been told by a Perl programmer that adding comments to Perl is "not the done thing" and is (apparently) unconventional. However, if there are comments it's readable. If there are none, it's difficult to read without having a good understanding and some patience.
              I wonder if perhaps you misunderstood slightly. I've never heard someone say that comments are not done if they are needed; the goal, however, is to make it so that your code is self-explanatory (to someone who knows Perl, of course). If I write this:

              print "Perl";
              that obviously needs no comment. However, this code, that produces the same output, is much harder to read, even for a Perl programmer:

              vec($str,  1, 32) = 0x5065726C;
              print $str;
              The latter needs comments, the former does not. And that's what many people mean when they say "don't comment": write code that doesn't need comments. Use variable and subroutine names and data structures and so on that are self-explanatory for Perl-speakers. And if it needs explanation, for you or someone else, either to know how the code works or what its purpose is, then by all means, comment!