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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Dave Cross and I (and Rozallin Thompson, I believe) will be meeting in Lisbon at YAPC::EU 2009 to discuss this issue.

    Do you mind if I join you as well?

    Cheers, JJ

    • Not at all! The more the merrier. Heck, even people disagreeing with me on P3 are quite welcome. I want plenty of opinions.

  • Dave Cross and I (and Rozallin Thompson, I believe)

    Yep, I shall be there.

  • One facet of market research (really, product marketing) is identifying the target customers and how well the product serves their needs.

    I suspect one part of the echo chamber problem you describe is that few people seem to be explicit about who the customer might be and what they need. One facet of market research (really, product marketing) is identifying the target customer and how well the product serves their needs.

    Perl has several "customers" to consider. A non-exhaustive list might include:

    • Co
    • This is an excellent point and one I've been considering. In order to define the customer, we need to understand what we're trying to do. In other words, once we have a goal defined, we can better understand who are customers actually are and thus know who we need to potentially gather data from. My goal is this (and when we get a group together, perhaps this will change):

      Allow Perl to reclaim its status as a respectable programming language for new projects.

      If that goal is acceptable, then we can better

    • PHP won because you could edit your website in a website editor.

      You could use all the tools you had already to learn the skills you didn't have and achieve the goal you want.

      Dreamweaver clinched it for them, because now you had an editor that wouldn't break the code.

      And most people, in my opinion, don't change technologies if the ones they already have can do the things they need.

      • Check out []. It's in russian, but from download picture you'll get the idea. It has perl extension, however how much time will you spend looking for good perl hosting.
  • I've been talking to a lot of people about this recently, and I usually ask the question "Why do you care if Perl survives?". Most people say the same thing that you say at the end of your post: "Our careers depend on it."

    I think that's a pretty poor reason to do anything, and certainly the worst of all the reasons to promote a programming language. If we're in a situation where we are merely trying to save jobs and keep Perlers employed, we're not doing the right thing.

    • Ouch! You're perfectly correct. I was trying to come up with a vaguely punchy ending and dropped the ball. Thanks for calling me on that.

      • Interesting.
        Why do you think it is not a good enough reason?

        I thought that the sentence Your career depends on it perfectly fits my situation and probably that of many others so I was wondering why do you think it is not an acceptable reason to invest in the future of Perl?

        I am quite sure if I could not make a living any more using Perl I could switch to something else. It will certainly take many years to gain some reputation and I might even need to take a salary cut because of that but I would find m

        • Hi Folks

          Because companies which hire me don't hire me to promote my career! Surely that's obvious.

          They hire me because they have a code to be written, I'm available, and either they want Perl or (rarely) they let me choose Perl.

          Again, for /them/, my career does not come in to it.

          So, we need to promote Perl so more people automatically see Perl as the best language to provide a solution.


        • The reason why "your career isn't a good enough reason" can possibly be explained by again casting things in a slightly different light. Imagine if we saw this posting:

          We need to better evangelize COBOL and convince more programmers to learn it because our careers depend on it!

          The obvious reply is that this is a very self-serving statement which ignores the reality that COBOL is an antiquated language that needs to die. Companies are turning to older COBOL programmers because young people don't want to le []

    • Other people - and companies - might not care about my career, but I do. So I'd I thought career depended on perl then hell yes, "my career depends on it" is a damned good reason for *me* to care and to do something about it!
      • You should take anything your career depends on and make your career not depend on it. If Perl disappearing meant that your career was over, then you either aren't a valuable employee or need to diversify your skills. You should never have only a single thing that makes you employable.

        Knowledge of a particular programming language should be among the least of your skills. You should be valuable for your general knowledge of how things work, your experience in the problem domain, and your ability to solve pr