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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Great conversation here. Glad that people are willing to engage in it thoughtfully. (Many thanks to Alias for the conversation starter.)

    @ educated_foo [perl.org]: The reality is that people are using Ruby, and Rails, for more than just scripting up "shiny-looking web page with minimal effort." (I'll concede the point about DHH's hair.) They're using it for all kinds of crazy stuff, like writing desktop applications and large-scale messaging services like Twitter. (All things that Perl can do equally well.)

    Regardless, I

    --
    Keeping technology simple since 2003
    • Desktop applications? I haven't seen any yet (I don't count web apps), so can you point me in the right direction?

      AFAIK, Twitter is just a shiny web app that throws a lot of servers at a problem. Other than the web interface, it seems like the whole thing could be done with text files and a UDP server. Rails actually seems like a terrible fit for what Twitter is doing; it seems better suited for the simple, low-traffic web interfaces that most small businesses want than for a high-traffic buffered mess

      • "Desktop applications? I haven't seen any yet (I don't count web apps), so can you point me in the right direction?"

        http://www.macruby.org/ [macruby.org]

        "AFAIK, Twitter is just a shiny web app that throws a lot of servers at a problem. Other than the web interface, it seems like the whole thing could be done with text files and a UDP server. Rails actually seems like a terrible fit for what Twitter is doing; it seems better suited for the simple, low-traffic web interfaces that most small businesses want than for a high-traffic buffered message queue."

        Agreed, and I bet they regret the decision. But, assuming that should have been obvious to the folks at Twitter, what was the initial thing that lead them in the direction of Ruby on Rails? (And, either way -- good or bad -- Twitter has done a lot to promote awareness of RoR.)

        "Fads count for a lot in programming. Perl, Python, and Ruby are all roughly similar at a technical level (though Perl gets variable scoping right), so if I don't know any of them, then all else being equal, I'll choose the one most likely to make me look cool and/or get me a job."

        Therein lies the Catch-22. if it's a cyclical thing, it's hip today, and gone tomorrow. Look at Javascript, however: as Piers Cawley [h-online.com] points out, it was barely on people's horizon a few years ago and now it's the core of how many Web experiences are delivered. The future is unfolding right now, and I don't see any reason why a Perl renaissance isn't in the cards.

        --
        Keeping technology simple since 2003