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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • That was very interesting.

    A theme I picked while reading up was that compared to the other languages, Perl seems to have better semantics but worse syntax.

    Is that a fair assessment? Or is it just you being unfamiliar with or unused to the other languages' dark corners?

    • It's hard to say how much I suffered with each language due to unfamiliarity. With PHP, it's definitely some, but PHP is also just awful. With Python, I'm pretty okay with Python, so it was not so bad, I think. In Ruby, I know I probably could've done some things more idiomatically if I knew more idioms.

      As for your summary, no, I don't think I'd agree with that. Perl's syntax was very often excellent. Perl and Ruby both have syntax that pleases me, although not always in the same places. Ruby's line orientation gets in my way and it makes me miss variable-marking sigils.

      Ruby's semantics for object oriented code blow Perl's out of the water (duh), until you add Moose into the picture, and then they both have some advantages over the other. If I ever get off my butt and implement overloading of ->, Perl can start gaining more on Ruby.

      Python has better semantics (by which I mean any) for built-in sets. Perl has better syntax for chained list transformations.

      It goes on and on. It's more complicated than just syntax or semantics. It's specific instances of both.

      • I am always terribly amused when people claim that their favourite language out of the group of Perl, Python and Ruby is clearly and obviously much better than one or more of the others. (Javascript arguably belongs to this same group.) If you throw really different languages into the mix, like C, C++, Java, Haskell, OCaml, Prolog, Self, Erlang, XSLT, Forth, and a few more, then suddenly you can hardly tell a difference between Perl, Python, Ruby and JS. Someone making a big deal out of these differences su

        • Sure, they are very similar languages, and claiming that any one is the supreme language would be nonsense, and claiming that one is wildly superior to another for everyone and in all ways would also be nonsense. Still, they are different. They have different problems and strengths. Discussing those seems like a reasonable thing to do.

          • Absolutely. I was tying into your point that it’s much more complicated than any simplistic soundbite analysis.