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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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    1. What disadvantages?
    2. What inevitable obfuscation?

    That's strong enough to outweigh the disadvantages of Perl for these sorts of programs.

    Stated as an axiom, but what evidence is there? The only thing people ever say is, "I couldn't even read my own code a week later." Try to assemble a bibliography to support the statement that Perl has disadvantages. Eliminating misunderstandings about JAPHs being similar to standard programs and Perl being less efficient than C (see my post under the code profiling story), everything boils down to, "I couldn't even read my own code a week later," including everything I've read from Eric Raymond.

    I keep hearing claims that Perl can be written cleanly, but every time I look at Perl code that's allegedly clean its initially incomprehensible.

    I regularly read code that I've written at all time periods in my career with Perl, which began in 1998. Sometimes I have some problems, but that's all I can say. Usually it doesn't take long to figure it out, if it takes any time at all. Legions of people can say, "It's unreadable," and legions of people can say, "It's fine for me," but it's all still subjective. Not "inevitable disadvantages." Note also that people who work with Perl regularly don't seem to comment that they can't read it. (You decide which is cause and effect, though.)

    There's a nice article somewhere on perl.com called "Top Ten Perl Myths." You might have to dig around, but I thought it was pretty good. There was also recently an article somewhere (?) talking about why C is not necessarily much more efficient than Perl. Java and other interpreted languages definitely aren't much more efficient than Perl. (Swing. Cough, cough.) It's all about algorithms, not your language.

    --
    J. David works really hard, has a passion for writing good software, and knows many of the world's best Perl programmers