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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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  • An OSCon or two ago, I was talking to a manager at a prominent open source company. He was very aware of the power of Perl and the capabilities of Perl hackers. I asked him under what circumstances he'd hire Perl developers, and if there were any stumbling blocks, what they were.

    For one-off kinds of projects, he said he'd be hesitant to hire Perl programmers to build something. Part of it is the hiring risk that your brother speaks about, but his perspective was from a risk mitigation perspective. After
    • It's not just managers. Far from that. There are many knowledgable people who won't touch Perl with a 10 foot pole. Very good programmers. And they are right, Perl isn't their thing.

      It's not just perception. The problems people see with Perl are real. Perl is a handy tool. Multipurpose. But it's also difficult to handle, it's dangerous, and it has a lot of quircks. It's not for everyone. In fact, it's not the right language of many people currently using Perl. If I look at Perlmonks or Usenet, I'd say th

      • Why do you think, so many programmers shouldn't program Perl? Many of them started with an other programming language (may be Java) and now start to learn Perl. May be they have to solve a problem that can be solved with Perl in a better way than the solution written in Java would be.

        I noticed that more and more discussions about the future of Perl start. I think, that Perl can get in trouble, because outstanding people have a false perception of Perl.

        Why do all people compare Perl and Java? They have
        • Why do you think, so many programmers shouldn't program Perl? Many of them started with an other programming language (may be Java) and now start to learn Perl. May be they have to solve a problem that can be solved with Perl in a better way than the solution written in Java would be.

          The problem is that you cannot infer any general rules here. Sure, some people come to Perl from another language, and have learned the fundementals first. Others come to Perl as their first language, with or without any basic grounding in software, logic, or mathematics.

          There are (or at least there were once) very, very many people who advertise themselves as Perl programmers because they understand the syntax (curly brackets, semicolons, sigils, etc.), but not the underlying structure, architecture or execution model of a Perl program of any significant size or complexity. These are the people who probably shouldn't be programming in Perl, and possibly shouldn't seek a career in software development.

          So, while it may be possible to code a better solution to a particular problem in Perl compared to Java, the question is really whether a particular programmer can create a better solution, and whether a manager can hire additional programmers to extend that better solution.

          This is not a Perl vs. Java issue. It never has been, and we are fooling ourselves when we think it's an advertising, marketing or advocacy problem. The core issue is a social one, and it is very real.

          • But I think, that "advertising" or "marketing" can help to avoid misunderstandings. "Advertising" is not the solution on its own, but it is a part of it.

            My sense of Advertising is not to run to everybody and say "Perl is the Best, you shouldn't use anything else", but to show what Perl is good for. And that Perl programs can be as "clean" and "maintainable" as programs in other programming languages.