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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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  • There are plenty of successful VisualBasic programmers who do a great job creating applications for use on the Web and Desktop. They may know that C++ is more powerful, but most of them never need the low-level abilities that C++ allows. As a whole (especially given a Windows environment), VisualBasic is good enough for almost any job.

    I look at it this way:
    Perl is to C++ as PHP is to VisualBasic.

    PHP is probably the hardest group, as a whole, to convince. PHP is more specialized, which makes it easier for new users to learn, and it has many, powerful high-level features that make web tasks easy to do.

    Which brings the other difficulty you face is that someone asking that question probably does want to learn another language. However, they are probably thinking Java or VB, as the next step, instead of another utility language, as Perl is.

    On the whole, I would say - once you are fairly comfortable with any specific language, it's not very difficult to learn Perl. Most of the concepts are the same between all popular* languages, it's just the C style semicolons, and parenthesis smattered about that make perl look foreign to a PHP programmer.

    For me, if I were going in the other direction, I would look at Perl as gateway step toward Java, in which case, I'd probably just skip Perl entirely, and go straight for Java. Generally, I would have never gotten into Perl if it weren't for it's command line and scripting abilities. So, the next step, from a Utility CGI language, like Perl or PHP is Java... Client-Server applet computing at it's best.

    Until Parrot...

    Once Parrot really gets off the ground, full-blown client server computing for Perl - web delivered - will not be far off. If I'm not mistaken, that's one of the goals of Parrot, right? LWP will make it easy, in any case. Parrot may end up supporting PHP, but PHP isn't necessarily well suited to dealing with the client side. Is PHP working on something like this? Google points me to "PHP Flash Remoting", which is cool, but not really what I think of when I think client-server.

    So, my interpretation of why? Because Perl v 6 and the Parrot engine are coming to a web server near you.

    All that said... To MANY developers, Perl's current Linux Centric view (being few modules are tested on Windows) and a large chunk are not available without VisualStudio 6+ in any case, the CPAN argument flies right out the window. I hope Parrot can make some strides towards fixing that issue. It will do Perl good overall.

    --

    Oh, and Andy, Thanks for reading this. I appreciate the opportunity to talk directly to the "leadership" on these important issues.