[Israel.pm] Perl's image [Was - Looking for good Perl programmers ?]

Madani, Srikanth, VF-DE Srikanth.Madani at vodafone.com
Wed Jun 29 03:12:47 PDT 2005


Pinkhas Nisanov wrote:
> I saw so many bad programmers that need to maintain perl code written
by
> someone else ( usually fired ) and results of this "maintain".

One may hear programmers complain that certain Perl code is
unmaintainable - but that's only because it was poorly written in the
first place, and maintaining unmaintainable code doesn't make it less
unmaintainable.

And why was it written poorly? Developers often learn C/C++ (and
assembly etc.) during their CS/engineering programmes or perhaps
participate in a formal Java course while at work. Programming practices
in these languages are drilled into them. With Perl, people sometimes
pick it up by tweaking code, and hence miss the perlstyle and perltrap
man pages, and the basic '-w' switch/warnings pragma, all of which are
directly linked to code quality. There are formal Perl courses, and tons
of literature - indeed, I participated in one of Gabor's, after having
learnt it from a book (no reference to Fawlty Towers). Perhaps they're
just not utilized enough?

>In perl you can develop code fast, but when programmer
>is bad amount of bugs grow much faster than other platforms.

>it's easier to manage bad programmerswith tools like java, c#, ...

I agree. The code-compile-test cycle is shorter for Perl than say, for
C. Which means that one might tend to be a bit casual while fixing bugs
- because if a quick fix doesn't work, it can be remedied with another
quick fix, and little time lost. One of those iterations will succeed,
eventually.

One last point - sometimes people don't wish to upgrade their Perl
installations, as it might affect lots of things. (Perl doesn't
guarantee 100% backward compatibility, and certainly not on a piece of
paper!) This means that a developer does not have easy and
straightforward access to the latest modules from CPAN, documentation
etc.

Maybe it'd actually help Perl advocacy, if hello.pl were to be compiled
into hello.o, and then linked (with what?) into a binary a.out.
It'd also appease those who (for whatever reason) wish to distribute
Perl programs without allowing the end-user to look at the source code!

Cheers,
Srikanth Madani


The days come and go like muffled and veiled figures sent from a distant
friendly party, but they say nothing, and if we do not use the gifts
they
bring, they carry them as silently away.
- Ralph Emerson




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