[Israel.pm] Where is the Perl Buzz?

Amir E. Aharoni amir.aharoni at gmail.com
Wed Oct 3 10:04:46 PDT 2007


On 02/10/2007, Shlomi Fish <shlomif at iglu.org.il> wrote:
> Hi all!
>
> There is an interesting discussion about Perl here:
>
> http://discuss.joelonsoftware.com/default.asp?joel.3.546349.20

There are many discussions like this one, and i don't have much to say about it.

However i do have something to say about an atricle that is linked
from one one of the comments:

http://steve.yegge.googlepages.com/ancient-languages-perl

It is written by a long-time Amazon.com employee, it is very long, it
name-checks J. Gosling, A. Kay and other CS luminaries; these things
are supposed to add authorities to it.

But in the same time it is as pointless as the example email from the
documentation to Damian's Text::Autoformat:

http://search.cpan.org/~dconway/Text-Autoformat-v1.14.0/lib/Text/Autoformat.pm#The_problem

The author simply picks one (and a half) Perl feature that he dislikes
and rants about it ad nauseam. Perl's greatest sins, according to him,
are:

1. Flattening lists: (1, 2, (3, 4, 5)) is the same as (1, 2, 3, 4, 5)
and, according to him, it's a disaster.

2. References. They are a disaster, just because.

The solution to "problem" no. 1 is to simply write [1, 2, [3, 4, 5]];
but actually, i never had to do it, because *it is not a real world
problem*, but a useless code example. It is possible to write ugly and
useless code examples in any language.

Problem no. 2, well - a lot of people complain about it, but this
article really pissed me off, because lately i implemented a solution
to a *real world problem*, that is - i got paid for it and a company
is happily using it to generate revenue. In the center of that
solution there is a complex tree data structure. To create it i used
pure Perl with its references and lists (and hashes, of course).
perlol, perldsc, perlref and all that. The solution is efficient,
scalable *and* maintainable and it was implemented in almost zero
time.

So, Perl is still the language for getting my job done.

P.S. The author consistently mispels D. Conway's name. Why am i even
wasting time on him?..



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