[Israel.pm] What hurts you most in Perl?

Shlomi Fish shlomif at iglu.org.il
Wed Nov 24 10:54:40 PST 2010


On Tuesday 23 November 2010 14:22:32 Gabor Szabo wrote:
> The other day I was at a client that uses Perl in part of their system and
> we talked a bit about the language and how we in the Perl Ecosystem Group
> try to promote it at various events.
> 
> Their "Perl person" then told me he would not use Perl now for a large
> application because:
> 
> 1) Threads do not work well - they are better in Python and in Java.
> 
> 2) Using signals and signal handlers regularly crashes perl.
> 
> So I wonder what hurts *you* the most in Perl?
> 

Speaking for myself, I have very little complaints about perl 5 itself, which 
works as I expect and gives me very few unwanted surprises. Having worked in 
Perl for several years, I know what to expect, have an arsenal of verbs and 
modules I have memorised and can write using the core language with ease.

However, the situation is a bit different with the many layers above Perl that 
I have to deal with at my current day job. There I am helping develop a web-
application that uses Catalyst and DBIx-Class, and debugging it is often a 
challenge. We recently started a conversion from HTML-FormHandler to HTML-
FormFu because the former gave us too many problems. Another example is that 
when the fixtures get broken by a schema change (see 
http://search.cpan.org/dist/DBIx-Class-Fixtures/ ), the test scripts emit a 
strange error with a "Scope::Guard" and then I need to toggle the DBIx-Class-
Fixtures debug flag on, and see at which table it failed, where I need to see 
which fields are missing or wrong (it won't tell me), and to fix the *.fix 
files (pun not intended) manually or using a script.

These are just two examples - Catalyst is, in essenece, a complex beast that 
often takes a long time and effort to debug. The problems with it can be 
solved and it's possible that similar frameworks in Perl or outside it have 
similar issues, but it's still very time consuming for me.

Regards,

	Shlomi Fish

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Shlomi Fish       http://www.shlomifish.org/
"Star Trek: We, the Living Dead" - http://shlom.in/st-wtld

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