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Re^2: Perl 6 critique is a good thing

by chromatic (Archbishop)
on Oct 18, 2004 at 19:53 UTC ( #400298=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: Perl 6 critique is a good thing
in thread Perl 6 critique is a good thing

I don't think you understand the process of language design.

Why is Perl5 cool? It's a minimalist language.

I like Perl 5 but I have no idea what you mean by "minimalist".

I do like the freedom of expression, but we are going to create a lot of dialects with uber-TIMTOWDI.

Have you ever used a module? APIs are dialects.

Perl5 ALREADY has a problem with newbies being able to read code written by uber-perl programmers

I have trouble reading Pascal (the mathemetician) or Proust in the original French too, yet plenty of francophones seem to do okay with the language. Heck, I have trouble with Pynchon, Joyce, and DFW in English but I make a living working with it.

I don't care if new programmers can't read my code. I care if people who understand the problems I'm trying to solve can maintain my code. I wouldn't expect my 18 month old nephew to write or edit a 300 page book. Why should I expect the equivalent in the coding world?

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Re^3: Perl 6 critique is a good thing
by DrHyde (Prior) on Oct 19, 2004 at 09:16 UTC
    You're right that it's as silly to expect a newbie to be able to read my perl code as it is to expect a newbie to be able to read Dickens.

    However, if someone claims to be writing in English (like Joyce) and yet a fluent English speaker (me) can't understand what the hell he's going on about, then that indicates that Joyce's work is, in fact, crap. Same applies to perl code that is hard for a fluent perl coder to read. It's crap code.

      DrHyde wrote: Same applies to perl code that is hard for a fluent perl coder to read. It's crap code.

      If you can't read my "hello world" program, you're right. My program is crap. However, some problems are hard. There is no easy way to solve them and thus there is no easy way to express them. For example, most people do not refer to Damian Conway's modules as "crap", but frequently one finds them to be crap by your definition. While Damian can be viewed as an extreme case, it's because he chooses to solve extreme problems. I've worked with chromatic before and I've seen him write some head spinning code -- but not for "hello world."


      New address of my CGI Course.

        Fair point. Clearly hard problems sometimes need complex solutions, and maybe I won't understand the algorithm. But the sort of simple stuff that the vast majority of us write day in and day out at work is not in that league.
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