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Re^3: Is Perl a good career move?

by soup (Initiate)
on Feb 21, 2005 at 14:27 UTC ( #433056=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^2: Is Perl a good career move?
in thread Is Perl a good career move?

I think learning PHP as a PERL developer is very easy, but the other way around might be a little more daunting. My question is why should you want to switch from PERL to PHP. This is like saying that people who speak German should switch to English, just because it's easier to learn. As far as I'm concerned you are better of speaking German in Germany. What I'm trying to say is that sometimes programs need to be written in PERL and other times in PHP or ASP for that matter. Do not switch but increase your knowledge, it's always handy to know how to speak different languages. As for all the built-in PHP functions, it's enough to know that it's possible, you don't have to remember each one of these functions! I've been programming with PHP since version 3 and still sometimes I have to look up (thanks to inconsistent function names(I'll give you that)) in which order the function requires its parameters.

Furthermore I'd like to point out that PERL and PHP are by no means interchangeable, so learn both. In practice you cannot build all your applications in your favourite scripting language, simply because different customers use different platforms and environments. Planning a career move in just one scripting language limits you to a handful of jobs. In the end you'll see that scripting languages differ very little from each other. Some are better equipped to do some chores, while others are better at other stuff. In the end they all work in more or less the same way.

Let me point out that I love PERL and that I've also got a weakness for PHP, but this is basically because I'm an Open Source disciple. Let's not worry too much about the differences. It's possible to use both you know!

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Re^4: Is Perl a good career move?
by Juerd (Abbot) on Feb 21, 2005 at 23:37 UTC

    It's not PERL. Perl is not an acronym.

    Re natural languages: there are things I can express in Esperanto, but not in Dutch. There are things I can express in Dutch, but not in English. I know these three languages fairly well. Funnily, it's exactly the other way around here: the easiest to learn language is also the most expressive one.

    It is possible to use both Perl and PHP, but it is not easy. Once your mind thinks in maps, greps, arrays, lexicals, closures, namespaces and short circuiting operators, PHP is a major pain in the ass. You can still get the job done, but it hurts mentally and IMO, not much is worth that. (Note: do not read that as "that is not worth much")

    Juerd # { site => '', plp_site => '', do_not_use => 'spamtrap' }

      Once your mind thinks in maps, greps, arrays, lexicals, closures, namespaces and short circuiting operators, PHP is a major pain in the ass.

      Actually, most languages become a major pain in the ass at that point. :-)

      And it makes me understand quite well what makes LISP hackers so grumpy about many other languages. After all,

      We all recall that Perl est un esprit LISP dans un corps C, n'est-ce pas? :-) (“corps C” sounds like “corset” in French.)
      —Philippe Verdret

      Makeshifts last the longest.

        Indeed, once your mind additionally thinks in first-class classes, restartable conditions, unwind-protect (or CALL/CC for the Schemers), bignums, arbitrary-precision arithmetic and is used to building your own abstractions (without jumping through hoops) and incrementally updating/changing programs (including the compiler/runtime) while they run, almost all languages become a major pain in the ass.
      Doesn't Perl stand for Practical Extraction and Reporting Language? I could very easily be wrong though! Anyway, I will refrain from using PERL in future, to avoid straying from the subject.

      In my honest opinion Perl is a great language to learn how to program and by no means least, how to be creative. Someone else in this thread mentioned something along the lines of if you know Perl, you know how to tackle problems. Creativity and knowing how to tackle problems are essential skills required for handling real-life problematic situations, no matter what language you use. So in that respect Perl is a great career move. If another language has shortcomings, find a way around it or better still, use a language more suitable for the job. That is, if you are free to choose, ofcourse!

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