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Are programmers getting too lazy for perl?

by zer (Deacon)
on Oct 03, 2007 at 06:11 UTC ( #642310=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I am a student in a software development course. I have used perl for over 10 years. Many of the years have been with bad practices but functional code. Perl more or less has followed me through my entire education of computer science things.

The point is that difficult things have become easy to accomplish. I have toted perl for a while to my friends.

Why is it that I am a lone programmer? Why does nobody understand perls capabilities? Why does nobody notice the community backing it? (this gripe will probably get a lot of good responses. Proof of the community)

I sat through an open source presentation done by another student on perl. There were many flaws... and a lot left out...

  1. Perl's definition
  2. Didn't Mention cpan
  3. Didn't mention anything about diversions and cultures
  4. shotty work on the language itself...
Was unable to answer questions as to what languages compete with it and further more didnt seem to have any knowledge of the language itself.

On the other side of the boat you have the useless complainers. The ones who weakly argue that perl is line noise and there is already lisp. Sure lisp is there, however if you took two seconds to learn a bit of this it would clarify. There is some code that is intentionaly obfuscated. Regular code is easy to read once you get used to it.

When I first learned c/c++ it seemed like line noise as well. With time I had to train my eye and everything was good. People who actually do give perl a chance learn write it as c coders.

There is a wealth of information out there on perl. What does it take to really open the eyes of the public? As well anyway who complains about too much documentation has never been in a situation where they didnt know how to accomplish something.

That is my rant!

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Re: Are programmers getting too lazy for perl?
by merlyn (Sage) on Oct 03, 2007 at 11:12 UTC
    By Perl's definition I hope you're not talking about the rather pointless "Practical Extraction and Report Language", because that's an empty historical retro-fact. As in, it doesn't do anything to describe modern Perl, nor does it distinguish Perl from anything else. Nor is it particularly accurate since it's a backronym.

    I agree with the flaw of not mentioning CPAN.

    But I'll also disagree about the diversions. Golf and JAPHs are cute info for advanced Perl people who have spare time, but don't belong in any core discussion of the language either. They're even more useless than the backronym expansion.

      thats an interesting point

      i was refering to exactly that with the definition. As even in the perldocs that is what it says.

        It also says that it really stands for "Pathologically Eclectic Rubbish Lister", so don't always believe what you read :-)
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Re: Are programmers getting too lazy for perl?
by robot_tourist (Hermit) on Oct 03, 2007 at 06:44 UTC

    This should probably be in Meditations.

    I think perl has a few things going against it from a cultural perspective. It's not used for developing the basic tools, like operating systems, office applications and databases, or even games - so people might think that it's not a serious language. Also, while some may know about Amazon and others that run multi-million dollar businesses with Perl, in general it is seen as a web scripting language. It doesn't have the support of Microsoft so it doesn't get the shiny tools like Visual Studio except via third parties like ActiveState. Neither is it a Wirth language, so many computer scientists won't like it or teach about it (I have no experience with LISP so I can't compare it with that).

    Finally, perhaps many coders aren't lazy enough. I know I often only write code to develop a big application or maintain an old one and I don't always use Perl for the little jobs, like generating test input or running batch jobs and stuff like that.

    How can you feel when you're made of steel? I am made of steel. I am the Robot Tourist.
    Robot Tourist, by Ten Benson

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Re: Are programmers getting too lazy for perl?
by Anonymous Monk on Oct 03, 2007 at 11:56 UTC
    I don't think programmers are getting too lazy because of perl, but the world is getting more complex. If you want to turn people towards perl, just show them something that uses LWP, and then how to do the same in C - if you can!!

    It's also worth stating that everything C can do, perl can do also, even bit twiddling functions, which is surprising. The only thing that goes against perl is that it's not native, and requires a runtime.

    That said, no one has ever said to me "Hey! Come and look at what I've just done in .net!!" - there are tones of people out there showing off 10-lines of perl - if you want to turn people, just show em something that fits on a single screen 80x25.
      The LWP idea is bang-on.

      My roommate (both of us Computer Science majors) spurned Perl despite my testimonial. But then he wanted to write a script that was right up WWW::Mechanize's alley, munging some web pages and submitting some forms. He was saying "I want to do this program, but it will be really painful and messy." And I said "I can do it in 30 lines of Perl." Of course he didn't believe me.

      So, whether it's LWP or WWW::Mechanize, get them thinking about some problem that would be excrutiating in another language, then show the simplicity of the Perl solution.

      It took me 22 lines. He uses Perl a lot now.
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      SOAP::Lite works pretty well as a jaw-dropping demo, too. To accomplish something similar to a 3-line server and 2 line client with Oracle's Application server took a 250MB patch.

      rdfield

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      yea i have done that and it is impressive for the most part. Slowly bit by bit perl is going to take over the world... (funny because lispers have been saying that for the longest time)
      If you want to turn people towards perl, just show them something that uses LWP, and then how to do the same in C - if you can!!

      Right there is actually one place where Perl could improve its reputation: Perl advocates need to stop comparing Perl to C. It made sense 10 years ago, but these days, if you want to be taken seriously, comparisons need to be made with languages that a prospective user might use instead of Perl. Namely, Python, Java, and maybe Ruby.

      Nowadays, if you compare Perl to C, it looks like you're trying to avoid the real competition.

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Re: Are programmers getting too lazy for perl?
by zentara (Archbishop) on Oct 03, 2007 at 16:19 UTC
    Are programmers getting too lazy for assembly?

    Isn't that what assembly programmers said when people started using C?

    Are programmers getting too lazy for C?

    Isn't that what C programmers said when people started using Perl, Python, et al?

    We are constantly evolving toward that one glorious "Tower of Babel" language, that lets us talk to the computer, in our natural language, and it will do what we want. Until that day comes, there will be many new attempts at laying the groundwork for it, all fighting and claiming that they are the best.

    But as of today, I find Perl's syntax most closely reflects the way I think, and makes programming easy. (But maybe it is a sign of Perl addiction, and it is just that I'm starting to think in Perl).


    I'm not really a human, but I play one on earth. Cogito ergo sum a bum
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Re: Are programmers getting too lazy for perl?
by zer (Deacon) on Oct 05, 2007 at 06:21 UTC
    This was a good post overall. It is unfortunate that it has lost its civility and point. I didn't start this post to trigger a "flame" fest. I recommend for someone who can moderate this to remove all the useless bable including this post.

    I am sorry for any honest student of perl who honestly is curious and comes accross this. The community is a large source of pride and knowledge. Lets not abuse it

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