in reply to Perl for science

I have to say, I am probably one of your 'target audience'. I'd like to think I'm open to change so I'd like to hear more specifics about why or perhaps where perl fits in as a scientific application.

As a physics undergrad, I was taught Fortran (well, a bit) and supervisors, friends and profs used Fortran or C for numerical simulations. At $work, I learned perl, mostly because I was getting p****d off at shell scripting! But I'm glad I did because I came to like perl in its own right. However, when writing numerical simulations at work, I (have to) use C or C++.

My boyfriend (working for a PhD in image forensics) swears by python for its numpy and scipy libraries, but again writes most of his processing intensive code in C.

So the perception is definitely there in my mind. I'm your perfect stereotype---Perl is great for its ease of use, flexibility and text processing capabilities, but C/C++ and python are the way to go for science, at least that's the impression I've always been given by the people around me. So what is it specifically that makes perl suitable/better for these applications? Or what needs doing to make perl better? Writing libraries? Or do you think it's only a matter of perception?

Those are my principles. If you don't like them I have others.
-- Groucho Marx