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Re: The future of Perl?

by pritesh (Scribe)
on Nov 04, 2014 at 20:33 UTC ( #1106106=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to The future of Perl?

Hi BrowserUK,

I'm not a programmer, just a storage guy on a look out for some automation and have already done some using Perl. So if whatever I say here sounds shallow or stupid, kindly pardon me.

Before I tried Perl, I tried Python. It was comparatively easier to learn. But, whenever I had to add some extra checks or functionality, I had to keep indenting. Which I don't like. Perl is not like that. It just lets me do my job. If I need to add something, it's comparatively easier in Perl.

I really like Perl, but I don't understand when people seem to have a puzzled look on their face when they see me using it. In fact, just today, while I was trying to automate some menial monitoring/health checks using Perl, my friend told me that I should focus on some other language because Perl is not being used much now a days. He hasn't written any scripts, he was just saying what "he keeps hearing from everyone". Which is something that is really sad.

In my opinion (based on very limited knowledge), Future of Perl is to a very insignificant, but equally definite extent being impacted by such folks who just keep thinking for some reason that Perl is stagnant. But Perl 5.20 was released pretty recently!! So how can it be stagnant?? :)

Funny thing was, though my friend said that, I could kind of see that he respected the fact that I am able to write something in Perl. Because Perl is considered as a more complex skill set than Python (His words, not mine. I am still Learning Perl and have no knowledge or ability to determine the said "complexity").

So while Perl is considered a stagnant language by a few people out there, it's also considered more complex skill. :)

I just saw your post and felt an urge to express what I felt and what I just heard today. Hope I don't end up ruffling some feathers here.

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Re^2: The future of Perl?
by jdporter (Canon) on Nov 04, 2014 at 21:46 UTC

    Your anecdote reminds me of something that happened to me at work just a few days ago. A "data scientist" -- young guy, very hip -- saw over my shoulder that I was working on some Perl, and he quipped with a smirk, "Oh, you're a Perl guy? I'll try not to hold that against you."

    My immediate thought was, "Oh, you're a douchebag? I'll try not to hold that against you!"

    Point is, Perl has a uniformly bad reputation among whole generations of programmers. Although a few of us know better, it's still a reality which will be changed neither by Awesome New Version!!1! nor by version number manipulexyacculation.

    I reckon we are the only monastery ever to have a dungeon stuffed with 16,000 zombies.
      "Oh, you're a Perl guy? I'll try not to hold that against you."

      A while back on the PDL mailing list, Karl Glazebrook proposed that the collective noun for a gathering of python programmers be a "smug".
      It occurred to me that python programmers might, in response, assert that the collective noun for a group of perl5 programmers is a "cemetery".

      Any thoughts on the collective noun for a group of perl6 programmers ? ... an "hallucination" perhaps ?



        A hallucination, maybe, if we're going to pronounce English properly.

        Perl 6: Blue Sky? Bleeding Ledge? Daydream?

        My outlook for Perl 6 is still positive, though it has certainly taken its time. Perhaps if it had been "finished" 10 years ago, we wouldn't be having this discussion?

        Quantum Mechanics: The dreams stuff is made of

Re^2: The future of Perl?
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Nov 04, 2014 at 20:49 UTC

    Two reponses:

    1. I think that your impressions and conclusions; along with those of your Pythonite friend are right on the money.
    2. Perl 5.20 is still Perl 5.something; and Perl 5.something is still Perl 5; and that's been around forever.

      Like the 2012 Audi TT RS+ revision of the 2006 TT Mk.2 was seen by many as a stop gap to the 2014 Mk.3; and sold in very limited numbers despite delivering extra power, performance and economy; Perl 5.anything will always be seen by the many as an interim stop gap. Currently to nowhere.

    With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
    Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
    "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
    In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

      Additional Point(s):

      I came back to this page after reading the answers to the question I had posted earlier about learning perl. In a matter of minutes, so many folks responded with their helpful suggestions!!. This matters. It might not matter to the folks here who are full time programmers and are by far much more knowledgeable than I could ever be. Because I've never been "hooted off" here. It does matter. This community is really truly helpful and when a programming language has such a helpful community around, it just has to have a future. Because it deserves it.

      To me, Perl is to scripting what Vim is to text editing. It's got the power of a surgical scalpel. And that's just one of the blades of this amazing swiss army knife of a language. I also think that as long as there is a need for a powerful language that can slice and dice text and has amazing modules for everything, Perl will be around.

      It's also the "advertising" factor that counts. While Fabric (a python module for SSH connectivity and such) is so passionately spoken about, Net::SSH2 and the ilk get no love. I really don't get it. They both do allmost the same thing. Still, Fabric is thought of as being "this amazing thing" whereas Net::SSH2 is not.

      Boy, I wrote too much in there.

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