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Re^7: Curious about Perl's strengths in 2018

by eyepopslikeamosquito (Bishop)
on Apr 13, 2018 at 23:40 UTC ( #1212836=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^6: Curious about Perl's strengths in 2018 (updated)
in thread Curious about Perl's strengths in 2018

Though a lot of stealing goes on between language designers, they often regret it later. Matz wished he never stole Perl's "ugly" $ sigils for Ruby, while in Larry Wall: Perl vs Python 11th State of the Onion Larry regrets stealing Python's object model:

I don't really know much about Python. I only stole its object system for Perl 5. I have since repented.

Why has Larry repented? A clue may be given in Slashdot interview with Larry Wall:

But I think the success of Python has mostly to do with being light enough in its OO model that it could move into some ecological niches more quickly than the Perl 5 design could. Perl has always considered itself primarily a programmer-centric language, while Python has always considered itself to be more institution-centric. So in a sense it's a bit dumbed down, much like Java. You'll note both of those languages make their greatest appeal to managers ... If Python's object model matches how you want to do things, it's fine for that. If it's not, Python doesn't really provide a coherent meta-object model underneath, just a lot of hooks, which might or might not give you the flexibility you need ...

Other quotes from Larry Wall: Perl vs Python 11th State of the Onion:

a great deal of Ruby's syntax is borrowed from Perl, layered over Smalltalk semantics. I've always viewed Ruby as a much closer competitor for Perls ecological niche, not just because of the borrowed ideas, but because both Perl and Ruby take their functional programming support rather more seriously that Python does.

Other quotes from Slashdot interview with Larry Wall:

Some Pythonistas claim that Python is a good functional programming language, mostly on the strength of list comprehensions, but in my estimation Python has only half-hearted FP support; it really doesn't provide the benefits of lexical scoping, closures, laziness, or higher-order programming that I'd expect in a strong FP contender, nor does it encourage you to think that way ... If you want concurrency with a global interpreter lock, Python might suit. But if you want a concurrency model designed to scale to multicore/manycore, look to Perl 6, which avoids global bottlenecks and non-composable primitives, but instead borrows composable ideas from Haskell, Go, Erlang, and C# instead.

  • Comment on Re^7: Curious about Perl's strengths in 2018

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Re^8: Curious about Perl's strengths in 2018
by LanX (Cardinal) on Apr 14, 2018 at 00:02 UTC
    Thanks, bookmarked! :)

    Larry is far more eloquent in expressing my thoughts about Python's FP (dis)abilities.

    Cheers Rolf
    (addicted to the Perl Programming Language and ☆☆☆☆ :)
    Wikisyntax for the Monastery

Re^8: Curious about Perl's strengths in 2018
by Crosis (Beadle) on Apr 14, 2018 at 00:46 UTC

    I don't quite understand the notion that Python is "institution-centric". It lacks some things that Perl has but I see users having actual enthusiasm for it far more frequently than for, say, Java. There's way less boilerplate and strict control. "Private" methods, for example, are just marked with _ or __ in front as a mere suggestion not to use them outside of the class.

      "I don't quite understand the notion that Python is "institution-centric"..."

      That's quite simple: It is "easier" to teach - better to handle for all the dumb assignments and Powerpoint slides and boring/annoying examinations in "institutions". It doesn't have this anarchical and noncompliant TIMTOWTDI.

      «The Crux of the Biscuit is the Apostrophe»

      perl -MCrypt::CBC -E 'say Crypt::CBC->new(-key=>'kgb',-cipher=>"Blowfish")->decrypt_hex($ENV{KARL});'Help

        The "anarchic and non-compliant" side of Perl can be a big strength for the individual hacker, but it also can be a big weakness when it comes to Perl being used in a bigger team as you need to explicitly agree on how to do things when with Python or Java there is simply one obvious way.

        I belive it is much harder to build a functioning team using Perl and I also believe this is one of the major reasons why Python is taking over in fields like data science.

        I don't know how much "there is only one way to do it" realistically applies to Python, especially beyond the core language. In using pandas for example there may be a variety of ways to do the same thing.

      "Private" methods, for example, are just marked with _ or __ in front as a mere suggestion…

      That's actually a "borrow word." :P

      You're quite right, nearly no one is enthusiastic about Java. Perl has "won" happiest users surveys and non-scientific google mining a couple of times.

      …as a medium of expression, you could do a lot better. Of all the great programmers I can think of, I know of only one who would voluntarily program in Java. And of all the great programmers I can think of who don't work for Sun, on Java, I know of zero.Great Hackers

      Plenty more gems in that including props for Perl and Python.

        For systems programming purposes, if C or C++ can be avoided and no other JVM language were available or anything like that, I would use Java without many reservations. C is relatively tedious. C++ has a Byzantine standard. Java is at least GC'd, which can be tolerated in some situations (though I suspect much of the sluggishness of Android with respect to iPrison platforms is due to the use of Java rather than Objective-C, which appears to be a much saner "C with objects" than C++ from what I know). Plus Java 8 did a lot to undo the excessive verbosity of previous iterations of the language.

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