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perl 6

by kiat (Vicar)
on Mar 13, 2002 at 14:06 UTC ( #151380=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


The programming books I've come across (Java and C++) tend to treat perl as a scripting language or else mention it as a sort of "handy tool" (seldom or never a programming language). I understand perl's original purpose was to be used as a glue language but, as a matter of fact, it has evolved to do more. I was wondering whether perl6 will change all that.


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Re: perl 6
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Mar 13, 2002 at 14:17 UTC
    Having Perl 6000 won't change that attitude. The only thing that will change that attitude is a redefinition of what a "useful programming language" is.

    Essentially, what you're running into is snobbery, plain and simple. Java wasn't considered a "real programming language" by the C/C++ people for years. Yet, here it is. C++ wasn't considered to be its own language when it first came out, either. Bjorne Strousoup didn't even conceive of it as a different language. It was more an extension than anything else. (For those wondering, it would be similar to considering Perl 5.x with TheDamian's extensions like Switch to be a "different language".)

    What I feel, primarily, is that you do what you do. If you do object-oriented applications development (like I do) and you use Perl, then Perl is an OO-apps development language. If you use it for easing administration scripting headaches, then it's a admin scripting language. :-)

    We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

    Don't go borrowing trouble. For programmers, this means Worry only about what you need to implement.


      I couldn't agree with you more but it even goes back further than that:

      machine language people mocked assemblers
      assemblers mocked C
      C mocked shell scripters (and everyone else)
      shell scripters derided perl
      perl derides ...

      At one time it was real easy to make a distinction between compiled languages and interpreted ones. And there was a basis in fact for that - compiled (to native machine code) always run faster. Now that being said, there's been great leaps with bytecode style languages (Java, and to some extent perl). Having a simple script breakdown to bytecode which can then be run by some type of virtual machine is having it's fifteen minutes. That's what Java is, that's what .Net is, that's almost what perl5 is and is what perl6 is going to be.

      I just hope whatever management I'm under will let me pick the right tool for the job. Whether thats a compiled langauge, a true interpreted language, or a bytecode language. I have faith in myself on when to use which - gratefully so does my current management and hopefully so will future ones.


        perl derides...
        ...a lot of unnecessary work? :)

        "As information travels faster in the modern age, as our days are crawling by so slowly." -- DCFC

        HA HA HA Yeah, you wrote this years ago and I just came across it now...
Re: perl 6
by tjh (Curate) on Mar 13, 2002 at 19:26 UTC
      The links you provided are very useful. I've read most of the discussions and find them both enlightening and entertaiing.

Re: perl 6
by cacharbe (Curate) on Mar 13, 2002 at 14:16 UTC
    I would suggest reading just about everything here. All your questions and more will be addressed.


Re (tilly) 1: perl 6
by tilly (Archbishop) on Mar 13, 2002 at 18:12 UTC
    I am tempted to say that Perl can't be a real programming language for the same reason that Perl programming can't be a real job - it is too much fun.

    But that is rather snide, so I will leave the temptation lie...

    As for people who talk about "real programming languages" like Java and C++, how about we give you your "real programming language" without features like closures and dynamic programming, and me my "toy language" with them, and why don't we see who gets more done?

Re: perl 6
by perrin (Chancellor) on Mar 13, 2002 at 17:44 UTC
    If you want to change that attitude, the best thing you can do is write clean, easy-to-read perl code and show it to people. Many misconceptions about perl come from people seeing some ugly script that a sysadmin hacked up to solve an immediate problem and thinking that perl always has to look that way.
      Perhaps you're suffering from some misconceptions of your own? I would gladly compare my "hacked up code" to 95% of anyone elses code, particularly from the clean, easy-to-read aspect.

      As summarized elsewhere within this thread, "put downs" in general, originate from envy of some sort.

      --Jim, Sysadmin Extraordinaire

        You're misinterpreting my comment. Most sysadmins that I've worked with know a little perl and tend to write quick scripts to get things done, e.g. find all files like this and change this word in them. These are one-offs, and it's no crime that they aren't that pretty. The trouble is, sometimes these get handed to someone for revisions and maintenance, and the person they get handed to doesn't know much about perl and doesn't realize that perl can be beautiful when necessary. This can lead to misconceptions.

        So, I mention sysadmins because the nature of the job as I've seen it (overworked, trying to fix an emergency, not usually a full-time coder) tends to breed some ugly perl. It wasn't meant to be a slur, and I'm sorry if it sounded like one. I could say the same thing about people learning perl by looking at Matt's Script Archive or some other bad CGI stuff, except that Matt really has no excuse for his code.

Re: perl 6
by TippyTurtle (Novice) on Mar 13, 2002 at 15:57 UTC
    This question/issue goes well beyond just a programming language. It is in all things that we use. Car, TV, soda, etc. People chose preference and reference to things as a way of defining their relationship with it. If I state that Java sucks and isn't a real programming language, that would most likely indicate my limited understanding of the language and how to use it. If I say I love Java then most likely it is something that I understand and can use to my advantage. In the ideal computing world we would all be neutral on languages, but that would deny us human nature.

    So the real question is: "Do you think Perl 6 will change your opinion of the language?

    As monks we don't dwell on these issues, but rather use the language to get our task at hand completed.

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