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Re: Design Patterns Still Aren't

by scrottie (Scribe)
on Aug 20, 2003 at 03:51 UTC ( #285091=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Design Patterns Still Aren't

Whoa. Now this is a well written, well conceived, well organized article. I'd like to see this on It gives a better taste of what patterns are about than any introduction I've seen.

I don't really have anything new to say that I haven't already said, or someone hasn't said better, but I should make my position known on the whole deal.

Go to the bookstore and look at the computer language section. The difference between the style of the books is amazing. PHP has nothing but intro books, and the programmers apparently lose interest in the language there. Java has leigons of books on design, correctness, and style: "Enterprise Java", Java certification manuals, "Bitter Java" and loads of other patterns-in-Java books. Perl "learning" books dominate, in their various permutations: "Learn Web Programming with Perl", "Learning Perl on Win32 Systems", "Perl for System Administration", "Perl for Web Site Management", "Beginning Perl for Bioinformatics". Non-intro books are around too, but they either give their subject a far more simple treatment than C - "Mastering Algorithms with Perl" has very few algorithms, very little theory, and my "Introduction to Algorithms" (which is anything but an introduction) has about a factor of 10 more girth than the Perl book and is packed full of dense technical explanations and ultra- concise, difficult to grok examples. Someone looking down their nose on PHP could easily lump Perl and Perl programmers into the same category: hacks who don't care a whit about what they do, just in it to make a quick paycheck at the expense of their clients, whom they leave with mountains of crud. No reguard for the art. Arrogent ignorant little kids.

I have to agree that the 3 design patterns articles kind of waved their hands and dismissed patterns, but at the same time, they dismissed design in general. Most perlers I know can handle a serious treatment of any subject (and would buy more books if publishers took Perl as seriously as they took Java, in fact). A lot of Perlers I don't know won't bother to crack the covers of the free online copy of "Beginning Perl" (hello #perlhelp newbies!). Because this "perl programmers are ignorant arrogant kids" perception is true for a portion of the population, I don't think we should all be subjected to it. To be fair to Perl book publishers, the books are usually far more pragmatic than the thick C tomes, but that doesn't mean that they can't give the subject a serious treatment.

I like Perl a lot. Probably for different reasons than you. I like B::Generate. I like self-modifying code, clever hacks, Acme::, and all of the idioms. But I also like being able to use Perl for work, and write good, clean, serious Perl that scales and people can work on. But I don't get that chance. I have to work in Java. Because of the half-true perception that Perl programmers are arrogant, ignorant kids.


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Re: Re: Design Patterns Still Aren't
by bronto (Priest) on Aug 20, 2003 at 08:00 UTC

    I know I am OT from the original thread, but I can't keep me from saying that I don't agree with you in putting Perl for system administration in the "Learning" series.

    I bought that book as soon as it was published and now it's about one year since I last read something in it, but anyway: IMHO it definitely isn't a book for beginners. Surely it explains things in a simple manner and from the ground up, but I believe that people ranging from total perl beginners to short-time newbies could run into difficulties in understanding what's going on.

    But maybe I am wrong, after all it's a long time since I last open that book, and I don't have it at hand now...


    The very nature of Perl to be like natural language--inconsistant and full of dwim and special cases--makes it impossible to know it all without simply memorizing the documentation (which is not complete or totally correct anyway).
    --John M. Dlugosz

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