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Re^3: Beautiful Perl

by djantzen (Priest)
on Mar 26, 2005 at 20:34 UTC ( #442553=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^2: Beautiful Perl
in thread Beautiful Perl

Is beauty really just that which does not cause pain to look at ("bad for the eyes") or that reaches some minimum standard to be called "proper"? Is it efficiency? Is it brevity? Expressiveness? Self-documentation? Maintainability? Simplicity? Uniformity? Cleverness? All of these are identifiable as positive attributes, but is any one, or some combination, a sufficient definition of beautiful code? Still further, is it possible to evaluate the aesthetic appeal of code independent of the problem it is trying to solve?

Aside from the fact that it's nearly impossible to get two people to agree on a standard of beauty, programmers are notoriously idiosyncratic, especially in as syntactically forgiving a language as Perl. Add to this the fact that the OP wants HTML authors to appreciate the allegedly beautiful code and you have an absurdity. You can show me the most finely-crafted, moving, subtle sentence ... in Turkish ... and I couldn't distinguish it from the drunken rantings scrawled on a bathroom stall. I don't know Turkish.

Sorry to be a wet blanket (again), but this really is a futile exercise. If the intention is to demonstrate to people unfamiliar with Perl that it is a valuable language, show them how to solve problems with it. Show them what it can do, because they simply haven't got the necessary experience to appreciate whatever notion of beauty the code itself allegedly possesses.

"The dead do not recognize context" -- Kai, Lexx

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Re^4: Beautiful Perl
by cog (Parson) on Mar 26, 2005 at 20:45 UTC
    Well, if you ask me, it's a lot different to have


    than to have

    if ( $var =~ /hello/ ) { $first="hello"; $second="world" }

    or even

    if ( $var =~ /hello/ ) { $first = "hello"; $second = "world" }

    So no, it is not a futile exercise!

    I agree with everything you say, apart from "this is a futile exercise".

    It's not a matter of finding the most beautiful code, because we all know opinions differ. It's just a matter of finding code that is reasonably well written to be understood with... well, at least with not so many problems as with the first example I showed.

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