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Re: Professional perl

by Ovid (Cardinal)
on Oct 17, 2005 at 19:42 UTC ( #500801=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Professional perl

Lots of folks struggle with the idea of Perl not being a real language. Unfortunately, this is largely due to the "scripting" albatross which has been hung around Perl's neck for the longest time.

Many of the complaints about Perl stem from the fact that Perl was a pioneer in getting "dynamically" typed languages before the public eye. It certainly wasn't the first (was LISP the first major one?), but it has been the largest. Unfortunately, because Perl has been blazing a trail it's had many years of going down promising paths only to find them at a dead end (pseudo-hashes anyone?). Languages such as Python and Ruby have been happily running down this path and ignoring the trails they already know to lead to oblivion.

While Perl 6 will help to clean up much of this mess, one of the major problems seems to stem from those who fail to accept that typing the data (sometimes misleadingly called dynamic typing) is a valid alternative to typing the container (sometimes misleadingly called strong typing). The trade-off is largely in development speed versus execution speed and many fail to realize the mistake inherent in choosing to always settle for one or the other. Different problems have different requirements and choosing the solution before defining the problem is foolish. Until we teach developers this, they'll continue to look at Perl and other dynamic languages as "scripting" languages.


New address of my CGI Course.

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