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Re: Perl for big projects

by rhesa (Vicar)
on Jul 10, 2006 at 23:15 UTC ( #560268=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Perl for big projects

What does it take for a project to be considered "big"?

I'm growing a company with a long-time friend, and Perl is the most important (if not the only) language we use. I'm curious where we are on the scale of project sizes.

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Re^2: Perl for big projects (what's big?)
by Ovid (Cardinal) on Jul 11, 2006 at 08:35 UTC

    You've asked what constitutes a "big" project in Perl and I can only say that this is terribly subjective. One project I worked on was a quarter million lines of code (pretty good code, too) and that was definitely a big project. Were it written in Java or C, it could easily have topped a million lines. There are those who will swagger in and say "yeah, I maintained a five million line project" and there are those who maintain 50K lines and think those are huge, but there's really no arbitrary cut-off. Thus, to say that Perl's bad for "large" projects does beg the question.

    That aside, we had no problem maintaining our quarter million lines of code because we pair-programmed, had decent test suites, respected encapsulation, didn't have (many) unrealistic deadlines and so on. In short, with competent programmers and a decent work environment and code base, Perl scales well and we could get things done fast, fast, fast.

    That being said, finding competent Perl programmers turns out to be more difficult than one might think. This is a constant complaint I hear from employers.


    New address of my CGI Course.

      Thank you, Ovid. That helps me position myself, and it clarifies my feelings about the issue the OP raised.

      Our code base for this particular project runs in the 90K lines. If I'm generous, I can take 30K off to account for dead code and unrefactored duplication. My feeling was that it's not exactly huge, but not trivial either. Your examples seem to corroborate that.

      So, if two fairly competent, mildly disciplined coders can comfortably maintain a code base of that size, it seems entirely reasonable to me to suggest that Perl is quite suitable for big projects. Perl doesn't make it particularly hard to write modularised, well contained code. I don't see why it wouldn't be possible to create huge projects in it that way.

      Hi Ovid

          Thats great u have made me feel that

      "Yes evrything is possible & nothing is impossible and it need u to be a competent programmer."

          Its not the matter that you have to write a 50K line code or a million line code it all depends how efficiently and how effectively you can write ur Code with the optimum utilization of resources.

          And also said it right u need to have decent testing cases and suites and control over the code and maintainence of the code can be done easily and effectively. People can quite easily write unmaintainable code in any known programming language.

      As one of our monk said

      A good programmer can overcome a poor language or a clumsy operating system, but even a great programming environment will not rescue a bad programmer. Kernighan and Pike


Re^2: Perl for big projects
by swampyankee (Parson) on Jul 14, 2006 at 19:23 UTC

    I'd consider a programming project "big" if:

    • There's at least 2 programmers assigned to the project full time for at least a month, i.e., it's labor budget is over about 400 hours.
    • Or it requires a users' manual that's takes up more than 1 page (12 point type, reasonable margins, A4 or letter sized paper)
    • Or if the program requires extraordinary testing and verification (say, the control software for a nuclear reactor)


    e(π√−1) = −1

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