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Re: Perl losing momentum ?

by talexb (Canon)
on Jan 31, 2008 at 16:03 UTC ( #665375=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Perl losing momentum ?

    Lately, I feel that Perl is losing momentum against the other dynamic languages [..] A good example is GUIs.

No, actually, with Perl, GUIs are a *bad* example when you want to persuade people that Perl is losing momentum.

If there are two things that Perl really isn't well suited for, they are high performance computing and GUIs.

Perl is great at running on a very large number of platforms. Perl is great at running with performance comparable to C, but with all kinds of dirty work (memory allocation, file handling, you name it) taken care of. Perl is great at being able to create a usable prototype quickly. And Perl is great at doing Test Driven Development.

Until there's a single GUI developer's toolkit for all platforms (never?), there are going to differences in how a GUI looks on a different platform. Welcome to the world of computing, where there are new platforms every time you turn around. Perl is no exception -- but there are definitely options, as the many replies to your original post show.

Perl is not losing its momentum; maybe the one aspect you looked at isn't moving forward very fast, but it could be that that's a business opportunity for you.

I really enjoy developing in Perl -- the language is fun and the CPAN library is terrific, but the real crown jewel is the community -- that's priceless. Plus, I'm able to find amusing, well-paying jobs where I can develop in Perl. When that stops working, I guess I'll find another language -- but for now, my prospects are good.

Alex / talexb / Toronto

"Groklaw is the open-source mentality applied to legal research" ~ Linus Torvalds

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Re^2: Perl losing momentum ?
by spurperl (Priest) on Jan 31, 2008 at 19:13 UTC
    I'm completely in sync with you on this:

    I really enjoy developing in Perl -- the language is fun and the CPAN library is terrific, but the real crown jewel is the community -- that's priceless

    However, GUIs are important, and Perl is not good at that. The only GUI library Perl really has good bindings with, and comes preinstalled with most distributions is Tk. But Tk is very limited, especially in the "looks & feel" department. I wish I could use Perl for everything I do, but unfortunately I can't. My "losing momentum" claim is that thinks are unlikely to improve from now on, because the focus of most enthusiastic language tweakers is not on Perl any more.

      Nowadays, Web UI is far more important than GUI in most cases, and Perl has probably the richest toolset available for Web.
      Maybe Tcl/Tk 8.5 will help? I know nothing about how/if it will get integrated with Perl, though, so might be a complete red herring.

      From that page:

      Highlights of Tk 8.5 * New modern theming engine: New and complementary widgets that make use of platform-specific theming on Mac OS X and Windows to better fit in with those environments, and feature an improved look and feel under X11. (screenshots) * New widgets: Part of the themed widget set, Tk now has core notebook, combobox, treeview and progressbar widgets. * text widget: Smooth scrolling, widget peering, and improved procedures for counting and replacing text. * Font rendering: Now uses anti-aliased text under X11, and a more modern text engine (ATSUI) on Mac OS X. * Additional improvements: Window transparency, new fullscreen option for windows, enhancements to specific widgets and window layout, and more.

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