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For your "Do Foo in Bar" thing ... we're actually have this discussion on the extreme-perl mailing list. (Well, Rob Nagler and Ovid are having the discussion while the rest of us are making sure no blood spills on the carpet.) I tend to agree with Rob, though not as vehemently.

I think it's interesting to note that no one on that mailing list who argues that you can "learn all that stuff in Perl" has any experience with languages in paradigms other than procedural or OO. Do they know any functional languages? No. Logical? No. Heck, not one of them even knows a pure OO language (or, at least all have been silent when I have repeatedly asked).

It reminds me of a kid in an English class who told our professor that he (the kid) doesn't need to visit any foreign countries because he has the Internet. Once someone is that far gone in their misunderstanding, it's often difficult to explain what they're missing. Let's call that kid Alex. Imagine that Alex smokes Gauloise, reads about France on the Internet, and recites from memory the dialogue to every Eric Rohmer film while wearing a beret. That still doesn't mean he understands what it is to be French or to experience French culture first-hand. However, never having even visited France, Alex would have no way of knowing what he's missing. Further, having never been to France, many of us would rightfully mistrust him as an expert on French culture, particularly if he is disagreeing with someone who has lived there.

Sure, you can learn functional programming techniques in Perl, but it's a piece of cake (and natural) to fall back to procedural or OO techniques. If you are forced to work in a purely functional or logical language for a period of time and you have no comfortable techniques to fall back on, you can gain a better appreciation of those other points of view. However, Rob Nagler and friends have never directly experienced those other cultures. I hardly feel they're well-placed to judge Perl's merits vis-a-vis languages they do not know.

Mind you, this is not to say that they're not a bunch of great guys and sharp programmers. They just have a bit of a blind spot.


New address of my CGI Course.

In reply to Can you learn French culture from a movie? by Ovid
in thread How do you master Perl? by brian_d_foy

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