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Most of you will have heard Perl called the "Swiss Army Chainsaw" of programming languages, of course: if you're not careful, you could easily saw off your own leg, to say nothing of the fact that it's ugly and noisy and belches noxious fumes while you're using it, but that all provides a great deal of versatility and power that is rare in other languages.

And yet, many professional carpenters prefer tools with guards, guides, cutoff switches, and other niceties over an unguided chainsaw. They prefer CRC milling machines over an expert artisan standing over a dremel tool all day, even though configuring the CRC machine sometimes has a long and painstaking setup and test process. Flexiblity is not the only good; although it is what's good about Perl.

I think Perl is less like a chainsaw than a jigsaw with the ultimate cutting blade; it will cut through just about anything, including chewing up just about any guide you put on it, unless you're painstakingly careful about how you reign it in.

Perl is good for flexible, freehand work. It's not a substitute for a bandsaw, drillpress, or lathe. It's much better tool for artists than for craftsmen.


In reply to Re: Principle of Inclusion by Anonymous Monk
in thread Principle of Inclusion by apotheon

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