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Apocalypse 3

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  • Heh... (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2001 @05:59PM (#2385867)
    I just read the first paragraph about how functional languages have too many parenthesis, and OO languages have to many dots (although OO languages have operator overloads, but that's a whole other arguement).

    What's funny is first, he overuses the $ sign like mad, and perl is so well known to be unreadable.


    OT: Did you guys see the online petition to fire Jon Katz [petitiononline.com]? Somebody has brass....
  • by Water Paradox (231902) on Wednesday October 03, 2001 @06:07PM (#2385910) Homepage
    "Breaking out of your culture is also important, because that is how we understand other cultures. As an explicitly multicultural language, Perl has generally done OK in this area, though we can always do better. Examples of cross-cultural exchange among computer cultures include XML and Unicode. (Not surprisingly, these features also enable better cross-cultural exchange among human cultures -- we sincerely hope.)"

    It is for statements like this, that I am drawn into studying and using Perl. Many designers try to design a langauge which develops its own internal culture; it becomes static and internally consistent, but not very adventurous. Larry Wall seeks to develop a language which has built-in the fact that we like to explore, making his task more difficult, but a language which moves and flows with the evolution of our culture readily.

    Keep up the great work!
  • by hillct (230132) on Wednesday October 03, 2001 @06:28PM (#2386001) Homepage Journal
    I never really thought about how valuable perl really is. I use it constantly. I use it based on the syntactic rules set fourth in the cammel book. I never considered evaluating changes to the language (well, not to any great degree anyway. While I find Larry Wall's series of articles interesting, I just can't get excited about changing the language in it's next incarnation. It works. It's an effective tool. That's good enough to me. I'm not saying don't change it, so much as in it's role as a tool I find it valuable, but when given the opportunity to provide feedback on how to change it I'm at a loss.

    Now, I consider my job to be 'Intranet Systems Arhitect' as distinct from 'Programmer'. Perhaps that's why I can't get excited about changing a tool I've come to depend on in it's current form. Perhaps true programmers might find the prospect fascinating. perhaps you could liken it to the difference between an army officer and a gunsmith. While both make use of guns at various times, only the gunsmith is inclined to take the gun apart, examine it and make a better one.

    Or perhaps I'm just not showing the proper community spirit, and I should dive in and offer my two cents on how to make the language better. Maybe I'm just lazy (then again, isn't that why perl is such a great language...)

    --CTH
  • by Ars-Fartsica (166957) on Wednesday October 03, 2001 @06:29PM (#2386004)
    Regardless of your opinion of perl, I find Larry's writings to be consistently insightful and although the humor os a bit corny, somewhat amusing.

    How perl 6 will fare is another issue. The language is going to change radically - will developers follow Larry into perl 6, just use perl 5 compatibility mode, or move on altogether?

  • by Starship Trooper (523907) on Wednesday October 03, 2001 @06:38PM (#2386042) Homepage Journal
    Let's face it, perl is absolutely great for its original intention - fast, easy, write-and-forget scripting. But as I see the plans for Perl 6 [perl.org] unfold, one thought comes to my mind - Yuck. The language they propose is bloated and convoluted beyond words; it's clearly evident that Wall and his fellow "designers" are struggling vainly to make Perl "grow up" -- something that it has absolutely no need to do. There [sun.com] are [ioccc.org] other [python.org] languages [microsoft.com] out there to fill the other niches; languages which try to do everything [att.com] doom themselves to failure. Ambition kills.
  • operators (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 03, 2001 @06:44PM (#2386070)
    larry proposed an operator that does "defined($a) ? $a : $b"... he's probably going to get permanently banned from p5p for that
  • by Ian Bicking (980) <ianb@colorstudy.CHICAGOcom minus city> on Wednesday October 03, 2001 @07:03PM (#2386127) Homepage
    Well, there's not really anything novel in what he's talking about. Almost all languages do the same thing. Consider these two expressions:

    5 - 3
    5 + - 3

    The first "-" relates to subtraction. The second one relates to negating a number. Those are two different kinds of operations, and those are considered two different operators. You can tell the two apart, because in the first one when you encounter "-" you are looking to extend the expression; while in the second when you encounter "-" you are looking for a second term to go after "+".

    You could do the same thing with "=", but that sort of thing can get confusing. Imagine an expression $x = =$y (quite different from $x == $y !)

  • by Fixer (35500) on Wednesday October 03, 2001 @07:38PM (#2386266) Homepage Journal
    I like the way Perl6 is going, I have to say. Though I kind of agree with others, changing
    $a.$b.$c
    to
    $a _ $b _ $c
    kind of bites. Then again, this could also be looked at as readability enforcement. Common cases:

    $a = $b.$c;
    print "Hello: ".$you."\n";

    becomes

    $a = $b _ $c;
    print "Hello: " _ $you _ "\n";

    It is definitely more readable, but I dislike significant whitespace. shrug
    But as to the rest of the proposed changes, I can't wait.

  • by forehead (1874) on Wednesday October 03, 2001 @07:51PM (#2386310)
    Before I begin, I know that Perl is Larry's baby and he can do with it what he likes. But I wouldn't be so vocal about this if I didn't care. ;-) That said...

    Maybe it is just me, but the more and more I see what is going on in the perl world, the less and less I want to have anything do with it. The whole
    hyper-operator conecpt is a good example. My thoughs? Just use a fscking for loop. That is what they were designed to do. Larry seems to be going through *great* pains to include as many bizzare syntactic short cuts as you can reasonably string characters on the keyboard to represent. This is not terribly innovative.

    It's starting to diverge from "Practical extraction and report(ing) language"
    and towards "pathetically Eclectic rubbish lister". Personally, I aim a little more towards practical. That was what made it so popular to begin with. Make difficult things easy and hard thing possible was a nice concept. Perl 5 did that well. IMNSHO, Perl 6 seems to be making 100 ways to do the same simple thing all so the developer can opt to use the method with the verbosity level he/she desire, and not making the hard things any easier.

    </rant>

"Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats." -- Howard Aiken

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