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23 Years of Culture Hacking With Perl 99

Modern Perl writes "Larry Wall, the creator of Perl, reflects on Perl's history of hacking its culture, from subverting the reductionist culture of Unix to reinventing the ideas of programming language and culture in Perl 6 and the verbal aikido used to encourage honest detractors to become valuable contributors. Perl turned 23 years old last week, and Perl 6 is available."
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23 Years of Culture Hacking With Perl

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  • by FooAtWFU ( 699187 ) on Friday December 24, 2010 @04:54PM (#34661882) Homepage
    Yeah, now try hiring for a good OO software engineer to write Perl. The applicant pool isn't spectacularly broad. Not too surprising, I suppose, since most of the positions out there featuring Perl are either QA automation or something titled "Build Engineer". Ruby has all the mindshare these days.

    (Hiring ~4 OO software engineers to do Perl. [] Forgive the inane outsourced hiring-management site. Merry Christmas.)

  • Re:Perl6 (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Short Circuit ( 52384 ) <> on Friday December 24, 2010 @05:30PM (#34662088) Homepage Journal

    I've been playing around with Perl 6 a little this week. Rakudo works well enough that I'll be using Perl 6 where I've previously been using Perl. I find it useful to follow the Perl 6 Planet, as it has a bunch of Perl 6 developers' perspectives and musings as they use the langauge. (For example, one guy wrote his blogging engine in Perl 6, and commented on speed differences between a couple Perl 6 implementations.)

    I'm also helped that Larry Wall has been doing active code review of the Perl 6 code [] over on Rosetta Code, a site I run; it's nice to have an active source of idiomatic code for understanding the language.

  • by FooAtWFU ( 699187 ) on Friday December 24, 2010 @05:48PM (#34662178) Homepage
    I should clarify, actually. We (the dev team) are not trying to limit it by language. Our in-house recruiter, however.... well, he's got different ideas about what we're looking for than we do, and let's just say I've heard rumblings from the head of Engineering which don't bode well for his future. Not that I can take any credit; I'm just now taking over hiring for my department; the battle to make our job posting look half-decent for this round of hiring begins when I get back from Christmas vacation. In the meantime, I'm asking around for tips [].
  • by Junta ( 36770 ) on Friday December 24, 2010 @05:50PM (#34662184)

    My experience has been largely:
    -if working on existing progress, continue in language it is already in
    -if working on new project, what's the language most comfortable for the most developers available

    Frequently, the answer continues to be perl, sometimes python, sometimes ruby. Usually, I can't be bothered to care. If it comes down to my call, currently I prefer:
    -If planning to use across many OS updates, perl5. Nice and stagnant, not screwing around with how it does things, perl6 threatens this.
    -If not expecting a lot of churn on the runtime but active development across random developers coming and going as available, python as it forces readability.
    -If expected to work in a barebones as possible generic windows, vbscript, but please no.
    -If wanting to work with as few prereqs as possible on Windows server 2008r2/7, then powershell.
    -Have gone along with ruby, but have not personally found the magic situation I personally prefer it for above all other possibilities.

  • by grcumb ( 781340 ) on Friday December 24, 2010 @07:01PM (#34662510) Homepage Journal

    My recent experience is that discussions of Perl quickly turn to discussions of Python, after people make statements like, "If it weren't for CPAN, Perl would be dead."

    That's not too far from the truth, if you understand that statement to be analogous to "If it weren't for the US dollar, the American economy would be dead." It may only be one thing, but it's a pretty big thing.

    "There's more than one way to do it." [] translates to, quoting from Wikipedia, "This makes it easy to write extremely messy programs..."

    No grasshopper, you fundamentally misunderstand the implications of that statement. Show me a problem in which there isn't more than one way to do it, and I'll show you a problem you haven't grokked properly yet. Perl is a language without ideology. If programming languages were religions, perl would be closer to atheism (sorry Larry) than to anything else. Yes, it sometimes does cast people adrift because they're forced to accept that there is no final arbiter, that sometimes choices do come down to indulging one's biases. The difference here is that we recognise that, and that you have no one to blame for the biases except yourself.

    For a good programmer, this is one of the paths to enlightenment.

    To abuse the ideology metaphor a little further, perl is democratic (and borderline anarchic) because it does not criminalise stupidity. Likewise, it doesn't always protect you from yourself. If you really want to do things a certain way, the language probably won't stop you, and might even help you.

    And if you still don't get the freedom that perl provides, feel free to vacate the green space in front of my domicile. I'm not going to force you off, but I might laugh at you if you stay.

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