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Healthcheck: Perl

Jan 14, 2009, 14:31 (7 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Piers Cawley)

"Perl's current standing is like that of JavaScript a few years ago. JavaScript was perceived as a ghastly, hacky language, which was so awful that one had to hold ones nose to program in it. With the rise of excellent JavaScript frameworks like Jquery, YUI, MooTools and Dojo and the publication of Douglas Crockford's JavaScript: The Good Parts, people are realising that it's actually a really nice language with occasional quirks. Advertisement

"Perl began life as a language for systems administration, probably because its creator Larry Wall was a systems administrator at the time. With the release of Perl 5, the language changed to support more general programming - Larry was working as a general programmer by then. This change of use has left the language with some oddities and a syntax that has been likened to line noise. However, if you look at the good parts (O'Reilly haven't announced "Perl: The Good Parts", but it's a book that's crying out to be written), there's a really nice language in there. Arguably there's at least two. There's the language of the one-liner, the quick throwaway program written to achieve some sysadmin related task, and there's the more 'refined' language you use when you're writing something that is going to end up being maintained."

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