Gentlemen, a call to arms!

Nicholas Clark nick at
Sat Oct 14 09:40:19 BST 2006

On Fri, Oct 13, 2006 at 08:12:26PM -0400, muppet wrote:

> I will posit that a very large amount of perl is written by people  
> who don't understand it well, and give it a very bad reputation.  I  
> have spent a good amount of time fixing in-house perl code written by  
> C programmers, getting order-of-magnitude speedups just by using a  
> hash instead of repeated array lookups (8 minutes to ten seconds in  
> one case), reducing overcomplicated logic, removing unreadable hacks,  
> etc.  Cut and paste runs rampant.  And, despite perl having one of  
> the best libraries in the world (CPAN), a disturbing majority of perl  
> programmers appear to suffer greatly from poor wheel reinvention  
> syndrome.  It's difficult to defend perl in a room full of python and  
> ruby bigots when everyone knows how bad the local perl code is.

This paragraph all seems plausible and consistent to me, but then it makes
me wonder "why is Perl special?"
Why aren't we aware of the places where C programmers write bad Python or
bad Ruby? Surely Sturgeon's Law applies to other languages too?

Nicholas Clark

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