Gentlemen, a call to arms!

Piers Cawley pdcawley at
Mon Oct 16 22:20:47 BST 2006

Nicholas Clark <nick at> writes:

> 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?

*Cough* The Rails Core *Cough* 

Piers Cawley <pdcawley at>

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