Random Perl ... rant

Aaron Trevena aaron.trevena at gmail.com
Fri Apr 4 09:47:35 BST 2008

On 04/04/2008, Jonathan Rockway <jon at jrock.us> wrote:
>  Then we can have all the neat SLIME features without being locked in to
>  a language or editor, which is the way I think tools should work.
>  Lock-in sucks.  (And yes, I realize that Perl users are locked in to
>  Perl because of the CPAN.  I'm going to fix that next.)

Not me.

I'm locked into perl, because if I switched to another language for
paid work I would have to take a significant cut to my income. Same
would apply if I had spent a decade doing C++ or Java.

And don't give me that rubbish about it only taking a few weeks for a
good programmer to learn a new language, because a) three weeks on
zero income isn't  helpful, b) three weeks is enough to be able to use
the language and some basic idioms, it's not enough to build up
knowledge of support, library resources and basic experience of what
works well in production and what doesn't.

I would like to learn some new languages, but I don't think Java is
interesting enough to learn in my own time, C# could be good, but it's
only used commercially as part of MS .Net rather than mono or on *nix,
so I'd have to make a painful migration to win32 in order to get any
commerical benefit, and ruby and python really aren't as exciting as
people claim, and certainly don't offer better money.

If was a single geek with no family/mortgage/hobbies then yes, I could
spend all my time playing around with other stuff, but I'm over 30,
married with a young child and a wife about to start a fulltime
post-grad course.

I'm sure other people manage to master LISP in their spare moments at
the weekend while being a great dad, and cooking for their other half
(that's certainly how some  oreilly/use.perl bloggers can come
accross), but given the choice between learning the 'oh so exciting'
ruby language and sitting in bed with a good book (i.e. Bernard
Cornwell, or something else with Templar Knights, siege engines and
plenty of gore and heroics) it's a no-brainer.


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