Better Perl

Aaron Trevena aaron.trevena at
Fri Apr 4 12:12:13 BST 2008

On 04/04/2008, Paul Makepeace <paulm at> wrote:
>  > How many of those still use Perl for cinderella jobs ?
> The topic is what sites use primarily perl and JNS made the point
>  about business using PHP.
>  Who cares if some bod uses Perl on the command line for the odd bit of
>  log processing?

You missed the point about perlbal, etc.

Perlbal, etc are as much a part of the infrastructure as mysql or
apache - certainly in my experience of large sites.

>  (Not that that isn't a very valid use for Perl, but it's not perl
>  being used to power a site and make $$$)

Yeah, right - as if PHP, etc could be used to really power a large
site, rather than act as a souped up SSI.

>  >  Yahoo and Google (and the many companies they have swallowed like
>  >  overture, doubleclick, etc) still use a lot of perl to keep everything
>  >  together.
> Hmm, think you'll need to find citations for that. There's some but
>  not much perl at Google. I work in production infrastructure, where
>  perl is often cited to be in heavier use than the front-end and I can
>  similarly assure you you won't find much perl there either.

I don't believe that they or Yahoo have replaced the entire
infrastructure of companies they have bought, like doubleclick or

>  That said, for those one-off command line jobs perl rules.

Or reliable components for things like load balancing, job queues, etc.

>  >  Nearly all the big/popular Rails and PHP rely on stuff like Perlbal,
>  >  Memcached, Mogile, etc to keep running.
>  >
>  >
>  >  >  LiveJournal, Typepad do use Perl. Anyone else??
>  >
>  >
>  > ITN, Guardian, NY Times, Salon,, craigslist, gumtree, and the
>  >  stalwarts of mod_perl like BBC, TicketMaster, etc.
> That's cool.

The list is far far longer, there are plenty of wiki pages with more,
and those are still only a relatively small sample.

>  >  > Any perl businesses with multi-<s>billion</s> million, even, dollar valuations?
>  >  >
>  >  >  Morgan Stanley doesn't count :-)
>  >
>  >
>  > Excluding banks rules out Credit Suise, Barclays Global Capital, etc,
>  >  I suppose you want to exclude all Finance Companies too.
> There's a huge difference between perl being in occasional use as glue
>  and perl powering the backend analysis, etc.

>From the interviews and conversations I've had, it's used for a hell
of a lot more than just glue, Barclays global made me smirk (inwardly)
when they mentioned that Java was used for internal web dev, but all
data feed processing and analysis was perl.

>  That said, I don't know much in this area.

Have a look at banking perl jobs - do they sound like glue ? The one's
I've considered have all been getting the job done, not one-liners or
quick hacks.

>  >  I believe Livejournal has been sold to a russian outfit for millions
>  >  of dollars relatively recently. 1 million USD is not far over 1/2
> Yep, I listed that one.
>  >  million stirling, there are a LOT of companies using perl that far
>  >  excede that valuation, heck I imagine only a small proportion are
>  >  worth less.
> Citation needed I'm afraid.

Hardly. I'd find it hard to find a business I deal with that isn't a
sole-trader or micro-business that couldn't be valued at about 500,000


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