Better Perl

Jonathan Tweed jonathan at
Sun Apr 6 17:11:45 BST 2008

On 4 Apr 2008, at 14:11, Greg McCarroll wrote:

> On Fri, Apr 04, 2008 at 12:28:25PM +0000, Jonathan Tweed wrote:
>> So do I, but it's getting increasingly difficult to resist  
>> management pressure to move to other languages.
> What would help you? And please give me the list in point form as I am
> a bear of very little brane.

Some problems specific to $work:

* There is a lot of Perl here, unsurprisingly not all of it is good.
* We are hampered by eight year old front end infrastructure.
* A lot of managers now assume all Perl is like the worst of the  
front end.
* The people building the new infrastructure are Java proponents.
* The client side developers wanted PHP, possibly as an overreaction  
to the fact they've been overly limited by SSIs for 8 years.

And a few which aren't:

* It's hard to hire good people and getting harder.
* Perl is seen to be old and past it.
* Management see few other big places using Perl, therefore Perl is  
not seen as enterprise.
* You can't hire someone with the mindshare of ThoughtWorks to do  
Perl consultancy.

Perl is a tainted language here and it's going to be hard to shake  
that. As to how we go about fixing it? I don't know, but as a start:

* Proof that Perl works for other big companies.
* Radically improved presentation and PR. I mean,
* A reason to learn Perl, something that makes Perl 'cool'.
* A community that isn't downright rude to newcomers (that doesn't  
apply to everyone ;-).

As far as I can see, if you aren't already a Perl programmer there's  
no reason to learn Perl. That's the biggest problem. Most of the  
business issues follow on from there.


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