Better Perl

Paul Makepeace paulm at
Mon Apr 7 14:04:21 BST 2008

On 4/7/08, David Cantrell <david at> wrote:
> On Fri, Apr 04, 2008 at 11:07:06AM +0100, Paul Makepeace wrote:
>  > On 4/4/08, Jonathan Stowe <jns at> wrote:
> > >                                           crappy little web sites full
>  > > of vacuous ideas and rounded corners with no business plan, I don't
>  > > believe that is a clear indicator of anything - personally I'd rather
>  > > they'd all fuck off and do their stuff in PHP
>  >
>  > You mean like facebook? (PHP)
>  > Or Wikipedia? (PHP)
>  > Or Digg? (PHP)
>  > Or Youtube? (Py)
>  > Or Bebo? (ASP)
>  > Or MySpace? (ASP)
>  > Or Orkut? (was ASP)
>  > Or (ASP)
>  > Or * (Java, C++, Py)
>  > Or about any other multi-box site you care to mention? (!Perl)
>  >
>  > LiveJournal, Typepad do use Perl. Anyone else??
>  >
> > Any perl businesses with multi-<s>billion</s> million, even, dollar valuations?
>  >
>  > Morgan Stanley doesn't count :-)
> Why doesn't it count?  It's a business that uses perl.  Here's a few
>  other perl-using businesses:
>  * Amazon
>  * the Catholic church
>  * Microsoft

It's telling that your position here rests on the premise that perl is
"a useful tool".

There's a difference between 'business relies on X' and 'business uses
X'. Sure MS use Perl, so do Google, and Amazon. Do either company
_remotely_ rely on it? No. (I'd be curious to hear from people working
in finance who use other languages what perl's role in the finance
world actually is. There seems to generally be a lot of overstatement
of perl's use in certain businesses in this thread.)

IIRC the thread was about making a better perl, which produced the
sentiment that "Perl is fine, thankyouverymuch" and yet here we are
with perl not really being all that critical to very many people's
businesses. And for the relative few that are, they're hardly shining
examples of Wikipedia/Facebook/etc stature. Sure, perl's a useful
tool, but it's not critical.

Furthermore, the spot-on point was made I think when someone pointed
out there just isn't a compelling case to choose perl over any other
language, and that there _are_ compelling reasons to choose other

Insisting that perl is core to businesses isn't necessarily in
dispute, it just doesn't move us any closer to a better, more
compelling perl. Not seeing any particular motivation to move beyond
the status quo is the signal of a culture putting itself into
maintenance mode.


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