Perl is dead

Paul Makepeace paulm at
Wed Dec 3 21:38:32 GMT 2008

On Wed, Dec 3, 2008 at 8:16 PM, James Laver <james.laver at> wrote:
> On 2008-12-03 20:10, "Avleen Vig" <avleen at> wrote:
>> It's a singular datapoint, but to answer the "how many python jobs..",
>> I would ask "how many engineers has Google hired in London in the last
>> few years?
>> It's *one* job application with lots of hires, many of whom will have
>> to use python at some point.
>> Other companies have probably done the same.
>> But I don't believe the same is true with Perl.
>> Perl is fairly well entrenched. It's available everywhere. But Python
>> is still growing and has a lot of headroom.
>> Most people have tried Perl. The number trying Python and Ruby instead
>> is growing. Fast.
>> I like Python too and wish the same.
>> I like that is enforces structure. I'd donate a kidney if perl could
>> be made to do that.
> It's not the place of a language to do that, it's a case of "Don't be an
> idiot when writing code".

1. A bug in a FORTRAN program that controlled one of the inner planet fly-bys
   (I think it was a fly-by of Mercury).  The bug was caused because the
   programmer inadvertently said DO 10 I=1.5 instead of DO 10 I=1,5.  FORTRAN
   interprets the former as "assign a value of 1.5 to the variable DO10I".  I
   heard that as a result the fly-by went off course and never did the fly-by!
   A good case for using variable declarations.

use strict; use warnings; use Class::Contract; etc etc etc All these
things are there to prevent humans being idiots.

That page has a lot of other awesome software failures, btw. See also

> I've seen crappy python and other code often enough, you can't fix it inside
> the language, you have to fix the programmer.

Humans aren't very reliable* so the more the language and the compiler
can help out the better.

*especially so with age, altho' I couldn't possibly comment...


> --James

More information about the mailing list