Writing About Perl
abuse at cabal.org.uk
Tue Aug 23 13:09:47 BST 2011
On Tue, Aug 23, 2011 at 11:39:57AM +0100, Dave Cross wrote:
> If a popular Linux magazine had given you the opportunity to write a 3000
> word article giving a practical project-based demonstration of how Perl
> had moved on in the last ten years, what would you do? What would you
> write about?
I would *not* bang on about Perl's web technologies. People interested in
that are already going to be playing with the likes of Django or Rails which
are perfectly good tools and Perl's tools aren't sufficiently better for
most users that it's worth a switch.
This being a Linux magazine, I'd focus more on system administration and
tool-building, and odd ways to use Perl and Perl's tools to solve non-Perl
problems. For example, there's the prename command that uses Perl one-liners
to mangle filenames for renaming: I often use it to strip crap from and
canonicalise filenames. TAP and prove is handy for testing non-Perl things -
I use it to test some C++ stuff. POD is much less painful to write than raw
nroff. ack is bloody handy.
Look how much useful stuff Perl has done without having to write a line of
code! Now you've piqued the readers' interest, you can save the code-writing
for the second article in the series that they'll inevitably ask you to
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