Perl outreach

Abigail abigail at
Mon Nov 26 23:13:23 GMT 2012

On Mon, Nov 26, 2012 at 07:28:23PM +0000, Peter Sergeant wrote:
> Fundamentally we fail to answer the question "Why Perl?"
> Sure the tools are good. But the common view seems to be that for every
> good tool Perl has, Ruby or Python have its own (perhaps superior) version.
> Plack is neat, but a Perl project named after the Ruby port of a Python
> tool isn't a USP.
> Find a way to compellingly answer "Why Perl (over Ruby or Python)?" in a
> way that growth communities (proggit, hackernews) understand and you'll
> have started to find a solution. "Testing is a bit better", "Catalyst is a
> bit more grown up than Rails", and "CPAN is like Ruby Gems only a bit
> *handwave* better" don't really cut it.

Arguing which language is better seems to be as pointless to me as
arguing which car is better, or which brand of hammer.

People don't buy a car because car A is better at driving from New York
to Chicago, but they trade in the car for car B because that's more
suitable to drive from Los Angelos to San Francisco.

People buy car A because it suits *them* better than car B (whether that
a rational reason or not is irrelevant), not because it gives a better
experience/mileage/whatever between random points.

"Testing is better" or "Catalyst is a bit more grown up than Rails"
are similar arguments Jeremy Clarkson and his friends are making on Top
Gear to decide which car is the best. Joyful to watch, but useless if
you want to buy a car that's useful for you.

For me, the top two reasons I use Perl (and there really isn't a third 

  -  It's good enough for most of what I do.
  -  I'm just too damn lazy to learn a different language.

Or, phrased differently, the cost of learning something else doesn't seem
to outweight the benefits.


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