Perl School 4: Database Programming with Perl and DBIx::Class

Lyle webmaster at
Thu Feb 7 20:58:34 GMT 2013

On 07/02/2013 17:56, Paul Makepeace wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 4:09 AM, Dave Cross <dave at> wrote:
>> I think the best programmers don't "stick with the language they know". I
>> think they see a new language as largely a case of learning new syntax and
>> enjoy having a number of languages to choose from so they can use the best
>> one for each individual task.
> I feel this is a well-worn trope but not actually how it works except
> for possibly very small one-off projects. Learning and being
> productive in a language is far more than just syntax; in fact that's
> probably the easiest part since they're largely the same, unless
> you're learning something radically different. By far the lion's share
> of the work is the libraries, error messages, documentation, and
> toolchain.
> >From my own experience, if I'm day-to-day productive at a
> being-paid-for-it level in say Perl, I tend to swap out a bunch of
> Python knowledge. Sure, I can swap it in, but as ever there's quite a
> cost to that. Spending one's day constantly referring to Stack
> Overflow, Google, CPAN, and perldoc is workable but it's slow. Using
> say Perl + JavaScript is do-able but it requires IME daily use of
> both.
> Conclusion: unless Language X was compellingly amazing at Task A I'd
> do my best to solve Task A with Language I'm Most Familiar With These
> Days.
> Curious how others approach this.

I agree. The ideology of "use the best language for the job" is sound. 
But from my experience the practicalities generally aren't. Most people 
have a limit to how much they can remember, very few have an eidetic 
memory. Using another language usually involves lots of look up as Paul 
suggests. Which for me at least, feels like wasted time and frustration 
when I know how to do it in Perl. Then maintenance becomes an issue. 
Years later you have to update the code in language X, which you might 
not have touched since, so it's a case of relearning again. No matter 
how good you are in your preferred language, it'll take time to learn 
all the quirks and become as good in another, so the code you produce at 
first wont be the best.

I'll use Perl for as much as I can, because it's usually the quickest 
and easiest thing for me to do now, and in the future (maintenance).

If I can't use Perl, or there is an overwhelming reason to use something 
else, then I will.


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