Perl, Python and noo perl

Jeremy jepri at
Fri Apr 5 00:29:01 EST 2002

> I just wanted to take the opportunity to advocate python for a bit. I
> think
> perl has some very neat features, and I think it has merit as a
> language - but
> the feature-creep and incessant overloading of functionality (such as
> what
> something evaluates to in a particular context), can make it pretty
> hard to
> follow.

There was just a big fight on caused by one of the senior 
members converting to python and then trolling.  If you do a search for 
python at perlmonks then you will see lots of good ( and a few not so 
good ) comparisons.

As for the hard to follow -  that does seem to encourage good 

> Now part of its brevity appeals to me - I like being able to express
> something
> in the way which seems most logical to me, and to do it quickly. But
> marvelling
> at perl code which could only be described as "magic" is a lot
> different to
> maintaining it.

Interestingly the perl community seems to be moving away from the 
'magic' and towards the slightly longer and more boring.  What really 
tweaks my interest is that this is happening voluntarily - not being 
forced by rules in the compiler, as written by the inner circle.

> quick solution to something). But I found wrestling with the more
> esoteric
> syntax when following multiple references in complex data structures
> to be very

Perl's data structures are insane, but intruiging.  There's a twisted 
logic there, after a fashion.

> frustrating when I first started out. Perl6 promises to fix this with
> implicit
> dereferencing, but there's a number of sacrifices which have had to be
> made to
> graft it on to the existing solution - and let's just say it's not
> elegant.

I assume you're talking about perl4 -> perl5.  Perl6 jettisons 
absolutely all of the perl5 code and most of the old syntax.  There 
will be a backwards compatibility module, but "what perl5 does" has 
little relevance on perl6.  There's a new compiler, and a new 
interpreter, so there's little incentive to keep anything that doesn't 
work really well.

Implicit deferencing worries me now, but I guess I'll learn to like it.

> I heartly recommend it for people who are interested in learning a new
> language
> or expanding their horizons.

I'm not sure about the new programmers thing.  Perl seems to be a 
refuge for jaded programmers who claim that perl grates less than other 
languages.  Perl just seems to scare the nerd out of neophytes.

Perl can be a delightful mix of OO, functional and procedural styles, 
but it probably helps if you have been exposed to the pure forms first.

More information about the linux mailing list