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is Perl worth it?


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#21 .josh

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 04:25 PM

well... I know the OP was posed as a "is perl worth anything as a language," and I guess that's my fault for asking it that way, because I think what I really meant at the time was more in the context of "would it significantly help in the career field." 

I don't really argue that it has its own merits and faults like any other language.  But there are plenty of things out there that can "do the same thing," but just don't have the..'popularity' to really be worth trying to further a career on. 

On that note, I would certainly agree that knowing 2 languages is always better than 1. Or 3 is better than 2, etc. etc.. I would certainly not argue that the more versatile you are, the more jobs you will stand to get.  I guess I was looking for opinions on, for instance: in your own experiences in the industry, if you already had a decent grasp of php, would it really be an absolute necessity to try to take on perl as well, as something more than a "boosting your programming flexibility" thing? 


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#22 fenway

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 09:53 PM

Every data import I've done was easier in Perl (not that I've ever used anything else)... but it's just so much simpler, IMHO.  Personally, I find the web stuff pretty straightforward in Perl too, but that's up for debate.
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#23 corbin

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Posted 28 January 2007 - 08:08 PM

Depending on what source I hear it from, PHP is way better than Perl, or the opposite... So, I personally have no idea, but I would like to know if Perl is worth using my time on... If I only do web development, would anyone suggest I use anything besides PHP?
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#24 trq

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Posted 29 January 2007 - 09:52 PM

If its only web development your interested in then Id'e say no, just stuck with php. Perl can't really do anything that php can't in the web dev arena, I mean its simply just outputting html anyway.

However, it never hurts to get a few languages under your belt... see things from a different point of view. Its up to you really, but your not (IMO) going to see any huge advantage in Perl over PHP.

#25 c4onastick

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 02:43 AM

Python is better than both php and perl.

This is exactly the kind of thing you run into with these two camps. I can't even begin to list all the forum posts I found that were just huge flames. Its completely counter productive, and as others have pointed out, way off topic. I seriously looked into both languages, and there's nothing you can do in Perl that can't be done in Python and vice versa. It really just depends on your style. Perl fits for me. I'm not a programmer by trade, (kind of a twisted hobby) so I like Perl's quick, cryptic, one-liners. Perl's philosophy is "There's More Than One Way to Do It", and they make a big deal out of making the interpreter and compiler smart so that you can say it however you want. The language tries to stay out of your way as much as possible. As a result things can get ugly, but that's the beauty of it. Python is more strict, and carries a heavy OO influence. Which may make for "better looking" code, but in the end its just about getting the job done (for me). I've just started working with Perl, so I'm definitely not an expert, but it works for me.

To draw on the PHP vs. Perl comparison, I can see lots of Perl influence in PHP, array_shift() would be the first thing that comes to mind. To code for the web, I stick with PHP unless you I need to run some complex system tasks or other extended functionality, which is where I think that PHP starts to get out of its league (it still can be done in PHP, but you don't use a hammer to screw in a screw). I can usually hold my own in PHP, Perl is superficially similar, so the transition was easy for me. Of course, I picked up Perl because I wanted to get away from the web, which brings me to what I believe is Python's greatest strength (over Perl/PHP): compiled binaries. Granted you can do that in Perl too (not that well though, it's tough). I don't really need to distribute anything I write in Perl so I can live with out this functionality.

Bottom line, check them both out (don't use the internet, or you can reread all the flames I found earlier), and see which one is right for you. I definitely plan on learning Python later, its a great tool to have. Right now I need a "glue language" and Perl fits the bill for that (for me) perfectly. Go to Barnes & Nobel or something, pick up a Perl book and a Python book sit down and read through a couple examples and you'll know which one fits you best.
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#26 Nameless12

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 03:38 PM

you look at this all wrong.

Language design and Application design are separate issues. Python is a better designed language, and if you doubt this I just have to say that you have not used the language.. it is very very well designed.

You can do everything you can do in most languages in other languages, but the fact is some are better than others the excuse they both produce the same output does not make them the same in terms of language quality.

I never said perl or other languages have no use. They do, but we are talking about making a recommendation to someone wanting to learn a new language from scratch and its because of this I recommend the language with the best design.

You say check out both of them but you have not checked out python, dont you feel like a hypocrite about that? I have checked out most of the languages out there including perl...

Php is my current language of choice because

1. I am designing for the web
2. I am more fluent in it and I love Zend Studio.

but this does not change the fact php is a very poorly designed language, it is useful and it has its place but it is poorly designed, yet I use it anyway...

From a language design point of view Perl is better than php and python is better than perl..


#27 ShogunWarrior

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 04:42 PM

Despite Nameless12's [possibly] provacative statements I do agree - and believe it is hard to deny - that in terms of design PHP is pretty poor and will ingrain some bad habits into users who don't take it upon themselves to look into other languages.

In terms of clean design I think Python > Perl > PHP is the order of things.
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#28 fenway

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 05:08 PM

I'm not sure what you think "clean design" means -- and just remember that Perl predates all of these other languages by a good decade or so, at the very least -- and there's no question that PHP was modeled after Perl.
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#29 ShogunWarrior

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 05:20 PM

I suppose by it I mean design that is simple, yet powerful and well thought out. Perl is designed for purpose, but arguably over-complicated in the syntax it allows. PHP however clearly isn't designed  - rather it "evolved" and why that can mean it adapts very well and is easy to pick up it also means there are alot of inconsistencies.
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#30 c4onastick

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 05:39 PM

I can already see this turning into every other post I've read about the two. You're right, I haven't really programmed with Python too much. And the "better designed" argument? You still see old Chargers out on the street clobbering new Hondas. Even though the Honda's are better designed (by far) doesn't mean that the Charger is any less of a car.
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#31 fenway

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 05:43 PM

All of this is a matter of personal preference -- I'm sure any decent programmer can flex their own favourite language quite well.
Seriously... if people don't start reading this before posting, I'm going to consider not answering at all.

#32 Nameless12

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 06:19 PM

I can already see this turning into every other post I've read about the two. You're right, I haven't really programmed with Python too much. And the "better designed" argument? You still see old Chargers out on the street clobbering new Hondas. Even though the Honda's are better designed (by far) doesn't mean that the Charger is any less of a car.


you are the one making this seem like every other argument,  in every other argument the people that continue it are the ones that turn it into an argument all i did was state an opinion earlier and you continued it and treated it in this manner. Unlike all the other close minded people that makes flames on this subject I am just being objective.

Dont talk about python the way you are till you learn more about it. Its people like you who make opinions before trying stuff out that start flames... I am just being objective.

Why this might seem like I am starting a flame by saying these things and being direct I am just sick of the YOU CANT SAY THAT IT WILL START A FLAME, flames are not started by the people that start a topic but by the people who continue it.


#33 fenway

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Posted 30 January 2007 - 06:37 PM

But just in case... LOCKED.
Seriously... if people don't start reading this before posting, I'm going to consider not answering at all.




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