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  • Why does PERL suck...
    • Robb Salzmann
      Posted Jul 26, 2011 7:53 PM

      ... with proper apologies to Tim Faitch, Larry Wall, et al,
      PERL hit the programming language scene with amazing (at that time) capabilities when I ran into it in late 1987. In 25 years, the language itself has done little to evolve itself and today hallmarks as this cryptic language that only a geek can sling.

      For me, I can with other languages do volumes more work in less time with less code that is readable and maintainable by more people, so why try to do things with a language that was generally meant for extraction, string mangling, reporting, and administrative (UNIX) tasks. I like Regexes as much as the next guy, and think their pretty handy at times, but mash a few of them together in a perl script and you get what looks like the output of a military grade 256 bit pseudorandom pattern generator.

      My experience dealing with PERL code left behind by someone before me has almost consistently been an exercise in rewriting _badly_ written code just so I can understand it enough to make the changes & additions requested. Anymore its been more cost effective to gather the requirements and just start over with a different language.

      Here's a guy who's written "the best perl script ever":

      map(($r=$_,map(($y=$r-$_/3,$l[24-$r].=(' ','@')[$y**2-20*$y+($_**2)/3<0]),(0..30)),),(0..24));print join("\n", map(reverse($_).$_, @l)), "\n";

      I think the script prints some sort of mushy marriage proposal of sorts, but gawd.... In the Navy, we just used BCG's (Birth Control Glasses)


      Of course this is all one guy's opinion, and I will agree that PERL still has its merits (though I'll never admit to any in public).

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