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Re: [tlug] perl? (was: Employment for "oldies")

On Saturday, 13 August 2016, Attila Kinali <> wrote:

AFAIK, perl was never a big thing anywhere, was it? Mostly
sysadmins using it.

Amazon's entire web stack (and many backend services) was Perl from 1995-2007.

I cannot imagine that there is a huge code base in perl that cannot
be quickly rewriten to a more popular languages (e.g. python)

No huge codebase can be "quickly rewritten" in any language. I would further argue that Python is a worse choice than modern Perl for large projects, given their equivalent expressive power and Perl's much richer library ecosystem (CPAN). Python wins in scientific / numerical computing due to its excellent libraries in that area.

I forget the exact numbers, but given the strong correlation between lines of code and defects, I would argue that large codebases should be avoided as much as possible. One great way to keep codebases smaller is to use a more expressive language, such as Clojure, Haskell, Racket, OCaml, etc.

Anyway, Perl was a really big deal for early web development, and for very good reasons at the time. It is still fantastic for text manipulation and those shell scripts that get too long for Bash but aren't worth making proper programs out of.


Sent from my iPhone. Please excuse the brevity and potential typos.

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