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

Attila Kinali writes:

 > And this is, what I hate with python. The constant need to check
 > and rewrite scripts when updating python, because something might
 > have changed in the language, subtely breaking things.

This is true in any language.

I don't know what distro you use; I have never had a well-spec'd
Python package (ie, specifying python-x.y in the shebang) fail when
updating Python (almost all my experience is limited to Debian,
MacPorts, and (long ago) Fink).  Sure, you end up with 3 or 7 Python
installations, but so what?  Disk is cheap.

But that used to be a major pain with Perl 5.y -> 5.(y+k) updates on
Debian -- even Debian packaging itself went deeeep south in the middle
of an upgrade on one occasion, and I had reinstall from disk and wait
for the fix at Debian (which was released in like 18 hours, but
still...).  I seem to recall that for a while Debian had 3 system
perls (5.8, 5.12, 5.16+), which never happened with Python-based
distros, and it took Debian like forever to get rid of 5.8 and then

 > Python, like any other language, is for me a tool to get work
 > done. I don't want to invest time into keeping scripts alive that
 > i've written and that otherwise work fine.

So put "python-x.y" into the shebang and you'll be fine.

But that's just the theory.  Pragmatically, if you don't already know
that much, you're probably too far behind in Python knowledge to ever
catch up to your Perl for that purpose.  Why even think about changing?
(Unless just for the fun of learning a new language.)

 > > How does that fit with "modern Perl"?  Or is it just a separate
 > > reason for using Perl?
 > As perl5 didn't change much over the past 15 years, it's still a
 > magnificent language for text processing.

I never found it magnificent; it was a cult to be indoctrinated into
(like Emacs Lisp).  Way too much much magic (eg, barewords that were
actually strings and strings that were interpreted as integers) and
implicit variables that I had to keep in my head.  Doing Emacs Lisp
was enough of that for me -- and there is no alternative to Emacs if
you want "something like" Emacs.  No energy to learn effective Perl. :-(

Of course Larry Wall himself ("Pathological Eclectic Rubbish Lister,
but don't tell anyone I said that") had a great sense of humor about
his language.

 > generally speaking, my way of writing perl didn't change much over
 > time (yes, some of my newly written scritps still look like
 > butchered awk scripts).

I suspect that's *not* what Josh meant by "modern Perl" for large
projects. :-)

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