re: Why do people like Perl? VIEW POST


While I was at university - so about 20 years ago now - I did a fair amount of Perl. Perl was the scripting language, to the point where if you said you were writing a script, it was taken as read that you meant Perl. It was great at hacking out quick and often dirty solutions to problems. It was the language of choice of the sysadmin. Yet even then, it was well known as a "write-only" language, and generally looked down upon by "real" programmers.

But for sysadmins, it was awesome. Don't compare it to Python, or C++, though - compare it to Bash, Awk, and Sed. These were its progenitors, not C. And it beat them hollow. It was written as, and excels as, a glue language.

Perl programmers went in two directions. Some, like me, drifted onto other language choices, as things like Python grew to handle some of the space Perl occupied, and Bash itself grew better. Sysadmins turned into DevOps and got tooling like Ansible and so on.

Others focussed on trying to modernise the language with ever more modules in CPAN, and ever more language features built on the byzantine nest of references and blessings that makes up Perl.


Love this answer! It's worth noting that Ruby stole enough from Perl, that most of what people would use Perl to script, Ruby does just as well.

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