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Perl for developing complete enterprise applications? Anyone?

I know of an organization that has an unwritten rule that all applications will be developed in Perl. I was surprised by what Perl is made to do here- I can say these guys are Perl super-users. Entire financial software is written in Perl. Huge migration projects, ETL (Extraction, Transformation, Loading) work and software for front-office to back-office (and everything in between) is written in Perl. New joinees have to go through a week long Perl training. Hundreds of techies here eat, drink and sleep Perl.
The justification given is that Perl is object oriented, simple to learn and very flexible. For instance, you could fix a production bug by making a correction in a file and not having to go through a full build (say, as in a C++ based software).
What are your thoughts on such a setup?
Arshad Tanveer Send private email
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Yeah if they are good with perl it sounds fine. Contrary to popular belief perl is incredibly powerful once you understand it.

Here's some other examples of large projects written in perl:
Sheldon Lavine
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Incase that's not enough here's some more:
Sheldon Lavine
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
"Perl is object oriented, simple to learn and very flexible"
Isn't that the Python tagline?

I studied some Perl, some Python. I like them. Knowing them make me more marketable and a better programmer, yet I think I'll be sticking with .Net or Java for Enterprise software despite thier drawbacks.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
I think the fact that they've even standardized on a common language and methodology that everyone in the organization understands is significant in and of itself.

As you mentioned, scripting languages also does tend to have other advantages, but I feel that the standardization is more important, the fact that they are able to "just tweak one file without compiling" is 'just' a freebie, used more to rationalize their decision against, say, using C++, C#, Java, or any other massively marketed language.
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
There really are few languages (if any at all) that *couldn't* be used to build enterprise apps.  It's usually a matter of what third-party functionality is available, and Perl with its kabillions of useful libraries stands out as a pretty good choice.
Matt Brown
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
Perl seems like it would be a good choice if the application is to be built by disciplined programmers. If not, I'd stick with Java or .NET.
comp.lang.c refugee
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
If the programmers are novices, you should probably attempt something other than enterprise applications.
Brendan Wright Send private email
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
I do believe that they shop would need less programmers. But that is almost true for any of the high level language out there. C needs a few more than C++ needs more than C# so on.. (I hope this makes sense...)
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
It's kind of telling that nobody's asked how successful this company is, instead focusing on whether scripting languages are "appropriate" for such uses. If they've invested lots of development time in Perl, can develop new applications, maintain old applications and train new developers to figure out what's what, are making their customers happy -- and are making money at it, isn't that the definition of a successful system?
Chris Winters Send private email
Wednesday, August 31, 2005
#!/usr/bin/perl -w
use strict;

is the beginning of a Perl script you're not going to hate looking at 2 years from now.
Michael B
Saturday, September 03, 2005
"Perl is object oriented, simple to learn and very flexible."

Well ... it's sort of object oriented. To an extent.

It's probably the hardest language to learn in the entire universe, and possibly beyond.

And it is indeed very flexible, but I haven't seen any skyscrapers built with rope ;-)
Brendon Send private email
Monday, September 05, 2005
Sheldon Lavine
Monday, September 05, 2005
Sounds very interesting. Can you please name the company, OP?
Tuesday, September 06, 2005
I think I work at this firm. midwest hedge fund? Anyway, perl is fast to develop in and great at manipulating data. Used in a disciplined way, perl is very effective.
Tom Vu
Saturday, September 10, 2005
>>> #!/usr/bin/perl -w
>>> use strict;

In modern idiom, you might say:

use warnings;
use strict;

It replaces a slight idiosyncracy with something more readable.
Ian Boys Send private email
Sunday, September 11, 2005
It is a hedge fund, a very large one, based in New York.
Arshad Tanveer Send private email
Monday, September 19, 2005

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