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For some reasons there are lots of buzz about Ruby, Javascript, Python but not too much about Perl. Why is that? What makes Perl less trendy than those languages?
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
It's older and thus less trendy?
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
There's buzz about Javascript?
SM Send private email
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
SM: he means the Joel's article.

Michael: well there is also less buzz about IO, Lisp, Scheme, Visual Basic, Delphi, PHP, and what did I forget?
Victor N. Send private email
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Perl was trendy a long time ago. Trends eventually flare out and disappear, or level off and become established. Perl did the latter.

You might as well ask why people are not excited about C++.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Well, we had a quite a lot of threads about C++ recently.
Roman Werpachowski Send private email
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Perl is just used to get work done. It doesn't have anything exciting to put on a magazine cover.

If and when Perl 6 is finished there might be more buzz.

I use Perl a lot for significant applications, but no Perl 6, though there are people who have used it for production apps already.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Perl is practical, not cool.

Perl is about systems administration and command-line scripting, not about buzzwords and AJAX and wowin' da hos wit' ya Web 2.0 bling.

Perl is about getting the job done quickly, not about enhancing yourself spiritually with a language of divine purity (what I like to call Object Orientalism).
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I love perl, and I still use it fairly often for small things, but perl5 is over ten years old now and the other languages have evolved faster over that period than perl has.  Thus, a distinct lack of buzz.  (Which is bad, because once you get behind that curve, it's real hard to catch up: innovative people aren't drawn to your tech, so innovation slows, which decreases buzz, which... pretty soon less and less systems are being built in the language because less people know it well enough to regard it as a valid option, which means experts in the field have a harder time getting jobs, which means...)
son of anon
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Because you can the same things you do with Perl in Ruby or Python, only with less code and it's readable when you're done.  If there were something Perl could do that I couldn't do in Ruby I would jump into Perl to solve the problem, but it hasn't been an issue so far.

Maybe one of the problems is that people associate Ruby with "AJAX" and "Web 2.0" thanks to Rails.  It's much, much, more than that.
John Cromartie Send private email
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Perl's space has been replaced by Python and now Ruby.  IMO, this was mainly due to Perl's crippled OO semantics.
Crimson Send private email
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
oh my gosh.

Show me any language with the equivalent of CPAN
2007-09-26 online since 1995-10-26
3931 MB 261 mirrors
6146 authors 12232 modules

What has changed about text processing anyhow?

mod_perl  ...

"You can use Perl to manage Apache, respond to requests for web pages and much more....

mod_perl gives you a persistent Perl interpreter embedded in your web server. This lets you avoid the overhead of starting an external interpreter and avoids the penalty of Perl start-up time, giving you super-fast dynamic content."

I've not seen this power in PHP. Not at all.

But I think it's like J2EE .. you don't just start doing it as opposed to PHP which you can really just start doing.

"Perl: The Duct Tape of the Internet ...
When you’re a Perl programmer, you never fret about those little ugly tasks that creep up. Perl can deal with file wrangling, text manipulation, and process management in a way unequaled by any other single language, whether open source or proprietary."

I'm at web PHP shop but I do sysadmin in Perl and I do local tasks in Perl. A great draw for me is CPAN. I have no doubt that Python and Ruby can do much of the same but I've never seen the module repository from them that compares to CPAN. Anything I do in Perl is 10% mine and 90% other people ... a great leverage.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
I didn't mean to start another language war flame. I'm just curious about what makes a language more interesting for developers in any period of time.

My personal un-scientific un-supported and completely subjective observations: there are "15 minutes of fame" for each language. The waves go like this: middle of 90s - Perl, end of 90s - PHP, beginning of 00s - Python, 05s and up - Ruby. I guess technically it means nothing. Just dynamics of buzz.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
You will find a lot of Python and Ruby programmers who are former Perl programmers, but very few Perl programmers who are former Python/Ruby programmers. Many of course do use both/all three.

Maybe that's because Perl is the older language. However, Perl isn't too much older than Python, which was released around 1991.

I used to program in Perl quite a bit, but Python gave me the power of Perl, with a lot fewer headaches.
Ryan Ginstrom
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
It's not just the dynamics of buzz, though.  Each new iteration in dynamic languages moves them forward with new features (and interestingly seems to bring them closer to Smalltalk and Lisp).  I think that you can objectively compare the features in Perl, PHP, Python, and Ruby and see them moving forward.
John Cromartie Send private email
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Interesting. Is there any good article comparing features of dynamic languages? That ranting by Steve Yegge (link above) doesn't count.
Wednesday, September 26, 2007
It's a bit dated but nonetheless an enjoyable random walk through things that cover the dynamic language space: vol 3 of Handbook of Programming Languages, "Little Languages and Tools"

Fwiw Yegge's "ranting" is actually reasonably well-informed and intended, at least in my opinion.  He's a smart guy who is passionate about languages, and I think that an informal tone doesn't detract from that.
son of anon
Thursday, September 27, 2007
Perl has nothing to prove :)
Friday, September 28, 2007
Bjarne Stroustrup once said that "there are the languages everyone complains about, and there are the languages no one uses", or something like that. He meant C++ of course. Many people bash it, but that's because it's so popular.

The same is true for Perl, IMHO. Perl is a practical, efficient and convenient language with a huge library of ready-made code and a vibrant community. It is less pretty than Python and Ruby, but it can do anything these languages can.

You'd be surprised how many rabid advocates of Ruby and Python would fire up Perl to do the real, dirty, work.
Eli Send private email
Saturday, September 29, 2007
There's plenty of buzz about Perl.  See our freshly released website

From our "Why Perlbuzz?" page at :

We hear it all the time: "Is Perl still around? I thought that everyone moved on to (PHP, Ruby, whatever)" In fact, Perl 5 is alive and kicking, and plenty of people are using it, creating new cool stuff all the time. There's constant activity, but it doesn't get as much mindshare as some of the newer sexy languages out there. That's a shame, and we're here to fix that.

There's a lot going on.  It's just not as sexy as being able to write CRUD apps in half an hour.
Andy Lester Send private email
Monday, October 01, 2007

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