Is perl dead?
I am really tired of hearing
all the arguements that perl is dead and a useless language. All
the php people that belive php drives the internet bashing the
I was reading a post on
oriellynet.com about how 3000 new perl modules were added to CPAN
in 2006 and twice that was expected in 2007. How major retailers
like Amazon, Ticket Master and Shopzilla all depend on perl for
their backend and how development is strong.
But in the end, the creaps
from the php camp all buzzed in with their 2 cents. Saying that
perl was not good at all and was dying. The exact quote was:
"Perl is overly
VERBOSE and extremely cryptic for a newcomer. If you compare a
typical perl syntax to python or ruby both python and ruby win -
for a newcomer. If you dont believe me, try on your own :)"
One post was very interesting
saying that perl was lousy for newcommers. To which an obvios
perl diehard replied:
Why does a language
have to be nice to newcomers? I don't remember that being a
prerequisite for a programming language. Let's only use languages
for a subset of people that will never stay within that subset of
I think the big problem with
perl is that it is an older language that is not as sexy as php
or ruby. It does not have the web 2.0 hype of a myspace or
youtube. Its a powerful and boring language that works like an
old plow horse, strong and steady never giving up.
People should not assume that
because a language is not highly visable it is dead. In fact
quite the opposite.
The perl teen programmers of
10 years ago that hyped up the web 1.0 forums have gone on to
earn millions of dollars building complex networks and
applications that php can only dream of managing.
Consequently, they have not
been busy posting free programs and offering perl help in coding
forums. They are driving Bentlys and Porsches and having a great
life wile the teens of today blog away the language of their
parents. They now have mortgages and bills to pay and less time
to build freeware websites.
We can certainly expect that
in any industry. New sexy ideas that apeal to newcommers and are
easy to use and well supported will get all the attention. Stocks
like google trading at 35-50 times earnings with $0 dividends
while utility companies that supply all the electricity to run
the internet have no appeal while paying solid dividends.
Are we ready to say the power
plants are old and we don't need them any longer?
Of course not.
And we have perl. Not as sexy
as the rest, but nonetheless a staple in an industry that could
not survive without it. Too many programs depend on it. To many
operating systems use it and too many high end programmers are
building on it.
The fact is, the top perl
programmers can run circles around the top php and puby people,
they just don't go out online telling everyone about it.
It only happens that this
programmer who has made millions of dollars with perl has watched
the php'ers rant and rave and thought it ws time to give perl a
I hope more programmers will
build websites with some of their work and share back into a
community that has made them rich. Then we can kick some php