[Chicago] Perl v Python

kirby urner kirby.urner at gmail.com
Tue May 19 15:54:39 CEST 2015

On Tue, May 19, 2015 at 3:27 AM, Tanya Schlusser <tanya at tickel.net> wrote:

> Colleagues in IT consulting still use Perl because despite its 'more than
> one way to do it' approach they have a single, stable package (DBI)
> <http://dbi.perl.org/> for database interface that is installed on all of
> our clients' systems, even legacy solaris ones using Python 2.5. They swear
> it is the easiest database interface they've ever used.
> Python has at least a half dozen serious contenders, and a few hundred
> overall it looks like from pypi
> <https://pypi.python.org/pypi?%3Aaction=search&term=database&submit=search>.
> And sometimes installation is nontrivial. People will pull data with Perl
> scripts, then switch to Python for manipulation. (and used to be then
> switch to R for analytics).
> Best,
> Tanya
Perl will be popular as long as we have productive Perl programmers and
from what I can tell from OSCON (used to be Perl Conference) the
torch-passing is going well, i.e. Perl for the next 40 years is in good
shape, whether it finally leaps to 6.x or no.  Companies vested in Perl do
not need to spend big bucks to convert to anything else necessarily.  Stay
put and be glad you're not using Visual Foxpro (discontinued this year by

I find the Python DB API to be easy and stable, once you have one picked
and installed.  I connect to MySQL for my day job, to PostgreSQL and
sqllite3 for hobby projects (sqllite3 is part of the standard library), and
out there in server space a million Pythons serve from a million databases
no problemo, via Django or whatever.

The framework layer matters.  A lot of developers do not use the low level
DB API as much once they have a framework way of doing things.

Through OSCON talks etc. we discover that many companies use hybrid SQL /
noSQL meaning the DB API to the noSQL is just as important.  I've used
Pythons controller for Neo4j with some satisfaction but am still a newbie
in that area.


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