Why use Perl when we've got Python?!

Graffiti ramune at bigfoot.com
Tue Aug 24 16:04:42 EDT 1999

In article <slrn7s2lb3.k6b.abigail at alexandra.delanet.com>,
Abigail <abigail at delanet.com> wrote:
[snip amusing rant]
>Yeah, those math texts from the 16th and 17th century, they are sooooo easy
>to read, because they lack all the symbols. Not to mention the original
>Euclid and those other Greeks, who had no symbols at all!

Oh, but they're written with only symbols!  All those confusing greek symbols
that mathematicians use are the basic building blocks for the language!  Why
didn't they just use English?

>"" On a personal note...  Do you know what a computer science degree is these
>"" days? They require you understand shits like lambda calculus, logic, graph
>"" theory, combinatorics, or even algorithms?? All for what? All the Perl

Sure, why not?

>"" programers I know doesn't understand any of these, and they all are making
>"" big bucks in fortune 500. I'm not ashamed that I dropped out of school. I
>"" hope that Larry and Tom's teachings will eventually make such subjects
>"" disappear for good.

You don't *have* to know them.  Just in the same way you don't *have* to
Perl to get a job administering web servers.  They just help.  (Of course,
while the abstract material in CS can come in handy, if they're taught
wrong, what's the point?)

>If you think there's much relationship between programming and Computer
>Science, you're utterly mistaken. It's the same relationship between
>driving your Morris Minor and designing and producing a new car.

There's quite a bit of relation.  You don't need to understand how relational
databases work and the theory behind them.  But I wouldn't trust my
business or life to a database server written by someone who didn't have a
firm understanding of database theory.

Same way, I wouldn't want someone who never studied lambda calculus and logic
to write an expert system that would be used for emergency room diagnostics
where the wrong decision can KILL.  (I've heard of Prolog used to write an
expert system for just this purpose.  Dunno about perl.)

Just think of them as a way to increase your understanding.  (Of course,
whether the instructors at most universities are competent and know what
they're teaching is a different story altogether. :-)

>Larry and Tom can teach all they want; their teachings will have no impact
>on Computer Science what so ever. Just like their teaching will have no
>impact on the grow of potatoes in Idaho.

Sure it will.  Much of what they teach will expose Perl programmers to new
ways of thinking and solving problems.  By helping people think out of the
electrified-ivory-tower-deathmatch-cage that some schools tend to put up
around the students' minds, they'll help people find new and innovative
ways to solve problems.

And it's not so far-fetched to think that agricultural supply vendors would
be using perl to help manage operations for their clients, which may include
potato farmers, no? ;-)

-- DN

More information about the Python-list mailing list