Why use Perl when we've got Python?!

John W. Stevens jstevens at basho.fc.hp.com
Sat Aug 14 05:06:43 CEST 1999

>      [courtesy cc of this posting mailed to cited author]
> In comp.lang.perl.misc, 
>     "John W. Stevens" <jstevens at basho.fc.hp.com> writes:
> :And cost a lot, big time, in the real world also.  The most common
> :lament from a section manager: "I've got all this Perl code that
> :<fill-in-a-name> wrote, and nobody else can understand this stuff!"
> I am sick and tired of the implication that because stupid people write
> stupid Perl, that Perl is stupid.

That wasn't my implication at all.

I thought I was being quite clear.  Perl allows for a greater range
in expression, which allows for a greater amount of ambiguitiy,
which creates a situation where maintaining code costs much, much

> Stupid people are associated with
> everything!  Perl is also 100x more popular than Python -- simple because
> even stupid people *are able* to use it!

Your premise and your conclusion are not logically relatable.

Proof, please, that Perl is 100x more popular than Python?
(To prove this, you must find a random sample of people who
have used both, then prove that of those who use both equally,
that 100x as many prefer Perl).

Proof, please, that the reason Perl is more popular than Python
is due to the fact that stupid people are able to use it, while
stupid people are *NOT* able to use Python?

> And they do.  And this is what
> we get for making something that even stupid people can use.  I hope that
> Python should be someday cursed with one tenth the number of stupid people
> who now write Perl.  Then your newsgroup can be as messy as this one.
>     1.  Assume competence.

I do.  I have noted, though, that competent people are not the same
as disciplined people.  I have noted that competent people are not
always competent at everything.  I have even noted that brilliance,
and the ability to created unmaintainable code are not always
mutually exclusive.

>     2.  Train the ignorant.

Of course.  For five years, I did just that.

>     3.  Fire the stupid.

Harsh, but it works.

John S.

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