Why use Python when we've got Perl?

Xah xah at best.com
Sun Aug 22 02:09:44 CEST 1999

In article <37b634a2 at cs.colorado.edu>, Tom Christiansen 
<tchrist at mox.perl.com> wrote:

>      [courtesy cc of this posting mailed to cited author]
> In comp.lang.perl.misc, thehaas at my-deja.com writes:
> ...
> I think I can safely say, that the Perl
> :community is quite arrogant, especially to people new to it.
> It certainly didn't start out that way, and for many years Perl was
> famous for being precisely exactly the opposite of hostile.  It was
> about a programming community of mutual benefit.

> Think back to the 80s and early 90s.  The change, if it really happened,
> came with the upty-gazillion CGI script kiddies who couldn't program
> 2+2, yet who wanted *us* to write *them* these persistent, encrypted,
> crossplatform, multiscreen shopping carts for e-commerce, complete with
> dynamically-generated animated vanity counters, each and every time
> they stepped up to the feeder.

isn't that what perl republic wanted? If we want popularity, we cannot look
down on script kiddies. They are the ones who made Perl ubiquitous. Besides,
with Perl's DWIM (pronounced dim-wit) feature, much of what these kiddies
want are half done already.

> As a result, There's not much left of a spirit of a programming community
> of mutual benefit when it becomes numerically dominated by people who
> don't want to study or to work or EVEN TO PROGRAM, and who all seem to
> think you owe them something.

yeah I can grok that. Before I became a Perl expert, I was one of those
tedious perfectionist. Since then my brain has been freed. The Perl way(s)
has taught me the virtues of good programer. These days I can just fart and
food comes to my mouth, and I think everyone owes me something.

> When > 90% of the newsgroup postings are ill-formatted garbledy-gook
> that also fall into the category of not having bothered to have first
> checked the online docs or faqs that come with Perl, these things add up.
> And eventually, it risks breaking our spirit.  There's just no way to deal
> with the never-ending onslaught of non-programmer CGI script kiddies, who
> seem to outnumber the rest of us zillions to one.

Although I've been brain-washed for good, but one of my old trait --
documentation readings -- remained. I read all fags and your 4-camel books.
However, I no longer read them fastidiously. Perl has taught me to grok
docs, suck cheesiness, wallow in ambiguity, and swallow imprecision. Life
has never been as fun. Now I always think in contexts. As you can see, even
my writings are very context sensitive now.

> So what do you do?  You either bail out of this untenable situation, as
> Larry Wall has done, or else "customer-service battle fatigue" sets in.
> When that happens, people end up getting snapped at, sometimes mistaking
> an honest learner for yet another beggar looking for handouts.

Oh wait a min Tommy my leader. We are proud of calling ourselves mongers.
should the term 'beggar' not be used in a scary context? y'know, that might
muddy our reputation.

>  I dare
> say this would happen even in the best of families, given equivalent
> circumstances.

I concur to dare say that too. The big ass functional language family(ies)
never faltered on issues of quality, yet their collective newsgroup activity
is pitifully small. It's like a diamond lost in space.

> I do think that earnest individuals seriously wanting
> to work hard are still given the same helping hand they always got.

Yes. With you leading the way, we always benefits. It's like a prodding
cattle; there are always more than one way to get people going.

> Be careful what you wish for.
> --tom

Didn't _Larry_ said that sometimes in his life? Sorry I'm off topic here.

> --
> Emacs is a fine operating system, but I still prefer Unix. -me

Me 2. Don't you sometimes wish that you could just wipe the entire planet's
emac'ers off your face? Gnu is Not Unix my Ass, because it is.

Lastly, it is my wish that one day I'll soar into a Perl demigod status like
you. For one thing, you taught me how to advocate perl pretty well, have I?

with Perl virtues,

 xah at best.com
 "The three principle virtues of Perl programers: mundaneness, sloppiness,
and fatuousness."

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