Why use Python when we've got Perl?

Tom Christiansen tchrist at mox.perl.com
Sat Aug 14 10:31:59 EDT 1999

     [courtesy cc of this posting mailed to cited author]

In comp.lang.perl.misc, Friedrich.Dominicus at inka.de writes:
:One personal opinion about Perl and Python. I think they are somewhat
:very similar. 

Indeed.  This reminds me of a remark by Dennis Ritchie:  "People don't
realize that Pascal and C are really the same language, and that there
are a lot of *other* languages out there."

Being exposed to Lisp or Scheme, to ML, and to Prolog can bring this point
of Dennis's--which in a sense echoes your own, or vice versa--into sharp
focus and thereby greatly expand one's horizons, much to the over-all
benefit of the curious programmer.

:Last but not least I think Perl more tightly intervened with Unix, 

Certainly Perl's hooks into Unix are stronger than are its hooks for
proprietary systems from Microsoft, Apple, or the erstwhile DEC, which
even if existent, tend to manifest themselves as add-on modules rather
than as original core functionality.  This of course makes perfect
historical sense, given the natal environment and concomitant problem

Nevertheless, "Perl: The Programmer's Companion" by Nigel Chapman
(whose ambiguously worded title actually posits Perl as a companion
of programmers) does a commendable job of providing a solid technical
foundation for the language with nary a whit of system-specific arcana.
This small and inexpensive volume (in which I aver no personal interest)
stands head and shoulders above all others as the best introductory Perl
book, especially for real programmers such as yourself.  Script kiddies,
tape operators, and all such ilk occasionally merit other recommendations,
some of which occasionally include rather than a book title something
on the order of, "Hey kid, hurry up with those french fries!" :-)

sv_magic(sv, Nullsv, 'B', Nullch, 0);     /* deep magic */
    --Larry Wall, from util.c in the v5.0 perl distribution

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