Why use Python when we've got Perl?

Magnus L. Hetland mlh at idt.ntnu.no
Sun Aug 15 17:40:20 EDT 1999

aahz at netcom.com (Aahz Maruch) writes:

> In article <2GJsiHANGbt3Ew6i at jessikat.demon.co.uk>,
> Robin Becker  <robin at jessikat.demon.co.uk> wrote:
>    x = foo()
>    y = [ foo() ]
>    z = { foo() }

Well... At least it can distinguish the first two :)

> Basic Perl is in some ways easier to pick up than Python for someone who
> is a sysadmin but not a programmer.

Hm. That sounds a bit strange to me... Do you mean because it looks a
bit like awk and things like that?

> Also, while it's easier to write
> good Python programs, it's easier to debug Perl programs

Really? I don't see why... Perhaps it a personal thing? I would think
that readability is an important thing when it comes to debugging - at
least it is for me - and it seems to me that readability is a much
higher priority in Python than in Perl. (There is no dissent about
that, is there?)

> Arguing over whether Python is "better" than Perl is like arguing over
> whether European food is better than Asian.

Well - that is true, in a sense. But as long as there are no agreed
upon objective criteria to judge by, that would be true of all
discussions - no? And if there were clear criteria, the discussion
would easily be put to rest... Or perhaps this is a simplification.
Perhaps it would be more interesting in arguing over the underlying
values instead of their expression in these languages? Some people
like clarity and readability, while others like flexibility and
terseness. I suspect some people like both - in different situations.
So, maybe we should discuss which situations demand which, so that we
might become more enlightened in the matters of choosing our
programming tools to suit our needs?

advocacy-sucks-but-it-is-cool-nonetheless'ly yours - Magnus


  Magnus              Making no sound / Yet smouldering with passion
  Lie          The firefly is still sadder / Than the moaning insect
  Hetland                                       : Minamoto Shigeyuki

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