Why use Perl when we've got Python?!

John W. Stevens jstevens at basho.fc.hp.com
Fri Aug 13 23:08:17 EDT 1999

> In comp.lang.perl.misc, 
>     "John W. Stevens" <jstevens at basho.fc.hp.com> writes:
> :Due to this feature alone, Python programs are easier to read by
> :non-authors than Perl programs are.
> Prove that.  Stop asserting it.  Prove it.
> Here's your challenge.  Pick a Perl programmer with experience equivalent
> to mine, and show me their code.

Of course, there are very few Perl programmers that *HAVE* experience
equivalent to yours.

So doing what you suggest would prove nothing.

Perform the same test across even a randomly-selected sample, and
you will begin to see the pattern.

> I'm sure I'll find it perfectly legible.

Even for you, I doubt that.  One Perl author in one of my environments
used no "unnecesary" white space at all.  None.  His code was
incomprehensible, even to the guy we brought in to teach Perl.

> I say this for certain because I *do* read their code, and it's completely
> easy to do so.

Yeah.  Right. ;->

Been there, gathered the statistics.

> If you're talking about someone who can't stop treating Perl like
> BASIC or FORTRAN, and just doesn't `get' it, then sure, it's unnatural.
> But that's hardly my fault that they don't know Perl, now is it?

The fact that Perl lets them write unmaintainable code *IS* your
fault, when state of the art in language design can and does prevent
some of this.

What, you've never heard of a C coding style?  Never seen one enforced?

Never, in your life, compared productivity levels, defect rates, and
repair costs across C or Perl code that has been written to an enforced
coding standard, vs. code that was totally free form?

Perhaps you should.

I have.

John S.

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