Larry Wall's comment on python...

Roy Smith roy at
Fri Sep 6 21:01:50 EDT 2002

Tim Daneliuk <tundra at> wrote:
> Well, that's true, but for all of its similarity to line noise, perl has
> been an enormous contribution to our profession/community. I would never want
> to diminish Wall's stature, therefore.

There is no doubt that Perl was a major breakthrough.  It sure beats the 
horrible sed/awk/grep/shell disasters we used to write.  The fact that 
it's showing its age and better things have come along (building on 
Perl's success and learning from its mistakes) does not in any way 
diminish the magnitude of Larry's contribution.  Not to mention rn and 
patch (and probably some other stuff I'm forgetting at the moment).

> I find almost all compiled languages (even C) intrusive
> when writing code for embedded systems.

Back in the days when a pdp-11/45 was the hot platform to run Unix on, I 
used to do a certain amount of M-6800 programming (note: two zeros, not 
three).  I found the best way to write code was to write it in a 
(self-imposed) simplistic subset of C, and then hand-compile it into 
assembler.  This let me write the basic control logic in a reasonably 
expressive language, but kept me close to the bare machine.  It was 
almost like flowcharting in pseudocode.

Writing for a machine which only has 256 bytes of RAM gives you a 
somewhat different outlook on programming :-)

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