Choosing Perl/Python for my particular niche

Fred Ma fma at doe.carleton.ca
Sun Mar 28 01:54:08 CET 2004


"Tassilo v. Parseval" wrote:
> 
> Also sprach Fred Ma:
> 
> > No XML processing or database interaction in what I do.
> 
> Who knows, though. The desire to do certain things grows with the skills one
> acquired.

You might be right.  Some digital CAD data is stored in XML.

> This is a strong reason to use Perl. While it may not always be desirable to
> toe the line, here it is. The availability of tools that can easily be
> integrated into one's own work will save you a lot of work on the long run. I
> didn't know that Perl was particularly strong in the field of IC design. If
> so, good then.
> 
> Apart from this particular case, it's generally a good thing when pre-written
> code exists that can be used. The amount of such code for Perl is immense
> (several thousand libraries) and gathered all in one place (the CPAN) with a
> unified interface to access and install them and a vast infrastructure built
> around it.
> 
> I don't know how much or whether at all the situation for Python has
> significantly improved over the recent past. A while ago at least there was no
> such thing.

   SNIP

> As with text processing, both Python and Perl offer all the essential things
> needed for that. On a cursory glance, the score of them is tied.
> 
> Perl wins when it comes to one-liners and maybe replacing shell scripts.  As I
> tend to forget the syntax of bash's scripting language easily, I've replaced
> it entirely with Perl.
> 
> Perl's bad reputation for big projects is probably due to the variance of
> those people using Perl. One large group is sys-admins who use Perl in an
> entirely different way as compared to someone building larger systems.
> However, there are enough very large Perl projects that show that it can be
> used for that just as easily (at least as long as one keeps the sys-admins
> away from the source;-).
> 
> > I've seen mention of parrot and perl6, which is quite a ways off.  I'm not
> > sure how much that should weigh into my decision, since it isn't real yet.
> 
> It shouldn't. Perl6 is mostly yet another leap towards fitness for large
> projects. I don't think it will gain much for those more hackish tasks.  Also,
> no one quite knows when Perl6 will be due.


Thanks for the commentary on Perl, for clarifying the source of unweldiness in
big Perl projects, as well as its nonuniversality.

Fred



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