[Tutor] Are you allowed to shoot camels? [kinda OT]

Alan Gauld alan.gauld at freenet.co.uk
Sat Feb 5 09:59:30 CET 2005

> Surely you jest, Alan. :-)

Smiley noted but...

> Both perl and awk are turing complete, hence anything perl can do,
> can do as well.

This is a popular misconception.

Being Turing complete simply means you can implement any algorithm.
But if the language doesn't provide I/O access for example it is
impossible to write a device driver, or a comms stack, or any of
a host of other low level programs. awk is non extendable (unless
you have the source code!) so you can't do those things. Perl is
not only extendable but actually comes wth a heap of those kinds
of features that awk just doesn't have. And no amount of clever
algorithms can compensate. Awk was designed for one task which it
does spectacularly well but it was never intended for general
purpose use.

I/O is just one example, there are meny more...

Alan G.

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