[Chicago-talk] "I don't have permission to installamoduleonthesystem!"'

Ed Summers ehs at pobox.com
Sun Dec 28 07:03:35 CST 2003

On Sun, Dec 28, 2003 at 04:47:13AM -0600, petemar1 wrote:
> http://www.zenspider.com/Languages/Perl/index.html

> I like Perl, I really do. I can get a lot done with it fast. But it is a 
> HACKING language and it is uglier than hell. So in many ways I don't like it. 
> It is kinda like C++, I'm good at it, but don't like doing it necessarily. I 
> do think it needs some improvements, but they are "improvements" only in 
> the philosophical sense.

No argument, I've seen some Perl programs that are "uglier than hell".  But
I've also seen absolutley beautiful Perl programs as well. It would be nice
to see examples of ugly and beautiful Perl, in fact it might make a good 
presentation somewhere down the road. I can see the title now, 

    Perl: The Beautiful and the Damned

Unlike other languages which enforce a particular programming paradigm [1], 
or presentation [2], Perl is very flexible and allows for a variety of 

Unfortunately, this can sometimes lead to what some might consider ugly 
programs...but it can lead to jems as well.  I think that the all too familiar
time pressures make for ugly Perl programs: since it is easy to give in to them
and crank out a quick Perl program which gets the job done (for now), while
promising yourself that you will return to refactor it later when you have

> What we also try to encourage are the kind of joiners who join many
> things. These people are like the intersection in a Venn diagram, who
> like to be at the intersection of two different tribes. In an actual
> tribal situation, these are the merchants, who go back and forth
> between tribes and actually produce an economy. In theological terms
> we call them peacemakers.

Thanks for quoting that: it sums up what I enjoy most about the language Perl
and even more the people who use it. As Dave Cross has said elsewhere [3]

    The Perl community has one of the highest concentrations of smart and
    interesting people that I've ever come across. 


[1] http://java.sun.com
[2] http://www.python.org
[3] http://www.dave.org.uk/talks/advocacy.html

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