perl used in large developments - I need help

Simon Taylor simon at
Wed Mar 19 17:50:08 CST 2003

Hello fellow perl mongers,

Our company has had a very interesting challenge given to us today.

We have been involved in tendering for a project to rewrite a large US ERP
application (currently written in FORTRAN and using c-isam data files).

We lost the tender in January to a company that has since recommended java (or 
c#) as the language of choice, and has also recommended rewriting the 
application from scratch. 

Our competing tender was based naturally, on perl, and on rewriting the 
application incrementally.

The winning tenderer's solution has now been dismissed as too expensive and we 
are being asked to show why our solution should now be chosen. There are no 
others tenderers involved. (If we win the project, we would do only a portion 
of the coding ourselves, other firms would be involved, and would be using 
perl because our design mandates it).

All the application-specific arguments aside, it is coming down to:

   * Why on earth are you recommending perl?  
   * Nobody knows perl, 
   * Everybody develops large scale apps in java, etc, etc.
   * perl's too slow isn't it?

and incredibly, 

   * who supports perl

What I desperately need now is pointers to good quality descriptions of larger 
applications developed in perl.

I have good examples in and Radiator, but I'm also keen to be able 
to table other applications, the larger the better. We know that lots of
organisations around the world "use perl" in powerful ways, but the same sites 
"use electricity" as well, and just as with electricity, their uses of perl 
are transparent to the outside world, and hard to identify.

This is an 800,000 line application used by Fortune 500 companies in the US, 
it would be quite a win for the perl development community.  


Simon Taylor
Unisolve Pty Ltd - Melbourne, Australia
+61 3 9568 2005

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