[Melbourne-pm] FW: Bamboozled by perl

Shlomi Fish shlomif at iglu.org.il
Thu Oct 1 22:51:19 PDT 2009

Hi John!

See below for my response.

On Friday 02 Oct 2009 06:37:15 ajthornton wrote:
> -----Original Message-----
> From: ajthornton [mailto:jdthornton at ozemail.com.au]
> Sent: Friday, 2 October 2009 2:37 PM
> To: 'Toby Corkindale'
> Subject: RE: [Melbourne-pm] Bamboozled by perl
> OK. That works! :)
> I have a folder called perlstuff with source code in it so I went cd
> perlstuff and then perl perlme.pl
> I get hello world in the terminal as desired.
> OK. Your reward for helping me is that I will try to like Perl!!!!! I am in
> the final analysis pragmatic; if a language helps my health, welath and
> happiness I will persist with it. I even had fun with Prolog a few months
> ago. I grabbed a free IDE and some tutorials and actually some progress,
> albeit ata  beginner level, and had a lot of fun. I thought that I would
> give it up after 5 mins - I had heard that it was this weird language that
> did this out there AI stuff. But I was still going after a few weeks.   

Cool. I tried Prolog too a while ago, but I could not find a decent online 
tutorial. The closest I found was http://www.learnprolognow.org/ , but it had 
a lot of typos and missing stuff. So I have temporarily given up on it.

> when I was at Software Freedom Day I didn't see a Perl stand. That was a
> pity because at least you would have got in a lightning talk about
>  perl/perl groups.
> I really missed the bus with programming. If I were 18 0r 20 right now I
> would go to uni or TAFE and get a Bsc in computer science. But I was in the
> wrong era. It was 1992. I left school computer illiterate. I couldn't turn
>  a computer on or put a disk in the disk drive. I failed reasoning and data
>  maths [the worst freaking unit of maths ever clunked together by
>  eduational eggheads - teachers treated it like it was an insult to teach
>  it; "that's a year 8 maths unit" was said so often, never mind that a
>  chapter had calculus so difficult in the Rehill/macauliffe book that you
>  wouldn't do it until the later years of an undergraduate maths program ,
>  if then, oh man that was so all over the shop that I wondered what the
>  hell I had done in a previous life to deserve such tripe.] because I
>  couldn't operate a computer and use Minitab. Then the teacher came up with
>  this psychobabble that I was "technophobic". There was no notion of
>  responsibility in teaching computers. For a start what about giving me a
>  mouse???

Interesting. Did you graduate from Uni in 1992 or from high school? In any 
case, I should note that with the right attitude and spirit, it's never too 
late to learn new things and become proficient in programming or almost 
anything else. See for example:


(also see the links)


(short URL - http://shlom.in/intro-lang )

> But like I said, I am going to try to like Perl. It must have something
> going for it if it's included off the bat in PuppyLinux.

The reason is probably because /usr/bin/perl is part of the Linux Standard 


And it is used extensively by many scripts and other programs on Linux because 
writing scripts in Perl 5 is much more robust than writing them in 
shell/sed/awk and Python cannot effectively be used from the command-line 
(i.e: like {{{ perl -e '....' }}}).

Reportedly, the One Laptop Per Child (OLPC) people decided to avoid having to 
install Perl and they ran into many problems with programs that implicitly 
required /usr/bin/perl.

> At least programming is something tnat can be learnt. There's stuff that's
> "you have got it or you haven't". Music and drawing certainly fit that
> category. Maths probably does. But I do think that anyone can program. Some
> people might be better at it etc. But anyone can learn to do it. Unlike
> other things. I could plaster a blackboard with power series in maths. But
> give me year 6 primary school maths problem solving and I am stuffed. Once
>  I had a third year maths unit where I got 90 percent for texbook work and
>  10 percent for probalem solving and passed with 56%. I don't know what
>  lateral thinking means. Indeed Edward De Bono probably meant it in a
>  different way to how it is used now. But I am convinced in any case that I
>  have the lateral thinking ability of a pile of cement. In problam solving
>  it's where to start that kills me. Often I don't get past that pt - a
>  blank sheet of paper.

Welcome aboard! But don't underestimate yourself.


	Shlomi Fish

Shlomi Fish       http://www.shlomifish.org/
My Aphorisms - http://www.shlomifish.org/humour.html

Chuck Norris read the entire English Wikipedia in 24 hours. Twice.

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