[Pdx-pm] Fwd: Genomics at OHSU

Bryce Harrington bryce at osdl.org
Mon Nov 28 13:14:22 PST 2005

On Mon, Nov 28, 2005 at 12:59:52PM -0800, Ovid wrote:
> The "illegible" gripe really annoys me as we don't hear that leveled
> much against PHP even though programmers unfamiliar with either
> language would be hard-pressed to tell them apart.

This also annoys me a lot.  I've done a fair share of Zope coding and
can say with certainty that people who say you can't make unreadable
Python code just probably haven't read other people's Python code.  ;-)

> Because Perl's so easy to start with, I've seen more bad beginner code
> in Perl than I have in most other languages.  This, unfortunately, is
> probably an unsurmountable problem.

This has been my experience as well; just about any code from CPAN is
very readable and (usually) concise and well documented.  The complaints
about Perl probably stem from back in the early web period when people
were using it mixed up with HTML and poor coding style.  But that class
of developer appears to have moved on to some of the more web-specific

Also, I've seen perl code that is really just a highly advanced sed
script, thick with regular expressions.  regexp's are one of the
greatest parts about Perl, but they _do_ look like line noise...
I can see how someone unfamiliar with Perl might run across a string of
regexp's and use that to justify an 'unreadable' claim.  Maybe some
languages get "credit" for readability on this count, only because they
make regular expressions so difficult to do that people don't do them.


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