[sf-perl] Can I rant, rave, and delurk for a moment?

Duane Obrien duane.obrien at gmail.com
Thu Feb 17 12:15:22 PST 2005

Apologies - I need to vent to people who will understand.  Also - Hi. 
I've not met any of you.  I don't think.  I need to make it out to a

So I get called into this meeting yesterday, you all surely know the
kind.  Several panicked managers, big huge project, last minute
emergency, need it now need it now need it now, build test verify and
deploy in less than a week.

Without going into gorey details, the environment I have to work with
is, to say the least, Gordian.  But all they needed was a page to take
in some query parameters, get a couple bits of user input, and fire
off an email to Mysterious Powers, who would then punch keys and make
Magic happen.

I didn't have access to much within the environment, as it consisted
largely of BigHonkingApplications and GoldenHammers.  But it was on a
solaris box, and I did have perl, and something apache-like that would
hangle cgi.  And the cgi would have been behind a secure proxy,
requiring several forms of validation and a blood sample to even

So, I turn the solution around in a couple hours (CGI and Net::SMTP to
the rescue).  The mock up was the final solution, branded, tight, and
gift wrapped.  Seven days became 2 hours.  High Fives were exchanged
from previously mentioned panicked managers, and so on.

Then it goes to technical review, or at the least some big meeting
with people who's names can't be pronounced without the use of several

The guy in charge of the technical aspect of things, a professed lover
of people with technical skills &c, red-flags it.  No code review,
never asked a question about it, no research.  No reason given, no
explaination given, other than a distaste for perl, stemming from what
I can only assume is perlPanic.

We all know the perlPanic - perl isn't secure!  perl is vulnerable! 
perl killed my server!  perl drank all my beer!  perl ate my baby! 
And I went from feeling like the guy with the red S on his chest, to
feeling like the guy with the big black L on his forehead.

Yeah, I know.  It's nothing new.  But I can't be the only one who
translates "We can't use that - it's in perl" to mean "You obviously
have no idea what you're doing!"

And today, I just don't see the point of it all.  There was going to
be a revisit to the discussion today, which turned into a "We'll put
up a static page with a phone number to call instead, and do something
in jsp later."  Watch the costs multiply.

I know from reading the list that it's usually meeting announcements
and technical questions and so on, but if you've got the bandwidth to
spare, could someone else share a perlPanic horror story so I don't
feel like suck a lame duck?

Apologies for the vented plasma,

"Nobody wants to be drawn as a carrot when they're bleeding."

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