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

Herb Rubin herbr at pfinders.com
Thu Feb 17 12:39:10 PST 2005


I've had people look at me funny for using Perl. I worked at Sun and did
a good sized Perl project to troubleshoot fiber optic raid arrays.

It worked great and the field technicians loved it. But, once the Sun
managers got wind of this cool tool, they took it over and converted it
to Java, like Perl was some bastard child programming language.

The field techs couldn't use it because they were forced to have a GUI
available, no more telnet or ssh. It was a mess. They told us they
missed having Perl and looking at the source code.

To keep my spirits up, I just keep in mind that Microsoft only has a 20%
market share in web servers worldwide and dropping.


But, Perl is getting more respect as Linux gets more respect.


On Thu, 2005-02-17 at 12:15, Duane Obrien wrote:
> 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
> talk.
> 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
> access.
> 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
> acronyms.
> 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,
> -d
Herb Rubin                 Pathfinders Software
herbr at pfinders.com         http://www.pfinders.com
phone: 650-343-4571        fax:   650-343-4675

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