When it breaks I can fix it.

This may not be relevant to most people but I just have to say it. I love perl.

No, I am not a Perl expert and I shouldn't go around telling people to start new projects using perl. But I still find myself using it and it is delivering in its promise of getting things done.

I'm in a position that most will call unfortunate, I have to maintain old tools that are crucial to an enterprise yet runs on legacy. Perl is one of the many languages that run in the background and keeps the system online.

The reason I find it pleasant to work with is not what you expect.

I spent a lot of time fixing bugs. The syntax is very weird compared to other languages. Even calling a function with the proper parameter required research. Here is what I did.

sub addNumbers($a,$b){
    # add numbers
    return $a + $b;

You would think this would work, but when you run it, it fails. I also tried to include external files, to make my code more modular. Well you can't just have an include like in PHP, you have to jump through many hoops.

There are so many things that I tried to do and it failed miserably. Yet, here I am telling you that I love this language.

The reason, if you haven't figured it out already, is that Perl has passed my one and most important criteria for being a good programming language. For me, the requirement is not that a program doesn't fail, but is that we know how it fails. Everything that goes wrong with Perl is extensively documented on the web. Searching about 'how to include files in perl' is well documented by someone who went through the exact same process. For me, it was someone who comes from PHP and wants to try perl. The documentation understood how I like to do things in PHP and how I would benefit from doing it in a different manner with perl.

You don't know how to pass parameters? Sure, let me show you how to do that. You don't know what this obscure error means? Let's fix that in 2 seconds.

Everything that was wrong with my code was fixed in a few minutes. Perl is an old language and it has many quirks, but we know and wrote about every single one of them.

I've been working for many years with JavaScript, and Sometimes I even pretend to be an expert. But solving meta problems with it has not been as smooth as it is with perl. With the new Ecmascript stuff coming out, there is not enough documented failures for me to just jump ship with it.

Anyway, yeah. I love perl because when it breaks I can fix it.


There are no comments added yet.

Let's hear your thoughts

For my eyes only