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Old 01-01-2011, 09:34 PM
Grant
 
Default New project in perl? {OT}

I'm sorry this is OT but I really value the opinion of many people
subscribed to this list.

I'm starting a new project that is quite straightforward and will
interface with an old project. The only point of contact between the
two projects might be both of them having access to the same database
table. The old project is written in a language that is related to
perl so I can imagine there would be some benefit to using perl for
the new project. Am I foolish to start a new project in perl at this
stage in its lifecycle? I won't be doing the coding myself and I
wonder if I would be better off with PHP since more coders seem to be
familiar with PHP than perl.

- Grant
 
Old 01-01-2011, 11:17 PM
Indexer
 
Default New project in perl? {OT}

-----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
Hash: SHA1


On 02/01/2011, at 09:04, Grant wrote:

> I'm sorry this is OT but I really value the opinion of many people
> subscribed to this list.
>
> I'm starting a new project that is quite straightforward and will
> interface with an old project. The only point of contact between the
> two projects might be both of them having access to the same database
> table. The old project is written in a language that is related to
> perl so I can imagine there would be some benefit to using perl for
> the new project. Am I foolish to start a new project in perl at this
> stage in its lifecycle? I won't be doing the coding myself and I
> wonder if I would be better off with PHP since more coders seem to be
> familiar with PHP than perl.

TBH use neither, most people are jumping away from PHP and Perl.

There is no issue with a change to your language now. SQL is a "standard" so using python, or ruby to interact with it will have no issues. Just make sure that you copy the database to a dev box first so that you avoid mangling your important data.

>
> - Grant
>

William Brown

pgp.mit.edu



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Old 01-02-2011, 12:17 AM
kashani
 
Default New project in perl? {OT}

On 1/1/2011 2:34 PM, Grant wrote:

I'm sorry this is OT but I really value the opinion of many people
subscribed to this list.

I'm starting a new project that is quite straightforward and will
interface with an old project. The only point of contact between the
two projects might be both of them having access to the same database
table. The old project is written in a language that is related to
perl so I can imagine there would be some benefit to using perl for
the new project. Am I foolish to start a new project in perl at this
stage in its lifecycle? I won't be doing the coding myself and I
wonder if I would be better off with PHP since more coders seem to be
familiar with PHP than perl.


In '99 I worked with a fellow who styled himself a software architect.
The first step of each project he managed involved stating "We will
write this software in Java." As you can imagine that's sorta backwards.
I'd spec the software function, features, etc and then decide which
language has better tools or command of the problem space. You will have
to balance that against your knowledge of the language and the developer
skills you have access to. However even the exercise of deciding "Python
appears to be the superior language in this problem space, but we're
going to go with Perl because the database module for our db already
exists and is much more mature. Bob knows Perl better too." is worth
doing because it helps define the scope of the project.
FWIW the current startup I'm at is using Ruby for the front end and
it's been a bit more work that PHP which is what the last company used.
That's partly Rails immaturity, our lack of experience with Ruby, and
having to learn the Rails/Ruby way. Unless the language you're familiar
with is completely unsuitable, I'd say familiarity trumps language
features. YMMV.


kashani
 
Old 01-02-2011, 12:32 AM
Stroller
 
Default New project in perl? {OT}

On 1/1/2011, at 10:34pm, Grant wrote:
> ...
> I'm starting a new project that is quite straightforward and will
> interface with an old project. The only point of contact between the
> two projects might be both of them having access to the same database
> table. The old project is written in a language that is related to
> perl so I can imagine there would be some benefit to using perl for
> the new project. Am I foolish to start a new project in perl at this
> stage in its lifecycle? I won't be doing the coding myself and I
> wonder if I would be better off with PHP since more coders seem to be
> familiar with PHP than perl.

I'm not sure if I've mentioned before, but I picked up Perl fairly recently (within the last 12.5 months) although I haven't done *that* much with it.

I *really* like Perl. It feels extremely robust and "right".

I originally picked up Perl in order to parse the output of another program and build an HTML table based on that data. The other program happened to be written in Perl, too, but I figured that Perl was a good choice because it was supposed to be good at parsing (and parsing was the job I was trying to do). I started out parsing this output, and it turned out that the program I was depending on didn't give enough information externally this way. So I had to modify the original program, and add the feature I needed - I was able to do so really fairly quickly, and soon had my first submission (a patch of maybe 200 lines) accepted into an open-source project. Well, I guess vgetty distributes a shell script of mine in its contrib directory, but this felt much more of a grown-up achievement. Doing this in Perl felt really accessible to me, being able to complete this task within hours [1] of picking up the language.

The "stage of Perl's lifecycle" is not anything to be worried about. Perl may not be a "cool" language, but it isn't going away. Perl 5.x.y will be maintained for a long time; Perl 6 is in development.

On the other hand, you can easily find Perl developers who have been using the language in industry for a decade. You can write bad code in any language - Perl has a reputation for opacity but, y'know, Greek sounds pretty opaque to me, that doesn't mean it's a bad language. To be honest, I think the "problem" is that Perl can be really terse, and that's why newcomers to a codebase have problems understanding it, but I'm inclined to think of Perl's terseness as a *good* thing. From the code I've read on the net, the advice I've received from Perl programmers, I tend to feel the average code quality of Perl developers is higher than that of the average coder in some more fashionable languages, such as PHP or Python. I would think that if you were to contact your local PM group you would find someone who writes pretty good code and who will provide references. http://www.pm.org/groups/

Perl has a big library of modules for interfacing with databases. Your guy should use as many of those as he needs to, and not reimplement things from scratch. Beware of people who "write their own" libraries or who "prefer to do it for themselves" - there are some extremely sophisticated and well-maintained modules in CPAN.

Stroller.



[1] Not the same day, but within only a few hours of actual using the language, for large values of "a few".
 
Old 01-02-2011, 08:27 AM
Peter Humphrey
 
Default New project in perl? {OT}

On Sunday 02 January 2011 01:17:09 kashani wrote:

> Unless the language you're familiar with is completely unsuitable, I'd
> say familiarity trumps language features.

I've been out of coding for too long to know much about modern languages
(so ignore me if you like), but I think this is exactly right.

Another language may have all the juicy, whiz-bang features you want for
your shiny new project, but if the team doesn't know it you can't use it
straight away, and you'll incur a substantial extra development cost.

--
Rgds
Peter. Linux Counter 5290, 1994-04-23.
 
Old 01-02-2011, 10:55 AM
Alan McKinnon
 
Default New project in perl? {OT}

Apparently, though unproven, at 03:32 on Sunday 02 January 2011, Stroller did
opine thusly:

> On 1/1/2011, at 10:34pm, Grant wrote:
> > ...
> > I'm starting a new project that is quite straightforward and will
> > interface with an old project. The only point of contact between the
> > two projects might be both of them having access to the same database
> > table. The old project is written in a language that is related to
> > perl so I can imagine there would be some benefit to using perl for
> > the new project. Am I foolish to start a new project in perl at this
> > stage in its lifecycle? I won't be doing the coding myself and I
> > wonder if I would be better off with PHP since more coders seem to be
> > familiar with PHP than perl.
>
> I'm not sure if I've mentioned before, but I picked up Perl fairly recently
> (within the last 12.5 months) although I haven't done *that* much with it.
>
> I *really* like Perl. It feels extremely robust and "right".


My 2c.

I had a similar reason for picking up Perl. Here's what I now think of it:

Any language has good coders and bad coders using it, there's nothing the
language can do about that and it can't defend you from yourself either. There
is much bad Perl code out there but that's because there are so many coders
using it.

The clincher is:

If you are the kind of coder who is pedantic about writing stuff "correctly",
Perl goes out of it's way to help you do that. It will also help you to write
utter complete shit code too, but that's a human issue, not a language one.



--
alan dot mckinnon at gmail dot com
 
Old 01-02-2011, 11:36 AM
Lubos Kolouch
 
Default New project in perl? {OT}

Indexer, Sun, 02 Jan 2011 10:47:46 +1030:

> -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> Hash: SHA1
>
>
> On 02/01/2011, at 09:04, Grant wrote:
>
>> I'm sorry this is OT but I really value the opinion of many people
>> subscribed to this list.
>>
>> I'm starting a new project that is quite straightforward and will
>> interface with an old project. The only point of contact between the
>> two projects might be both of them having access to the same database
>> table. The old project is written in a language that is related to
>> perl so I can imagine there would be some benefit to using perl for the
>> new project. Am I foolish to start a new project in perl at this stage
>> in its lifecycle? I won't be doing the coding myself and I wonder if I
>> would be better off with PHP since more coders seem to be familiar with
>> PHP than perl.
>
> TBH use neither, most people are jumping away from PHP and Perl.
>

I am not sure who is "most people" but I do almost all my coding in Perl
and love it. Perl has great features and is very cleverly designed
language!

Lubos
 
Old 01-02-2011, 04:34 PM
Grant
 
Default New project in perl? {OT}

>> I'm sorry this is OT but I really value the opinion of many people
>> subscribed to this list.
>>
>> I'm starting a new project that is quite straightforward and will
>> interface with an old project. *The only point of contact between the
>> two projects might be both of them having access to the same database
>> table. *The old project is written in a language that is related to
>> perl so I can imagine there would be some benefit to using perl for
>> the new project. *Am I foolish to start a new project in perl at this
>> stage in its lifecycle? *I won't be doing the coding myself and I
>> wonder if I would be better off with PHP since more coders seem to be
>> familiar with PHP than perl.
>
> * * * *In '99 I worked with a fellow who styled himself a software
> architect. The first step of each project he managed involved stating "We
> will write this software in Java." As you can imagine that's sorta
> backwards. I'd spec the software function, features, etc and then decide
> which language has better tools or command of the problem space. You will
> have to balance that against your knowledge of the language and the
> developer skills you have access to. However even the exercise of deciding
> "Python appears to be the superior language in this problem space, but we're
> going to go with Perl because the database module for our db already exists
> and is much more mature. Bob knows Perl better too." is worth doing because
> it helps define the scope of the project.
> * * * *FWIW the current startup I'm at is using Ruby for the front end and
> it's been a bit more work that PHP which is what the last company used.
> That's partly Rails immaturity, our lack of experience with Ruby, and having
> to learn the Rails/Ruby way. Unless the language you're familiar with is
> completely unsuitable, I'd say familiarity trumps language features. YMMV.
>
> kashani

Thanks to everyone. I really love this list (and this distro). I'll
stick with perl.

- Grant
 
Old 01-03-2011, 06:56 AM
Alan McKinnon
 
Default New project in perl? {OT}

Apparently, though unproven, at 14:36 on Sunday 02 January 2011, Lubos Kolouch
did opine thusly:

> Indexer, Sun, 02 Jan 2011 10:47:46 +1030:
> > -----BEGIN PGP SIGNED MESSAGE-----
> > Hash: SHA1
> >
> > On 02/01/2011, at 09:04, Grant wrote:
> >> I'm sorry this is OT but I really value the opinion of many people
> >> subscribed to this list.
> >>
> >> I'm starting a new project that is quite straightforward and will
> >> interface with an old project. The only point of contact between the
> >> two projects might be both of them having access to the same database
> >> table. The old project is written in a language that is related to
> >> perl so I can imagine there would be some benefit to using perl for the
> >> new project. Am I foolish to start a new project in perl at this stage
> >> in its lifecycle? I won't be doing the coding myself and I wonder if I
> >> would be better off with PHP since more coders seem to be familiar with
> >> PHP than perl.
> >
> > TBH use neither, most people are jumping away from PHP and Perl.
>
> I am not sure who is "most people" but I do almost all my coding in Perl
> and love it. Perl has great features and is very cleverly designed
> language!
>
> Lubos

"Most people" is usually something like "someone who's blog I read and my two
friends". In other words, not even close to a mass migration away.

Perl has one of the healthiest code ecosystems ever. It's not going away
anytime soon.


--
alan dot mckinnon at gmail dot com
 

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