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RE: Why we're here

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Flach, Robert
July 24, 2000 05:29
RE: Why we're here
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Hmmm...  I'm really not enough of a Guru to be commenting to this list, yet,
in this context, not being a guru makes me uniquely qualified to comment.
Could some one explain to me in what way perl is "too complex?"  I came to
perl not from the UNIX/C++/C background that it was supposedly designed to
attract, but from the Windows/VB background that are its staunchest
opponents.  I did not find it hard or complex, or difficult.  I found it
easy to learn, easy to support, and easy to implement.  I found that the
more I needed from it, the more complexities I delved into, each discovered
and used as needed.

I grant that perl has amazing levels of complexity, but one of the greatest
things about perl is that one can use only the features one needs without
even knowing about the greater complexities.  Wall even commented on this
facet and benefit of perl in his State of the Onion talk in (I believe) '98.

The fact of the matter is that as [Ask Bjoern Hansen] wrote, "We don't have
to argue over if perl is an appropriate language, when it clearly is."
To my mind the issue of complexity, difficulty, etc is purely a perception
problem, and not a "real" problem, except that problems of perception are as
real as the people with the incorrect perceptions.  This is a PR problem,
and the best way to eliminate it is with lots of posative PR.  I'm not
talking about glossy magazine ads, and the like, although those are usefull
tools.  Word of mouth is PR, giving an interview is PR, writing an article
is PR, and it's everyone in the perl communities responsibility to see that
the word gets out.  The key is to recognize that the erroneous ideas about
Perl <=5.6 are too deeply entrenched to be weeded out, and that we need to
start fresh with positive promotion of Perl 6.  

To sum up, "Don't change the language, change people's perception of the

Thank you,

Robert A. Flach
Perl Developer -BPO Project
Metro IS Consultant
Home Steps
(A division of Freddie Mac)
 -----Original Message-----
From: 	Jesús Quiroga [] 
Sent:	Monday, July 24, 2000 6:18 AM
To:	Ask Bjoern Hansen
Subject:	Re: Why we're here

At 12:13 24/07/00, you wrote:
>Situation: We like people to use Perl. We like to use Perl. We don't
>want to have to argue over if Perl is an appropiate language when it
>clearly is, but the magazines and word-of-mouth tells that Perl is
>hard and Perl is unmaintainable and whatnot.

Perl is indeed hard and unmaintainable to the eyes of many. That's their
perception, and it's their truth. And no, Perl is not the appropriate
language to them, they are utterly convinced.

They warn their friends against Perl, because they feel it's the right
thing to do. The magazines find out what the readers think and print it:
'Perl is hard. Why? Because all my friends believe it's hard'.

Why is this? Because most potential Perl users are very different
than the UNIX and C programmers Larry wanted to attract when he
designed Perl to be universally useful. They aren't stupid, they
just don't see the benefits.

Perl 6 should provide ammunition to shoot this damaging perception.
Above all, less complexity.

   Jesús Quiroga   (


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