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use octets; and "escaping the piranha's"

Mark Mielke
February 10, 2000 12:26
use octets; and "escaping the piranha's"
Message ID:
On Thu, Feb 10, 2000 at 01:49:49PM -0600, "Elaine -HFB- Ashton" wrote:
> It's like standing on the edge of the Amazon River contemplating the odds
> of being able to get to the other side without being devoured by the
> piranha. 
> e.

Which is why sometimes you don't worry about making sure your little
hankerchief is in place, or that your hair is perfect, or that you have
no lint on your pants... you don't try and quietly wade through slowly
hoping that no piranha's notice you...

Instead your throw your pride to the wind, you throw the possibility of
making it across in any sort of perfect condition aside, you jump in,
and you swim... you swim as hard and as fast as you can... when a
piranha bites you? SO WHAT... swim harder...

Imagine it like you have a magic potion around your neck... and you
have to get across the river to get it to people who are dying... does
it really matter if you get bruised on the way? If you lose some skin?

Some things are more important than self.

Anyways... the whole pirahna notion is completely flawed in the
first place. Even the people who sit back and consider themselves
wonderful for remaining quiet are no "better" than anybody else.
Are the people who remained quiet when the jews were being trucked
off to concentration camps "wonderful"? What about the polite ones
who made a simple statement once in a while and let themselves be
ignored? Sometimes something _must_ be heard.

See, if I wanted to, I could sit back and suck up to everyone. I could
suck up to my manager, I could suck up to specific people in this group
even who are "influential"... I could kiss Larry's ass, I could bow to
his followers... TomC, etc... but what does that gain? So I might get
on the "inside track" and get to float along... but does it help anybody
else? Definately not. This is why I don't particularly care if _anybody_
here hates me or loves me... it's irrelevant. I'm here for perl.

I'm very appreciative for it's existence. A lot of people have put a lot
of work into making it one of the more desirable languages to program
quite a lot of code in in modern times, but never will I cross the point
where I worship people, or compromise ethics in order to appease the gods.

This means that sometimes you take a stand. Maybe I'm not capable of
fully expressing all the reasons behind conclusions I draw, and maybe
I'm not the most grammatically correct writer in the world, but I sure
as hell will try.

Little tiny things like "use byte(s);" vs. "use octet(s);" is one of
these. It's a _very_ tiny detail on preliminary analysis, but consider
the follow up from it?

Do you really want your language to have less specific keywords in use
just because a few people want to type less, or be able to pronounce
it out easier? It's not just "some minor issue"... I said that this
was a wrong reason to make a conclusion and was told "welcome to Perl."
If that statement isn't the most telling to ANY sort of professional
in the world, I don't know what else is.

The fact is, that is *not* perl. That is why we FINALLY got rid of the
"package'variable" convention for the more favourable package::variable
form. It was _wrong_. It was a decision made on cuteness, it doesn't
matter who made the decision for that, it doesn't even matter that
it was wrong... it only matters that we learn. _we_ learn. No placing
faults, no anything.

      use bytes;

Is the most obscure code I have ever seen. If I went over to the next
cube and asked the guy currently writing some perl code what he thinks
it means... what do you think he will say? Do you think he'll even
come _close_?

The fact that every technical manual I have ever read chooses not to
call them bytes, and chooses the term "octet" had BETTER mean something
to a technical community. It _must_ be accepted.

Now I'd even go so far as to argue that even:

      use octets;

Is not _really_ that much better, it is only more specific, and the
technically accepted term by any real technical documentation. I'd
almost prefer:

      assume octets;

But we're not going down that path right now.


P.S. Of course, just as often as there are people who believe that this
     is in fact something which should be heard, there are several people
     who are raving lunatics to shout louder than him/her.

     Which do you think I am? The person who has strong coding morales
     and does what he does because he believes it is best for perl, who
     goes home to his lover and be in her embrace while eating a nice
     dinner with the kids? Or the raving lunatic who just types stuff so
     that people will hear him because he is lonely and doesn't have a
     life outside of perl, and his because of this, when his concept of
     what perl is is attacked, he feels that his life is being attacked?

     Of course there is a wide spectrum both between and around those
     two stereotypes, but really... in your mind, what do you think I am?

     Keep it to yourself, it matters not to me.


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