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Re: [PATCH] [DOCS] Modernize perlopentut.pod

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Nathaniel R. Reindl
July 23, 2011 03:38
Re: [PATCH] [DOCS] Modernize perlopentut.pod
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On Tue, Jul 19, 2011 at 9:39 PM, Aristotle Pagaltzis <> wrote:
> But that’s a shell-ish design that is closer to UI than API and
> of interest primarily in the classic sysadmin stratum of Perl[1]
> users. It can be actively unwanted in other strata.

As a practicing system administrator on modern systems, I find myself
writing scripts in well-structured and testable POSIX/Bourne shell and
POSIX awk/sed more often than I find myself writing scripts in Perl.
The motivation for this stems from the fact that my system of choice
no longer includes Perl in the base OS install.

Even then, when I do write system administration scripts in Perl, I
use modules like and IO::File and bind the resulting
instances to lexical variables.

Given the advent of the SUS and the rapidly increasing (often
implicit, due to licensing) compliance of modern systems to the SUS, I
expect more practicing system administrators to go back to basics and
focus more on using these tools.  As the years drag on, I also expect
that the old gripes about incompatibility between vendors' commands
will hence become a distant memory for those of us who remember such

That all said, I'd rather see Perl become a real, bona-fide
programming language that I can easily use for implementing large,
gnarly systems.  Part of this future involves a pedagogical
renaissance of sorts, and instructing newbies on the use of
two-argument open seems to me somewhat counterproductive to this end.

As a consequence, the instruction on two-argument (and one-argument)
open should come ideally from material not meant for crib reading.
Recall that, when you were a child, your bicycle had stabilizers in
order to get you used to the sense of normalcy when riding before
actually knowing how.  Consider my proposal to move the material on
two- and one-argument open elsewhere somewhat of an analogue.

Besides, if you're wanting to convert system administrators partially
into developers for the impending "devops" revolution, you'll have to
include best practices in there somewhere. The best practices for
two-argument open are challenging to enumerate at best and impossible
at worst.

tl;dr: I want to use Perl to write programs, not scripts. I've not
used open in years, but I appreciate the significance. Stop and think
about the education and outreach challenges inherent in some of Perl's


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