FAQ
Hi all,

Firstly in partial support of Shlomi, I've a shelf full of books relating to
Perl5 which I've never had enough time to absorb. Now I am resorting to
using PHP for starting a business designing web apps on a LAMP box.

Why? My choice of life as an entrepreneur requires me to budget time for
everything from system design, coding, testing etc through corporate tax,
marketing, and everything else to do with a solo startup. To expend hours
coding with a language that is more complex than I need, would jeopardize
the fledgling enterprise. Not that equivalent functionality is necessarily
more complex in Perl than in PHP, I just don't know exactly what all that
other stuff I've seen is for, and then fear my code could be missing
something crucial and leaving the door open to malicious crackers.

My impression is that the whole artistic approach and yearn for tersity in
abstract-looking code don't help the end user with limited time. An extreme
example is 7 lines that deftly cracked the DVD cipher, spectacular art for
sure, but aloof from the masses. In general, examples of best practice perl
coding I found were terse and difficult to follow, and this told me that I'd
need to put in a lot more time to get comfortable with it. I don't know with
saving the world etc that I personally will ever have the time. I might be
lucky to hire hackers who do however, once the LEGO(tm) version of my app is
operational and bringing in revenue :-)

So why would I buy in Perl given that I was forced to use PHP to get
started? Because my (possibly wrong) impression of Perl6 from Larrys'
summary is that it is not just Turbo Perl5, but introduces design
abstraction that effectively allow any language to be used on the front end.
That's amazing.

It means that a standard LAMP box in any large web hosting company should
have as standard the Perl6 back-end, then optional plug-ins for the language
of choice. So perls guru's like you lot can find the next prime with three
punctuation marks, and evening/weekend coders like me can gimp our way to
eye-candy web pages with a 1MB 'script'. (exit; why's apache and mod_perl
gone?)

(I think a standard reference lamp box complete with a collection of typical
secure apps in long form syntax would go a long way to propogating Perl,
both making it easier for hosting companies to offer it and for individuals
like myself to set one up and start building the next amazon or craigslist.)

In a way the Perl6 enterprise reminds me of the work on the Hurd over at the
GNU project. A colossal advance by dedicated individuals working for the
betterment of all mankind, and it it is totally laudable. I also believe
both will succeed, because every step of the way what I'm seeing is that the
individuals involved have not chosen their paths lightly, and won't give up,
ever.

I'm a bit concerned that the meritocracy is still causing friction though,
and ruffled feathers of Perl5 porters still a possibility ("he had to bring
that up"). As a person who was once in Mensa (and left on principle because
they wouldn't open membership to the other 98% of humankind), I am a great
fan of Forest Gump. It's preferable to be a good person and to genuinely
like yourself and be likeable, than to be smart but hurting others and being
disliked, any day.

The danger of a powerful mind is that it can be a puppet of the ID. That
said, emotional outbursts are natural, and probably good for you, so long as
they are ultimately followed up by the ethical and diplomatic reflections of
the frontal lobes. That's my two-cent.

Shamrock luck to you all,
Tom Cowap
Dublin, Ireland


-----Original Message-----
From: Shlomi Fish
Sent: 16 October 2004 13:22
To: Perl Advocacy
Subject: Critique of Where Perl 6 is Heading


Hi all!

I wrote a critique of where Perl 6 is heading. It was published in
Freshmeat:

http://freshmeat.net/articles/view/1339/

The history of this article is a bit eventful. What I can say is that I sent
it to Freshmeat.net because I saw that my editor at O'ReillyNet was not
responsive. However, after it was sent, I received some more commentary from
him, which I did not respond to or integrate yet. The Freshmeat article
eventually was edited and published, afterwards without this commentary,
because its editor invested time in publishing it. It is still mostly
pertinent.

Regards,

Shlomi Fish
--

---------------------------------------------------------------------
Shlomi Fish shlomif@iglu.org.il
Homepage: http://www.shlomifish.org/

Knuth is not God! It took him two days to build the Roman Empire.

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