Suum Cuique

My old site motto. I have to elaborate on the context of it’s coming up. This morning my little perl statistics script for this site told me that there was a link to my page somewhere out there. It seems Gavin at Gavin’s blog took my project hate rant as an opportunity to point out

[Random Nonsense] about how Perl is slow/ugly/write only/outdated etc and how PHP/Python/Ruby/Java is going to take over the world. These amuse me most. Mainly there seems to be masses of evangelical Java programmers who are so insecure in their choice of language they must sneak a snide comment about Perl into every 7th paragraph.

I am pretty sure he didn’t mean me by that 🙂 My rant was mainly about the terrible project management, which was caused mostly by my own inexperience (I got to level 5! 2 more points on the Joel Test).

I should also clarify some points he might have missed: it’s my own old perl code I am rewriting and I am not a good perl programmer, the old program was “hacked together quickly” so there would be something to present. No design whatsoever. Code like that will always be evil no matter what language. All my “snide” comments where directed against “my code” not perl in general. But hey: who was supposed to know, as I am always hanging between blogging and not telling more than I should about my work on a public website.

So if your boss tells you to “just get it running fast”, try to avoid having to follow that order or the code will come back to haunt you for years. If you’ve done it in a language you don’t really know, it will be worse. Also remember the extendability paradigm: If your boss says “We need something fast for now, it doesn’t have to scale and we’ll never need more XYZ” he means the opposite except where he said “fast”. He just doesn’t know it yet (unless he’s evil or pointy-haired).

As for the “evangelical Java” programmers. I think there are just as many paranoid perl programmers who are so scared their language will be deprecated that they see accusations in the void or C++ heroes[1] who believe they are the One(s) and that cplusplus is the one true way.

I am the one the only one I am the god of kingdom come, gimme the price just gimme the price (Queen, A Kind of Magic)

After having been in a few “mine is better” fights (languages, OSs, blogging tools ;-), editors etc.), I should know better than to advocate one X over another. I use perl for perl things and java for java things. And since I know little perl and a lot more java, there are many more java things than perl things. There is however beauty in the perl things: when there is a perl thing to do they all come begging because even my humble perl knowledge can save others hours of java work 😉

Wondrous random thought for the end: even though I know German a lot better than English, I am writing this blog in English.

fn1. I am living with one, I should know 😉

By Yashima

Writer of code and stories