Discussion:
Task Scheduling
(too old to reply)
Ryan Bowman
2006-01-25 17:54:50 UTC
Permalink
At work we use jboss as our web app server, when we want to deploy new
code we need to restart jboss, but the optimal time to do so is
between 1am and 3am. Rather than wake up that early I want to schedule
the restart to happen automatically, but it doesn't need to happen on
a regular schedule, just every so often when we have new code to
launch.
I'm thinking of writing a script that edits crontab to schedule the
restart for 1am daily. I can run that script manually on the days
that I need to restart jboss, then the following day remove that task
from cron (or modify the restart script to edit crontab for me). Is
there a better way?

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Jason K Larson
2006-01-25 17:59:48 UTC
Permalink
Ryan Bowman wrote:
> I'm thinking of writing a script that edits crontab to schedule the
> restart for 1am daily. I can run that script manually on the days
> that I need to restart jboss, then the following day remove that task
> from cron (or modify the restart script to edit crontab for me). Is
> there a better way?

What about some sort of bash wrapper that tests for the existance of a
file, or the contents value of a file to determine if the script needs run.

--
Ritter

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Bart Whiteley
2006-01-25 18:01:01 UTC
Permalink
Ryan Bowman wrote:
> At work we use jboss as our web app server, when we want to deploy new
> code we need to restart jboss, but the optimal time to do so is
> between 1am and 3am. Rather than wake up that early I want to schedule
> the restart to happen automatically, but it doesn't need to happen on
> a regular schedule, just every so often when we have new code to
> launch.
> I'm thinking of writing a script that edits crontab to schedule the
> restart for 1am daily. I can run that script manually on the days
> that I need to restart jboss, then the following day remove that task
> from cron (or modify the restart script to edit crontab for me). Is
> there a better way?

man at

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Lonnie Olson
2006-01-25 17:59:25 UTC
Permalink
Ryan Bowman wrote:
> I'm thinking of writing a script that edits crontab to schedule the
> restart for 1am daily. I can run that script manually on the days
> that I need to restart jboss, then the following day remove that task
> from cron (or modify the restart script to edit crontab for me). Is
> there a better way?

see `man 1 at`
Perfect for just what you need.

--lonnie
Ryan Bowman
2006-01-25 18:41:47 UTC
Permalink
On 1/25/06, Lonnie Olson <fungus-X+eSk8BKk/***@public.gmane.org> wrote:

> see `man 1 at`
> Perfect for just what you need.
>
> --lonnie
>

Indeed, it does appear to be perfect for what I need.
Thanks to all that suggested it.

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Ryan Bowman
2006-01-25 18:48:07 UTC
Permalink
To furthur my knowledge, is there such a thing as at on Windows?

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Byron Clark
2006-01-25 19:04:30 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, Jan 25, 2006 at 11:48:07AM -0700, Ryan Bowman wrote:
> To furthur my knowledge, is there such a thing as at on Windows?

Yes, it's called 'at'. Type 'at /?' at a command prompt for more
information.

--
Byron Clark
Bryan Sant
2006-01-25 19:47:23 UTC
Permalink
On 1/25/06, Ryan Bowman <ryanlbowman-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> To furthur my knowledge, is there such a thing as at on Windows?

Start -> Programs -> Accessories -> System Tools -> Scheduled Tasks.

I'm not sure if you can do one-off things like at can. It may be more
like cron.

-Bryan

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Corey Edwards
2006-01-25 18:01:06 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 2006-01-25 at 10:54 -0700, Ryan Bowman wrote:
> At work we use jboss as our web app server, when we want to deploy new
> code we need to restart jboss, but the optimal time to do so is
> between 1am and 3am. Rather than wake up that early I want to schedule
> the restart to happen automatically, but it doesn't need to happen on
> a regular schedule, just every so often when we have new code to
> launch.
> I'm thinking of writing a script that edits crontab to schedule the
> restart for 1am daily. I can run that script manually on the days
> that I need to restart jboss, then the following day remove that task
> from cron (or modify the restart script to edit crontab for me). Is
> there a better way?

Have the script run every night but check for the existence of a file
(say, /etc/jboss.restart). If the file exists, continue and remove the
file when done. Otherwise, simply exit.

#!/bin/sh

if [ -e /etc/jboss.restart ];
then
do real restart
rm /etc/jboss.restart
fi

Corey
Michael L Torrie
2006-01-25 18:20:28 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 2006-01-25 at 10:54 -0700, Ryan Bowman wrote:
> At work we use jboss as our web app server, when we want to deploy new
> code we need to restart jboss, but the optimal time to do so is
> between 1am and 3am. Rather than wake up that early I want to schedule
> the restart to happen automatically, but it doesn't need to happen on
> a regular schedule, just every so often when we have new code to
> launch.

Doesn't jboss auto-deploy packages on the fly without having to restart
the server? In that case an "at" job to just dump the war file in the
deploy directory should do the trick. (maybe the windows version can't
do this)

> I'm thinking of writing a script that edits crontab to schedule the
> restart for 1am daily. I can run that script manually on the days
> that I need to restart jboss, then the following day remove that task
> from cron (or modify the restart script to edit crontab for me). Is
> there a better way?
>
> /*
> PLUG: http://plug.org, #utah on irc.freenode.net
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>


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Ryan Bowman
2006-01-25 18:22:55 UTC
Permalink
On 1/25/06, Michael L Torrie <torriem-1ghGyg2U9Gn2fBVCVOL8/***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
>
> Doesn't jboss auto-deploy packages on the fly without having to restart
> the server? In that case an "at" job to just dump the war file in the
> deploy directory should do the trick. (maybe the windows version can't
> do this)
>

Yes, it is supposed to, but it's never worked for us, even on Linux.
When it rescans the war file it gets all confused and screwed up and
our website crashes.

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Stuart Jansen
2006-01-25 18:29:21 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 2006-01-25 at 11:22 -0700, Ryan Bowman wrote:
> On 1/25/06, Michael L Torrie <torriem-1ghGyg2U9Gn2fBVCVOL8/***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> >
> > Doesn't jboss auto-deploy packages on the fly without having to restart
> > the server? In that case an "at" job to just dump the war file in the
> > deploy directory should do the trick. (maybe the windows version can't
> > do this)
> >
>
> Yes, it is supposed to, but it's never worked for us, even on Linux.
> When it rescans the war file it gets all confused and screwed up and
> our website crashes.

In order to auto-deply, JBoss has to do all kinds of dark class loader
voodoo. (Thankfully) I haven't used it for years, but I never saw it
successfully auto-deploy anything but toy projects.

--
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Dennis
2006-01-25 19:26:50 UTC
Permalink
> In order to auto-deply, JBoss has to do all kinds of dark class loader
> voodoo. (Thankfully) I haven't used it for years, but I never saw it
> successfully auto-deploy anything but toy projects.
>
Exactly my experience.. (on a side note, I'm also thankful I haven't
used JBoss for years)

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Bryan Sant
2006-01-25 19:43:57 UTC
Permalink
On 1/25/06, Stuart Jansen <sjansen-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> In order to auto-deply, JBoss has to do all kinds of dark class loader
> voodoo. (Thankfully) I haven't used it for years, but I never saw it
> successfully auto-deploy anything but toy projects.

I would agree. I think JBoss is a screwed up app server. It's
classloader strategy is totally funky and problematic. If you're not
using EJB's you should use Tomcat - period. If you need EJB,
transaction support, MDB, JNDI, etc. and thus you must have a full
blown app server use Apache Geronimo, Resin, or Sun's GlassFish.
JBoss (at least JBoss 4 and below) is crap.

-Bryan

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Ryan Bowman
2006-01-25 19:51:30 UTC
Permalink
On 1/25/06, Bryan Sant <bryan.sant-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
>
> I would agree. I think JBoss is a screwed up app server. It's
> classloader strategy is totally funky and problematic. If you're not
> using EJB's you should use Tomcat - period. If you need EJB,
> transaction support, MDB, JNDI, etc. and thus you must have a full
> blown app server use Apache Geronimo, Resin, or Sun's GlassFish.
> JBoss (at least JBoss 4 and below) is crap.
>
> -Bryan

Um, you do know that the current version is 4.0.3, right? It's worked
okay for us, I don't know anything about ejbs, I'm just a code monkey
right now, so I don't know what other appservers would gives that
jboss doesn't. I think most, if not all, of the problems we've had
with it have been misunderstandings, misconfig, etc on our part.

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Bryan Sant
2006-01-25 20:22:34 UTC
Permalink
On 1/25/06, Ryan Bowman <ryanlbowman-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> Um, you do know that the current version is 4.0.3, right? It's worked

They have 5 in beta. I haven't used it. Maybe they fixed some things.

> okay for us, I don't know anything about ejbs, I'm just a code monkey

If you don't use EJBs, then you should just use a web container such
as Tomcat. Your performance will improve. And tomcat actually knows
how to dynamically load a WAR correctly.

> right now, so I don't know what other appservers would gives that
> jboss doesn't. I think most, if not all, of the problems we've had
> with it have been misunderstandings, misconfig, etc on our part.

The J2EE spec doesn't define the specifics of how the app server
should manage class loading -- so JBoss is free to be an idot and
still be "J2EE standards compliant". However, EVERY OTHER app server
vendor in the world has followed a very intuitive classloader
convention. Each WAR, or EAR, has it's own class loader hierarchy.
Two or more WARs or EARs don't conflict or effect their neighbor, but
they do expose classes to their subordinate components. So a WAR
inside an EAR would see the parents classes, but not the opposite.
Well not with JBoss!! JBoss' class loader model is screwed in a
number of ways, but basically it has a flat class loader. Everyone
can see everyone elses classes. It is TOTAL CHAOS.

To keep things sane, you should run a single application on a given
JBoss instance. Running more than one WAR or EAR will only lead to
extreme anger and depression.

...Or just use Apache Geronimo or Resin and everything is cool... But
again, Spring + Tomcat is typically a MUCH better solution (as it is
MUCH simplier AND more powerful) for most applications that you would
typically consider running on a full J2EE server. With Spring,
developer and runtime performance goes up and complexity goes way down
-- it is magic. Check it out at www.springframework.org.

-Bryan

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Roberto Mello
2006-01-25 21:30:00 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, Jan 25, 2006 at 01:22:34PM -0700, Bryan Sant wrote:

<snip about JBoss sucking>

> typically consider running on a full J2EE server. With Spring,
> developer and runtime performance goes up and complexity goes way down
> -- it is magic. Check it out at www.springframework.org.

While you're at it, you could get away from Java to a dynamic language
and reap pretty much the same effects:

- Developer performance goes (way) up
- Runtime performance goes up
- Complexity goes way down

I'd add:

- Headaches go way down
- Cost goes down
- Need for consultants goes down

-Roberto

--
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Bryan Sant
2006-01-25 22:23:43 UTC
Permalink
On 1/25/06, Roberto Mello <rmello-6ppttv9qD1b2fBVCVOL8/***@public.gmane.org> wrote:

Yikes. Can't I just mod this as troll and move on?

> While you're at it, you could get away from Java to a dynamic language
> and reap pretty much the same effects:

I disagree.

> - Developer performance goes (way) up

This is only true if you're restricted to use vim or emacs. If all
you have is a text editor, then a verbose, typesafe language like Java
is a hindrance. If you use an IDE such as Eclipse or NetBeans, your
productivity with Java and these tools far outstrips that of dynamic
languages. I hardly type at all, the IDE does all the work for me.

Additionally, dynamic languages have always hit a major wall when
dealing with larger projects. As long as your project is trivially
small, or very well suited to the original problem domain of that
language, you're better off with a stricter, type-safe language.

> - Runtime performance goes up

Completely incorrect. Java is significantly faster than any dynamic
language. It is nearly as fast as C/C++. Get your facts straight.
Run some of your own benchmark tests if you must.

> - Complexity goes way down

So long as it is small enough for a single person or small group to
maintain. For larger projects, type-safety and mature frameworks save
time and reduce errors. The same effect *could* be achieved by
asserting the correctness of parameters by a dynamic language, but now
you've just impacted run-time performance and your productivity just
went out the window.

> I'd add:
>
> - Headaches go way down

Well there you have it. The undeniable proof we've all been waiting for :-).

> - Cost goes down

This completely depends on the project and project size. I would say
the opposite is true for most serious project with a team larger than
a few people.

> - Need for consultants goes down

If your staff isn't skilled enough to work with Java, then I'm sure
this is true. But this is true of any technology. I don't know Lisp.
If I were working with a project written in Lisp I may need a
consultant. What does this prove? That I don't know what I'm doing
with Lisp, not that Lisp requires more consultants.

> -Roberto
-Bryan

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Jonathan Ellis
2006-01-25 22:56:56 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 15:23:43 -0700, "Bryan Sant" <bryan.sant-***@public.gmane.org>
said:
> On 1/25/06, Roberto Mello <rmello-6ppttv9qD1b2fBVCVOL8/***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
>
> Yikes. Can't I just mod this as troll and move on?

Oh, crap. Somebody pushed Bryan's "Rabid java defense" button.

> > - Developer performance goes (way) up
>
> This is only true if you're restricted to use vim or emacs.
[...]
> If you use an IDE such as Eclipse or NetBeans, your
> productivity with Java and these tools far outstrips that of dynamic
> languages.

Have you actually used a modern dynamic language like Python for more
than a couple days? Have you used it with a similarly modern IDE,
like Wing or Komodo?

I come from the Java camp. I've presented at the Utah Java UG, twice.
I'm no novice. But I started doing Python full-time about a year ago
and I feel _hugely_ more productive.

It frustrates me: there's this growing camp of people saying,
"We've been there! We know Java! But we recognize a better thing
when we see it!" but [some] Java people stick their heads in the sand
and say, "I do not like green eggs and ham! I do not like them,
Sam I Am!"

And to a point it's understandable when you've invested all this
time and effort in a system, to not want to start over in a new one.
But it's still disappointing to see.

> So long as it is small enough for a single person or small group to
> maintain. For larger projects, type-safety and mature frameworks save
> time and reduce errors.

I used to think this, too. Now, I'm not so sure.

But, since I'm going to do my best to never work for a large company
again, I don't really care too much. The amount of functionality
a small group can achieve in Python is staggering. The vast majority
of projects won't _need_ more than a handful of developers, with
the acompanying exponential increase in time lost to communication
impedance.

> > - Need for consultants goes down
>
> If your staff isn't skilled enough to work with Java, then I'm sure
> this is true.

Oh, come on. Let's be honest here. Look at poor Ryan over there --
he's barely sure what J2EE _is_, let alone whether his project needs it.
With very few exceptions (*cough* twisted *cough*) you don't
see this kind of bloated monstrosity in the Python world.

Now, here we're conflating Java-the-language with Java-the-set-of-
standards. But you don't see one without the other very often,
and that's where the consultants suck the blood out of the industry.

-Jonathan
--
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Bryan Sant
2006-01-25 23:37:44 UTC
Permalink
On 1/25/06, Jonathan Ellis <jonathan-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> Oh, crap. Somebody pushed Bryan's "Rabid java defense" button.

That's right! And I'll do it again ya hear?! :-)

> Have you actually used a modern dynamic language like Python for more
> than a couple days? Have you used it with a similarly modern IDE,
> like Wing or Komodo?

No, but this sounds like a great PLUG presentation.

> I come from the Java camp. I've presented at the Utah Java UG, twice.
> I'm no novice. But I started doing Python full-time about a year ago
> and I feel _hugely_ more productive.

Really? I have my doubts -- but hey, I've been wrong before. If
someone could out-code me in <lange of choice> with <tool of choice>
doing the things I typically do, I would be really impressed. That is
to say, if you can parse a text file much quicker and easier with perl
-- that's great -- but I don't do that often, so it's less impressive
to me (not that it isn't impressive in its own right).

Another example is Rails. Rails is cool. Now make a GUI app. Make
an image manipulation program. Make an enterprise scale system. I
don't think Ruby is up to the task. I gain some things but loose a
lot more. Nonetheless, I'll surely learn Ruby because it's fun.

> It frustrates me: there's this growing camp of people saying,
> "We've been there! We know Java! But we recognize a better thing
> when we see it!" but [some] Java people stick their heads in the sand
> and say, "I do not like green eggs and ham! I do not like them,
> Sam I Am!"

I do not like green eggs and ham! I do not like them Sam I Am!...
Wo. Was I chanting again?

> And to a point it's understandable when you've invested all this
> time and effort in a system, to not want to start over in a new one.
> But it's still disappointing to see.

I like being a bigot and yet claim that I'm open minded. It's really
convenient. But honestly, I'd like to think that if I saw something
better I would recognize it and admit it. There is some really
impressive stuff out there. Ruby on Rails is awesome. But honestly,
I can do similar things in Java with similar productivity and not
loose out on the runtime performance gains of Java or the massive
amounts of pre-existing OSS apps and libs nor do I need to abandon my
investment in knowing Java very well.

These other languages are improvements for certain problem domains.
But I personally haven't seen anything in another language that just
made me want to dump Java because it was so much better (if better at
all). Perhaps I just see what I want to see.

> > So long as it is small enough for a single person or small group to
> > maintain. For larger projects, type-safety and mature frameworks save
> > time and reduce errors.
>
> I used to think this, too. Now, I'm not so sure.
>
> But, since I'm going to do my best to never work for a large company
> again, I don't really care too much. The amount of functionality
> a small group can achieve in Python is staggering. The vast majority
> of projects won't _need_ more than a handful of developers, with
> the acompanying exponential increase in time lost to communication
> impedance.

Regardless of language you're always going to have better productivity
per head when you have fewer people on a project. However, some
projects are just big. Some are needlessly big because management is
bad, but other times, the problem being solved is just big.

Partly I feel this is why dynamic languages are praised so much. They
are often used for small projects that require fewer people. The
natural consequence is that the team is more productive (because it's
small, not necessarily because of language X per se).

As dynamic languages gain popularity, they will be used for bigger and
bigger projects with bigger and bigger teams and I believe we'll see
productivity tank. The human dynamic is a far bigger productivity
issue than any underlying programming language used.

> > > - Need for consultants goes down
> >
> > If your staff isn't skilled enough to work with Java, then I'm sure
> > this is true.
>
> Oh, come on. Let's be honest here. Look at poor Ryan over there --
> he's barely sure what J2EE _is_, let alone whether his project needs it.
> With very few exceptions (*cough* twisted *cough*) you don't
> see this kind of bloated monstrosity in the Python world.

Good. A lesson learned by evaluating what Java did wrong. Keeping
things light is the right answer. We all know this. We all learned
it at school or through practical experience. Keep it Simple
Stud-muffin. Java has adapted and there are very popular alternatives
that keep things as simple or more simple than the next framework.

> Now, here we're conflating Java-the-language with Java-the-set-of-
> standards. But you don't see one without the other very often,
> and that's where the consultants suck the blood out of the industry.

Surely this is the case for those who wade into overly-complex
systems. EJB is overly-complex for most needs. However, Spring and
Tomcat isn't complex at all. The documentation is great. There a
billions of great books on any conceivable Java topic. The choice to
bring in a consultant is either A) laziness or B) we're stuck with a
really complex framework that we don't care to learn how it works
(aka. EJB 2.x).

-Bryan

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Jonathan Ellis
2006-01-25 23:53:23 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 16:37:44 -0700, "Bryan Sant" <bryan.sant-***@public.gmane.org>
said:
> On 1/25/06, Jonathan Ellis <jonathan-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> > But, since I'm going to do my best to never work for a large company
> > again, I don't really care too much. The amount of functionality
> > a small group can achieve in Python is staggering. The vast majority
> > of projects won't _need_ more than a handful of developers, with
> > the acompanying exponential increase in time lost to communication
> > impedance.
>
> Regardless of language you're always going to have better productivity
> per head when you have fewer people on a project.

True, but that's not what I meant: because per-developer productivity
is higher, you can tackle larger (in terms of functionality) projects
in Python and still keep teams small.

Of course, some projects will still require large teams. I just
can't think of any that would be interesting to work on.

> Partly I feel this is why dynamic languages are praised so much. They
> are often used for small projects that require fewer people. The
> natural consequence is that the team is more productive (because it's
> small, not necessarily because of language X per se).

Studies of single developers show about a 2x productivity boost
for dynamic languages in general over static ones. Clearly the size
of the team can't account for it in such cases.

It's too bad there are no apples-to-apples comparisons like this
for larger teams like this (that I know of). But it's worth noting
that Python doesn't have the maintainability problems that some
dynamic languages have (Perl would be the poster boy here), and
scales much better in that respect.

-Jonathan
--
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Mister E
2006-01-26 00:06:50 UTC
Permalink
Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> ... But it's worth noting
> that Python doesn't have the maintainability problems that some
> dynamic languages have (Perl would be the poster boy here), and
> scales much better in that respect.

Just curious what you meant by "maintainability problems" in Perl. I
work quite a bit in Perl (one of several favorites). I also code and/or
have coded in a host of other languages. I haven't had any probs with
this issue for what I use Perl for. I am curious about your perspective
on the issue.

I haven't tried Python yet, but I am curious enough to give it a whirl
at some point.

Mister Ed




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Michael Torrie
2006-01-26 04:08:44 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 2006-01-25 at 17:06 -0700, Mister E wrote:
> Just curious what you meant by "maintainability problems" in Perl. I
> work quite a bit in Perl (one of several favorites). I also code and/or
> have coded in a host of other languages. I haven't had any probs with
> this issue for what I use Perl for. I am curious about your perspective
> on the issue.

If you have maintainable perl code you are working on that must mean the
original writer was an amazing and meticulous person. Someone who
commented every few lines and functions and didn't do anything weird
with strange perl expressions.

Other that code written very clearly, perl is one of the easiest
languages to write unreadable code in that a future maintainer will have
no hope of understanding. It's not the one always implies the other;
just that it's more probable. One of my CS professors said it best.
Perl is a great language for doing lots of things quickly, and it's very
powerful. However in the hands of most people perl is a "write-only"
language.

>
> I haven't tried Python yet, but I am curious enough to give it a whirl
> at some point.

Python is much easier to read and maintain from my limited experience.
Once you can handle the whitespace strictness. Code is fairly clear and
expressive. There are perl-type regular expression and list processing
routines, but a lot of the weird stuff is gone (admittedly at at the
expense of being a bit more verbose) like $_ and the like.

Michael


>
> Mister Ed
>
>
>
>
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Jonathan Ellis
2006-01-26 13:16:03 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 21:08:44 -0700, "Michael Torrie"
<torriem-1ghGyg2U9Gn2fBVCVOL8/***@public.gmane.org> said:
> Other that code written very clearly, perl is one of the easiest
> languages to write unreadable code in that a future maintainer will have
> no hope of understanding. It's not the one always implies the other;
> just that it's more probable. One of my CS professors said it best.
> Perl is a great language for doing lots of things quickly, and it's very
> powerful. However in the hands of most people perl is a "write-only"
> language.

Often, perl fanboys will respond to this with something like, "but you
can write unmaintainable code in any language!" That's true. However,
as Erik Naggum said, "It's not that perl programmers are idiots, it's
that
the language rewards idiotic behavior in a way that no other language or
tool has ever done." (From a semi-famous post on perl:
http://www.underlevel.net/jordan/erik-perl.txt. Warning: bring a thick
skin if hearing "perl is broken" brings emotions similar to "your
daughter is ugly.")

That's why these days you mostly see sysadmins and other not-really-
experienced developers using Perl. Or, professionals using it as an
awk/sed replacement, which is what it was designed for and which it's
quite good at.

-Jonathan
--
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Stuart Jansen
2006-01-26 14:56:33 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 2006-01-26 at 05:16 -0800, Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> That's why these days you mostly see sysadmins and other not-really-
> experienced developers using Perl. Or, professionals using it as an
> awk/sed replacement, which is what it was designed for and which it's
> quite good at.

So that 60k - 100k developer position recently posting to Plug was
looking for "sysadmins and other not-really-experienced developers using
Perl"? Sign me up!

I submit that you don't know what you're talking about. I further submit
that if you're going to paint with that broad brush, I get to say that
Java is mostly used by pathologically under-productive developers more
interested in job security than providing their employer with a good
return on investment. While PHP programmers are mostly 14 year olds
working out of their bedrooms or graphic designers lying to customers
about their ability to program their way out of a paper sack.

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Jonathan Ellis
2006-01-26 15:15:16 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 26 Jan 2006 07:56:33 -0700, "Stuart Jansen"
<sjansen-***@public.gmane.org> said:
> On Thu, 2006-01-26 at 05:16 -0800, Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> > That's why these days you mostly see sysadmins and other not-really-
> > experienced developers using Perl. Or, professionals using it as an
> > awk/sed replacement, which is what it was designed for and which it's
> > quite good at.
>
> So that 60k - 100k developer position recently posting to Plug was
> looking for "sysadmins and other not-really-experienced developers using
> Perl"? Sign me up!

Some companies have to maintain perl codebases. Poor bastards.

If it was for new development, well, gee, surely it couldn't be a case
of a hiring manager not knowing what he's doing! That never happens!

> I submit that you don't know what you're talking about.

We've been down this road before, haven't we? I think it ended up with
me showing that I'm a lot more experienced in perl than you are in about
anything, and you getting your feelings hurt.

-Jonathan
--
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Jesse Stay
2006-01-26 16:08:27 UTC
Permalink
On 1/26/06, Jonathan Ellis <jonathan-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> Some companies have to maintain perl codebases. Poor bastards.
>
> If it was for new development, well, gee, surely it couldn't be a case
> of a hiring manager not knowing what he's doing! That never happens!

I was trying to just skim through the subjects for interesting
subjects and trying to ignore this one. For some reason every time I
see something with Jonathan's name in it and Java in the subject it
always seems to have some sort of Perl bashing in it so I had to read
this one. I'm not quite sure what Perl has done to you, but clearly
it has left a bitter taste in your mouth.

First of all, from what I'm aware of, in the job listed that you are
talking about the hiring manager I know has way over 10 years of
experience in large and small companies hiring people and choosing
good languages for web development. I think he know what he is doing
and what will make him the most money, my guess would be more than you
do.

I worked at a Java-centric job at my last place of employment (yes,
programming Java), and I can assure you that my current job that is
Perl-centric gets things done at a much faster and better-quality pace
than we were able to at my last job. I also feel the developers are
more educated, more experienced, and more prone to think of
open-source solutions when problems arise.

>From my experience of working with Java developers (I know there are
some very smart ones on this list, so please don't take this as a
personal stab at you), the majority that I am aware of are most aware
of Java, very closed-minded, more prone to choose closed-source
solutions, and generally can't stay as up with the latest trends and
standards, other than those relating to Java. I very much enjoy my
current job over my last because of this openness and speed of
development we are able to work in.

Again (in your words) please don't take this as I just insulted your
daughter or anything. There's still a lot of money to be made in
Java, and if I had to I'd probably do it again to support my family.
These things are just my observation.

Jesse

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Jonathan Ellis
2006-01-26 16:36:50 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 26 Jan 2006 09:08:27 -0700, "Jesse Stay" <jessestay-***@public.gmane.org>
said:
> From my experience of working with Java developers (I know there are
> some very smart ones on this list, so please don't take this as a
> personal stab at you), the majority that I am aware of are most aware
> of Java, very closed-minded, more prone to choose closed-source
> solutions, and generally can't stay as up with the latest trends and
> standards, other than those relating to Java.

Well, if that was directed at me, you're jumping to the wrong
conclusion. If you read a bit farther back, you'll see that I'm not
exactly a Java zealot. And I'm not a perl zealot. So I often
offend both, because I tell Java people, "not all dynamic languages
are as crufty and prone to spaghettiness as perl!" and I tell perl
people, "not all clean language designs are as rigid as Java!"

Sometimes it is hard to be a follower of the Middle Way. :)

-Jonathan
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Barry Roberts
2006-01-26 17:25:02 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, Jan 26, 2006 at 09:08:27AM -0700, Jesse Stay wrote:
>
> >From my experience of working with Java developers (I know there are
> some very smart ones on this list, so please don't take this as a
> personal stab at you), the majority that I am aware of are most aware
> of Java, very closed-minded, more prone to choose closed-source
> solutions, and generally can't stay as up with the latest trends and
> standards, other than those relating to Java. I very much enjoy my
> current job over my last because of this openness and speed of
> development we are able to work in.
>

There are lots of developers like that who program in Visual Basic, C,
C++ (esp. w/ Visual Studio), C#, Cobol, Fortran, etc. There are LOTS
of developers who don't value self-improvement, distrust open source,
and aren't particularly innovative. I don't think most of them enjoy
their jobs.

I submit that all your observations say about Java is that it is
popular. Any language with the mind-share that Java has will be able
to attract the lowest common denominator developer. If Ruby suddenly
made huge inroads in corporate development, you would find the same
thing. There would still be innovative, open-minded developers using
Ruby, and it would still be a good language. Even if a few hundred
thousand programmers who hate programming were forced to start using
it.

Saying "one company is a lousy development environment and they use
java" does not prove anything about the relative merits of a language.
There are LOTS of companies that would suck to work for no matter what
language they chose.

Barry Roberts


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Stuart Jansen
2006-01-26 16:37:26 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 2006-01-26 at 07:15 -0800, Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> We've been down this road before, haven't we? I think it ended up with
> me showing that I'm a lot more experienced in perl than you are in about
> anything, and you getting your feelings hurt.

I assume you're referring to this post:
http://www.plug.org/pipermail/plug/2005-August/016207.html

Let me make a few thing absolutely clear:

1) You attacked and defamed my employer. I called foul. (As did a fellow
Pythonista. http://www.plug.org/pipermail/plug/2005-August/016215.html )

2) You have not demonstrated that you have any more good sense than I.
We're both about equally skilled at using words as weapons, but that's
hardly a mark of qualification. In other words, I do not respect you
enough that you would be able to hurt my feelings. There's only a
handful of people on this list that could.

Going back through the archives to figure out what you were talking
about was interesting, however. It is obvious that you're a former Java
lover converted to Python zealot. If your feelings have been hurt by
Perl programmers repeated attacks... tough. If you want to throw insults
back and forth, I'm game. I've been trying to cut back, but in your case
I'll make an exception.

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Mister E
2006-01-26 20:00:53 UTC
Permalink
Jonathan Ellis wrote:

>>Other that code written very clearly, perl is one of the easiest
>>languages to write unreadable code in that a future maintainer will have
>>no hope of understanding. It's not the one always implies the other;
>>just that it's more probable. One of my CS professors said it best.
>>Perl is a great language for doing lots of things quickly, and it's very
>>powerful. However in the hands of most people perl is a "write-only"
>>language.

Where you one of those this professor directed this comment at? Just
wondering, since you seem to be one with issues about the Perl language,
not to mention any other language discussed that doesn't start with
"py". I thought I might see an intelligent or thoughtful response that
might help me see aspects I haven't found/noticed in Perl about the
maintainability others encounter inthe platform (despite using it for 7
years), per chance I might see someone elses view on this subject and
improve upon it. Instead, I saw a professor's opinion algorithm that
was obviously embraced and deformed when you were "coming of age" in
programming.

I am just happy to see so many great tools to work with, for the most
part. I do remember the old days, and they were fun despite coding 3
weeks to make a computer go beep. However, I like the capabilities of
the current timeframe and the value I can create with those programmign
tools (and I will hopefully continue to evolve as they likewise do so).


>
>
> Often, perl fanboys will respond to this with something like, "but you
> can write unmaintainable code in any language!" That's true. However,
> as Erik Naggum said, "It's not that perl programmers are idiots, it's
> that
> the language rewards idiotic behavior in a way that no other language or
> tool has ever done." (From a semi-famous post on perl:
> http://www.underlevel.net/jordan/erik-perl.txt. Warning: bring a thick
> skin if hearing "perl is broken" brings emotions similar to "your
> daughter is ugly.")

Well my daughter(s) are not ugly, so anyone saying such a comment
regarding my daughters would make me laugh outwardly. Perl is not ugly
either, and since I do not own it emotionally (fer pete's sake, it a
friggin tool), I would need no skin at all ;)

If you notice the date of the post (March 2000), I could then compare
this argument, against any language mind you, to someone dismissing the
current Intel cpu architecture as a broken platform based upon the
capabilities of an outdated 486SX cpu.

Any truly dynamic language will have aspects that will reward idiots. If
it does not, maybe it is not as dynamic as it appears. Python's appears
to be arrogance ;-P

Any weak person can latch onto negativity, but unlike a weak-minded
person, a strong one will look for the positive in in tool or person
they encounter. If the tool does not suit their immediate needs, they
will not use it and then retain it in their arsenal until depreciated,
should a need arise to use it.

> That's why these days you mostly see sysadmins and other not-really-
> experienced developers using Perl.

I think you have Perl confuzzeled with PHP.

It must be pretty lonely where you sit: One tool and all others be
damned ... as well as those that use them.

Mister Ed





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Shane Hathaway
2006-01-27 08:40:51 UTC
Permalink
Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 21:08:44 -0700, "Michael Torrie"
> <torriem-1ghGyg2U9Gn2fBVCVOL8/***@public.gmane.org> said:
>
>>Other that code written very clearly, perl is one of the easiest
>>languages to write unreadable code in that a future maintainer will have
>>no hope of understanding. It's not the one always implies the other;
>>just that it's more probable. One of my CS professors said it best.
>>Perl is a great language for doing lots of things quickly, and it's very
>>powerful. However in the hands of most people perl is a "write-only"
>>language.
>
>
> Often, perl fanboys will respond to this with something like, "but you
> can write unmaintainable code in any language!" That's true. However,
> as Erik Naggum said, "It's not that perl programmers are idiots, it's
> that
> the language rewards idiotic behavior in a way that no other language or
> tool has ever done." (From a semi-famous post on perl:
> http://www.underlevel.net/jordan/erik-perl.txt. Warning: bring a thick
> skin if hearing "perl is broken" brings emotions similar to "your
> daughter is ugly.")
>
> That's why these days you mostly see sysadmins and other not-really-
> experienced developers using Perl. Or, professionals using it as an
> awk/sed replacement, which is what it was designed for and which it's
> quite good at.

While I also prefer Python, putting down Perl programmers is
counterproductive.

I actually think Perl has a really provocative philosophy. As I
understand it, Larry Wall is a linguist, and he has observed that spoken
languages evolve in strange ways, so why shouldn't programming languages
do the same? The result might be a programming language that
assimilates new concepts with ease, enabling it to progress faster than
other languages, at the cost of having no absolute rules. Combine that
with the open source philosophy and you have an exciting language.

Java is admirable because it knows its target audience. Programmers
want an assurance that their software will be fast, they don't want to
manage memory at a low level, they don't want to care about different
operating systems, and they want to assemble software like a puzzle.
Java makes those ideals a top priority and fulfills them pretty well.

Python has similar ideals, but it puts places readability as a higher
priority than all others. After all, good code will be read a lot more
times than it's written, so optimizing for the common case means
everything should be expressed as clearly as possible. Python can be
abused like any other language, of course; I've written a few unreadable
hacks myself. But for the most part, Python code is readable. It's
also easy to write, fast, cross-platform, and very modular.

I haven't studied Ruby in the same depth, but Ruby seems to be the
language that says "Perl's philosophy is good, but let's guide the
evolution a little more." That's a mature attitude, so I suspect Ruby
is going to continue gathering well-deserved popularity.

Shane

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Gabriel Gunderson
2006-01-27 09:35:46 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 2006-01-27 at 01:40 -0700, Shane Hathaway wrote:
> I actually think Perl has a really provocative philosophy. As I
> understand it, Larry Wall is a linguist, and he has observed that
> spoken languages evolve in strange ways, so why shouldn't programming
> languages do the same? The result might be a programming language
> that assimilates new concepts with ease, enabling it to progress
> faster than other languages, at the cost of having no absolute rules.
> Combine that with the open source philosophy and you have an exciting
> language

Somewhere in there is a good joke about Perl and [1]Pidgin. Until I
find it, all I have to say is, "Perl full on da-kine, brah."

Gabe

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pidgin


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Jonathan Ellis
2006-01-27 14:38:51 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 27 Jan 2006 01:40:51 -0700, "Shane Hathaway"
<shane-***@public.gmane.org> said
> While I also prefer Python, putting down Perl programmers is
> counterproductive.

When I was young I started out programming in Turbo Pascal. My high
school actually had a Usenet feed back then, 1990-ish. I bridled at
the posts I'd occasionally see along the lines of, "Pascal is an okay
teaching language, but it's a poor substitute for C when you need to
get things done." Eventually, years later, I found out they were
right. I also began to understand that even for someone passionate
about programming, it's possible to not take it personally when
someone points out shortcomings in your primary language.

Which is the long way of saying, I hope the the distinction between
"putting down Perl" and "putting down Perl programmers" is not lost
here.

I'm just tired of the whole "as long as a language is Turing complete,
it doesn't matter what you use!" crap, expressed sometimes (as I
mentioned) as "but you can write spaghetti code in any language!"

Look, if a language is known primarily for being prone to degenerate
into spaghetti if everyone isn't very careful, something's wrong,
and when the best apology is pointing out that you can write bad Lisp
or Python or Smalltalk if you really _try_, well, I think we all know
what that means even if some of us (obviously not me) are too polite
to say it. :)

> I actually think Perl has a really provocative philosophy. As I
> understand it, Larry Wall is a linguist, and he has observed that spoken
> languages evolve in strange ways, so why shouldn't programming languages
> do the same?

Yes, it was an interesting experiment. The problem is that the verdict
has been in for years now, and it is that "a computer language that
doesn't design for orthogonality doesn't lead to Code Poetry; it leads,
more often than not, to a mess."

But I realize this isn't really a programmer's list, so I'll shut up
now.

-Jonathan
--
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Brian Hawkins
2006-01-27 16:05:22 UTC
Permalink
Please stop the pissing contest!!! It is not productive and just fills
my in-box with crap.

Look programing computers is fun, no matter what language you do it in.
And if you can get someone to pay you to do it, that's even better.

Lets all try and put our competitive egos aside (I know this may be
difficult for people in our profession) and use a positive ad campaign
in our posts. If a person has a problem with X in language Y and you
were able to do X in language Z, by all means suggest it and even better
post a web site that has more information about doing X in language Z.
Trouncing on language Y only irritates people.

Now can't we all just get along? Come on lets have a great big PLUG hug :)

Brian
Josh Coates
2006-01-27 16:13:10 UTC
Permalink
>It is not productive and

reasonable discussion is always productive, and this particular discussion
hasn't been without merit.

> just fills my in-box with crap.

filter.

> Now can't we all just get along?

no.

/me hugs brian

-josh


> -----Original Message-----
> From: plug-bounces-***@public.gmane.org [mailto:plug-bounces-***@public.gmane.org] On
> Behalf Of Brian Hawkins
> Sent: Friday, January 27, 2006 9:05 AM
> To: Provo Linux Users Group Mailing List
> Subject: Re: Programing [was: in defense of X]
>
> Please stop the pissing contest!!! It is not productive and
> just fills my in-box with crap.
>
> Look programing computers is fun, no matter what language you
> do it in.
> And if you can get someone to pay you to do it, that's even better.
>
> Lets all try and put our competitive egos aside (I know this
> may be difficult for people in our profession) and use a
> positive ad campaign in our posts. If a person has a problem
> with X in language Y and you were able to do X in language Z,
> by all means suggest it and even better post a web site that
> has more information about doing X in language Z.
> Trouncing on language Y only irritates people.
>
> Now can't we all just get along? Come on lets have a great
> big PLUG hug :)
>
> Brian
>


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Justin Findlay
2006-01-27 17:35:36 UTC
Permalink
On 1/27/06, Brian Hawkins <brianhks-BYHubErIwDGZvNlLnfxc/***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> Please stop the pissing contest!!! It is not productive and just fills
> my in-box with crap.

I was about to take this plug thingy back for a refund since it wasn't
living up to its NFPA rating as advertized, but now things are looking
up.

> Look programing computers is fun, no matter what language you do it in.
> And if you can get someone to pay you to do it, that's even better.

I disagree. Nobody can have fun programming in COBOL unless you have
a malicous sense of fun or your sense of rationale is highly
exceptionable. There. Now I've said it. (-:


Justin

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Charles Curley
2006-01-27 19:19:17 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, Jan 27, 2006 at 10:35:36AM -0700, Justin Findlay wrote:
> On 1/27/06, Brian Hawkins <brianhks-BYHubErIwDGZvNlLnfxc/***@public.gmane.org> wrote:

>
> > Look programing computers is fun, no matter what language you do it in.
> > And if you can get someone to pay you to do it, that's even better.
>
> I disagree. Nobody can have fun programming in COBOL unless you have
> a malicous sense of fun or your sense of rationale is highly
> exceptionable. There. Now I've said it. (-:

WHAT! Insult COBOL, will you! As one of the Lords of COBOL, sir, I am
offended. I demand satisfaction, sir. I demand wet Hollerith cards at
50 paces! My seconds will be contacting you!

--

Charles Curley /"\ ASCII Ribbon Campaign
Looking for fine software \ / Respect for open standards
and/or writing? X No HTML/RTF in email
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Stuart Jansen
2006-01-27 16:55:47 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 2006-01-27 at 06:38 -0800, Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> Which is the long way of saying, I hope the the distinction between
> "putting down Perl" and "putting down Perl programmers" is not lost
> here.

I think you're either missing or deliberately ignoring an important
message here. I'm probably the most abrasive person on this list, and
I've never been told I was being insulting so many times as you have
recently.

There could be a couple of reasons for that. One is that I generally try
not to attack people. (Which is different from avoiding making people
mad.) I strongly dislike PHP. As a result, I often say things like:

"I've suffered too much at the hands of PHP." "Most PHP code I've read
is hopelessly ugly spagehetti." "PHP has a horrible security track
record." "Everything I need to know about PHP-Nuke I learned from
bugtraq." "The point at which you create addslashes() should be the
point at which you realize something is horribly wrong."

I try not to say "All PHP users are amateurs."

Instead, it could be that the list has gotten used to me and has decided
I'm hopeless. In which case, welcome to the group, you seem to be
developing a reputation too.

The final possibility is that the majority of the list has blacklisted
me and never sees my message. Is that really a path you want to follow?
Either way, I suggest you think about why people have been giving you
the feedback they have.

Finally, if there's any confusion about the 'distinction between
"putting down Perl" and "putting down Perl programmers"', it's entirely
your fault. You've not been doing a good job of maintaining the
distinction.

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Roberto Mello
2006-01-27 17:07:28 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, Jan 27, 2006 at 09:55:47AM -0700, Stuart Jansen wrote:
>
> Finally, if there's any confusion about the 'distinction between
> "putting down Perl" and "putting down Perl programmers"', it's entirely
> your fault. You've not been doing a good job of maintaining the
> distinction.

That sentence is adamant and certain that it seems to take the
reader's interpreation of Jonathan's messages completely out of the
equation. It also seems pretty darn close to an ad hominem.

Meaning implied differs from meaning interpreted. For people with strong
sentiments and/or investments in something that is been criticized, an
obvious defense mechanism would be to vehemently deny that criticism.

Attempting to be fair, I have not seen anything in Jonathan's Perl
messages that implied "Perl programmers suck".

-Roberto

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Stuart Jansen
2006-01-27 17:23:28 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 2006-01-27 at 10:07 -0700, Roberto Mello wrote:
> On Fri, Jan 27, 2006 at 09:55:47AM -0700, Stuart Jansen wrote:
> >
> > Finally, if there's any confusion about the 'distinction between
> > "putting down Perl" and "putting down Perl programmers"', it's entirely
> > your fault. You've not been doing a good job of maintaining the
> > distinction.
>
> That sentence is adamant and certain that it seems to take the
> reader's interpreation of Jonathan's messages completely out of the
> equation. It also seems pretty darn close to an ad hominem.

Yup. I never did go for subtle.

I see the difference between my behavior and Jonathon's thusly: I knew
that what I was saying was overbroad and likely to inflame. I accepted
that (and the inherent chance it would be completely ignored). He
claimed his presentation wasn't meant to insult or inflame and that
everyone else was at fault for misinterpreting him. He's been repeatedly
and kindly told (by others) that he was being insulting and seem to be
unwilling to acknowledge that fact. I'm pretty handy with a sledge
hammer, so I chose to use it.

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Mister E
2006-01-27 17:09:56 UTC
Permalink
Stuart Jansen wrote:
> Instead, it could be that the list has gotten used to me and has decided
> I'm hopeless.

I don't think yer hopeless. I dream of the day when the cuddly little
teddy bear inside you, just hankerin to get loose, will finally be able
to express himself ;-P

Mister Ed




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Shane Hathaway
2006-01-27 17:06:05 UTC
Permalink
Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> Which is the long way of saying, I hope the the distinction between
> "putting down Perl" and "putting down Perl programmers" is not lost
> here.

Well, you put down programmers, not the language, when you said "That's
why these days you mostly see sysadmins and other not-really-experienced
developers using Perl." Even if no one in the group takes such a remark
personally, it's more likely to invite flames than useful discussion. I
think most of us don't like to wade through flames.

> Look, if a language is known primarily for being prone to degenerate
> into spaghetti if everyone isn't very careful, something's wrong,
> and when the best apology is pointing out that you can write bad Lisp
> or Python or Smalltalk if you really _try_, well, I think we all know
> what that means even if some of us (obviously not me) are too polite
> to say it. :)

Personally, I'm less interested in which language is most productive and
more interested in seeing language design experiments. The design of a
language strongly influences the way programmers think, and I'd like to
discover the best ways to think.

I consider Perl to be an ongoing experiment with only early conclusions.
I used to think that the C experiment was complete, but then I wrote
some microcontroller code last year using CC5X, which implements a
variant of C. This variant has no pointers. It turned out to be easier
to write than JAL, a high level language designed for microcontrollers.
I was quite surprised; clearly there's something there for me to learn.

Shane

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Jonathan Ellis
2006-01-27 18:14:46 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 27 Jan 2006 10:06:05 -0700, "Shane Hathaway"
<shane-***@public.gmane.org> said:
> Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> > Which is the long way of saying, I hope the the distinction between
> > "putting down Perl" and "putting down Perl programmers" is not lost
> > here.
>
> Well, you put down programmers, not the language, when you said "That's
> why these days you mostly see sysadmins and other not-really-experienced
> developers using Perl."

It's no sin to be inexperienced. We all start that way. Just like me
and my Pascal.

-Jonathan
--
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Levi Pearson
2006-01-27 18:29:06 UTC
Permalink
On Jan 27, 2006, at 11:14 AM, Jonathan Ellis wrote:
>>
>> Well, you put down programmers, not the language, when you said
>> "That's
>> why these days you mostly see sysadmins and other not-really-
>> experienced
>> developers using Perl."
>
> It's no sin to be inexperienced. We all start that way. Just like me
> and my Pascal.

You have clearly implied that any developer that continues to use
Perl must be inexperienced, and will eventually 'grow out of it' like
you apparently grew out of Pascal. The weasel word 'mostly' doesn't
get you out of that.

That's both clearly false (by evidence of many counterexamples) and
insulting to anyone who is experienced and chooses to use perl. If
you didn't intend that, fess up an apologize. Otherwise, admit that
you intended to be insulting and quit pretending that you have a real
argument.

I don't like perl, but that doesn't make perl an inherently bad
language or somehow unsuitable for software development work.

--Levi




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Jonathan Ellis
2006-01-27 18:59:56 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 27 Jan 2006 11:29:06 -0700, "Levi Pearson" <levi-***@public.gmane.org> said:
> On Jan 27, 2006, at 11:14 AM, Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> > It's no sin to be inexperienced. We all start that way. Just like me
> > and my Pascal.
>
> You have clearly implied that any developer that continues to use
> Perl must be inexperienced, and will eventually 'grow out of it' like
> you apparently grew out of Pascal. The weasel word 'mostly' doesn't
> get you out of that.

My apologies for not having a peer-reviewed study correlating experience
with perl use. Still, that is definitely the case: experienced Perl
developers, who experiment with other languages, tend not to stay
with Perl. You can see this happening in both the Python and the
Ruby communities... but you almost never see someone moving the
other way.

This has been a very clear pattern if you follow the respective usenet
groups. If it's insulting to say so, so be it. Please continue
shooting the messenger. :)

> That's both clearly false (by evidence of many counterexamples)

Sure, you can find exceptions for every rule... Except in your world,
where acknowledging that is "weasely." Good luck with that whole
black and white thing.

-Jonathan
--
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Stuart Jansen
2006-01-27 19:07:43 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 2006-01-27 at 10:59 -0800, Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> My apologies for not having a peer-reviewed study correlating experience
> with perl use.

Thank you for using sarcasm to indicate you aren't sorry. That's much
better than claiming your were unfairly misunderstood.

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Levi Pearson
2006-01-27 19:11:01 UTC
Permalink
On Jan 27, 2006, at 11:59 AM, Jonathan Ellis wrote:
>
> This has been a very clear pattern if you follow the respective usenet
> groups. If it's insulting to say so, so be it. Please continue
> shooting the messenger. :)
>

You, Mr. Experience, should know better than to draw conclusions from
'patterns' of usenet traffic. Proportions of vocal people are not
necessarily very related to proportions of the whole group. That's
just a silly argument. But you didn't really intend an argument,
just an insult, so there's no need to back up your assertions with
real facts, right?

>> That's both clearly false (by evidence of many counterexamples)
>
> Sure, you can find exceptions for every rule... Except in your world,
> where acknowledging that is "weasely." Good luck with that whole
> black and white thing.

Certainly enough exceptions to a rule will eventually invalidate it
as a rule. Unless the rule is simply a personal belief, held based
on opinion and vague notions of behavior of a fuzzy, non-
representative group. Good luck with that whole making informed
decisions thing.

--Levi


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Jonathan Ellis
2006-01-27 19:33:03 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 27 Jan 2006 12:11:01 -0700, "Levi Pearson" <levi-***@public.gmane.org> said:
>
> On Jan 27, 2006, at 11:59 AM, Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> >
> > This has been a very clear pattern if you follow the respective usenet
> > groups. If it's insulting to say so, so be it. Please continue
> > shooting the messenger. :)
>
> You, Mr. Experience, should know better than to draw conclusions from
> 'patterns' of usenet traffic. Proportions of vocal people are not
> necessarily very related to proportions of the whole group.

So _that's_ why I haven't seen any impassioned perl users vehemently
defending their choice in this thread! :P

Come on, this isn't that hard, Levi. Usenet is only an invalid sample
if for some reason ex-python or ex-ruby people turned out to be
inherently less vocal than ex-perl people.

... Unless you've already made up your mind ahead of time that any
evidence in favor of my position must be inherently invalid, in which
case you might as well go back to the ad hominem attacks.

> That's
> just a silly argument. But you didn't really intend an argument,
> just an insult, so there's no need to back up your assertions with
> real facts, right?

Ahh, right on cue.

Well, now that you've cleared that up, I guess we're done here.

-Jonathan
--
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Daniel C.
2006-01-27 19:42:38 UTC
Permalink
You're all language nazis. Whatever your language is, you're a
that-language nazi. That's all I have to say about it.

dtc

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Mister E
2006-01-27 19:27:54 UTC
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Jonathan Ellis wrote:

>>That's both clearly false (by evidence of many counterexamples)
>
> Sure, you can find exceptions for every rule... Except in your world,
> where acknowledging that is "weasely." Good luck with that whole
> black and white thing.
>

this wreaks of hypocrisy

ME




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Mister E
2006-01-27 19:31:25 UTC
Permalink
Mister E wrote:

> Jonathan Ellis wrote:
>
>>> That's both clearly false (by evidence of many counterexamples)
>>
>>
>> Sure, you can find exceptions for every rule... Except in your world,
>> where acknowledging that is "weasely." Good luck with that whole
>> black and white thing.
>>
>
> this wreaks of hypocrisy
errr ... reek it should have been





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Stuart Jansen
2006-01-27 19:39:38 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 2006-01-27 at 12:31 -0700, Mister E wrote:
> > this wreaks of hypocrisy
> errr ... reek it should have been

This, ladies and gentleman, is what I call a "stopping to smell the
roses" moment.

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Mister E
2006-01-27 19:50:41 UTC
Permalink
Stuart Jansen wrote:

> On Fri, 2006-01-27 at 12:31 -0700, Mister E wrote:
>
>>>this wreaks of hypocrisy
>>
>> errr ... reek it should have been
>
>
> This, ladies and gentleman, is what I call a "stopping to smell the
> roses" moment.
>
That ain't no rose you got your nose up against ;-P



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Jason Hall
2006-01-27 20:04:05 UTC
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Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> My apologies for not having a peer-reviewed study correlating experience
> with perl use. Still, that is definitely the case: experienced Perl
> developers, who experiment with other languages, tend not to stay
> with Perl. You can see this happening in both the Python and the
> Ruby communities... but you almost never see someone moving the
> other way.

survey says... X

Easy example, look at the company I work at. Plenty of developers, from
a large variety of programming backgrounds, and we use Perl for our
development platform.

Is it because it's all we know? Quite the opposite actually. It's not
like we learned it in college. It's not like we've never used anything
else. We chose to.

As for staying with Perl, you are quite mistaken. Yes people often learn
it, and some do decide they like other things. But many go the other
direction. Just because you sit in one camp and see people headed your
way, doesn't make it a one way street. There are a lot of us, and we're
growing.

--
Jayce^

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Jayce^
2006-01-27 20:08:45 UTC
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Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> My apologies for not having a peer-reviewed study correlating experience
> with perl use. Still, that is definitely the case: experienced Perl
> developers, who experiment with other languages, tend not to stay
> with Perl. You can see this happening in both the Python and the
> Ruby communities... but you almost never see someone moving the
> other way.
>
> This has been a very clear pattern if you follow the respective usenet
> groups. If it's insulting to say so, so be it. Please continue
> shooting the messenger. :)
>
>> That's both clearly false (by evidence of many counterexamples)
>
> Sure, you can find exceptions for every rule... Except in your world,
> where acknowledging that is "weasely." Good luck with that whole
> black and white thing.

And this is an excellent example of what I dislike about the python
community at large. There comes a point where, like the language
itself, all the users begin channeling the ego of Guido.

--
Jayce^

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dataw0lf
2006-01-27 21:04:41 UTC
Permalink
Jayce^ wrote:

> And this is an excellent example of what I dislike about the python
> community at large. There comes a point where, like the language
> itself, all the users begin channeling the ego of Guido.
>
Hehe.

For everyone : please don't take Mr. Ellis as a representative from the
Python community at large. Most of us are at least semi sensible
(unless it's a full moon, then, as Jayce^ mentioned, we turn into
wereguidos).

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Jacob Fugal
2006-01-30 17:26:41 UTC
Permalink
On 1/27/06, Jonathan Ellis <jonathan-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> On Fri, 27 Jan 2006 11:29:06 -0700, "Levi Pearson" <levi-***@public.gmane.org> said:
> > You have clearly implied that any developer that continues to use
> > Perl must be inexperienced, and will eventually 'grow out of it' like
> > you apparently grew out of Pascal. The weasel word 'mostly' doesn't
> > get you out of that.
>
> My apologies for not having a peer-reviewed study correlating experience
> with perl use. Still, that is definitely the case: experienced Perl
> developers, who experiment with other languages, tend not to stay
> with Perl. You can see this happening in both the Python and the
> Ruby communities... but you almost never see someone moving the
> other way.

I'll stand up as one that has moved from Perl to Ruby. Ruby is my
preferred language. Yet I still program in Perl *very* frequently. And
I don't mind it. Does that make me a sysadmin or not-very-experienced
developer? I leave that to the judgement of those that know me. Your
opinion is not representative of either of those communities.

Jacob Fugal

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Stuart Jansen
2006-01-27 18:34:06 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 2006-01-27 at 10:14 -0800, Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> On Fri, 27 Jan 2006 10:06:05 -0700, "Shane Hathaway"
> <shane-***@public.gmane.org> said:
> > Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> > > Which is the long way of saying, I hope the the distinction between
> > > "putting down Perl" and "putting down Perl programmers" is not lost
> > > here.
> >
> > Well, you put down programmers, not the language, when you said "That's
> > why these days you mostly see sysadmins and other not-really-experienced
> > developers using Perl."
>
> It's no sin to be inexperienced. We all start that way. Just like me
> and my Pascal.

You honestly don't get it, do you? You're statement can be be reworded
as: "Experienced programmers don't use Perl, Sysadmins do." You've
insulted experienced Perl users (by implying they don't exist). You've
insulted sysadmins (by implying they're all a lesser class of
programmer).

Contrary to popular misconception, being a geek is no excuse for lack of
social awareness. You can be honest, you can be blunt, you can be
inflammatory. (I'm all of those and worse.) But if you repeatedly insult
people without meaning to, there's something wrong. You need to debug
and resolve the problem. (Or acknowledge and ignore as I usually do, but
then don't be shocked when people get upset.)

--
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Stuart Jansen
2006-01-27 17:13:41 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 2006-01-27 at 06:38 -0800, Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> Yes, it was an interesting experiment. The problem is that the verdict
> has been in for years now, and it is that "a computer language that
> doesn't design for orthogonality doesn't lead to Code Poetry; it leads,
> more often than not, to a mess."

That's an interesting hypothesis, do you have any data to back it? On my
side, I have all of CPAN and the significant effort to create Perl 6. If
Perl is dead, there's an awful lot of people that haven't noticed yet.

Let me put this simply: Perl is more powerful than Python for certain
things. Name one? Unicode. Because of the widespread availability of
PyGTK, I wanted to write a recent project in Python. When I started
exploring some of the core functionality, I discovered that only the
absolutely most recent version of Python could do what I needed. Perl
had more completely integrated Unicode for longer, so I ended up using
Perl.

Sure I could have used Java instead, but I think we both know why I
wanted to Perl/Python or Ruby.

Name another? Higher order programming. Python is occasionally presented
as being Lisp with a more standard syntax. Perl is actually closer. (I
don't have the link, but could google for it if you absolutely insist.)
Perl programmers are embracing that. Meanwhile rumor has it that Python
is planning on getting rid of lambda. (Which is a crying shame because
lambda helped make PyGTK programming more enjoyable.)

Frankly, Python is more closely related to Java (without the insane
over-engineering) than it is to Lisp. Where I sit on the language
spectrum, that means I enjoy using it much less.

Sure, it's easy to write short, unreadable Perl code. Try to write
something larger without any discipline, however, and your project will
quickly collapse under its own weight. You can then blame the language
or blame yourself and try learn from the many examples of well written
Perl code. Well written, large, maintainable projects can be and are
written in Perl. (With noticeable exceptions like Bugzilla. But using it
as proof that Perl is hopeless is kinda like finding a well written PHP
program and holding it up as proof that all PHP is well written.)

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Bryan Sant
2006-01-27 17:12:43 UTC
Permalink
On 1/27/06, Jonathan Ellis <jonathan-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> Which is the long way of saying, I hope the the distinction between
> "putting down Perl" and "putting down Perl programmers" is not lost
> here.

I'm against that EVIL and IMMORAL and ILLEGAL war in
Iraq!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyone who supports or signs up to fight in that
war is an IDIOT!!!!!
Oh... But I support the troops. :-)

-Bryan

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Bryan Sant
2006-01-27 17:27:34 UTC
Permalink
On 1/27/06, Bryan Sant <bryan.sant-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> On 1/27/06, Jonathan Ellis <jonathan-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> > Which is the long way of saying, I hope the the distinction between
> > "putting down Perl" and "putting down Perl programmers" is not lost
> > here.
>
> I'm against that EVIL and IMMORAL and ILLEGAL war in
> Iraq!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Anyone who supports or signs up to fight in that
> war is an IDIOT!!!!!
> Oh... But I support the troops. :-)
>
> -Bryan

Somehow I know this post is going to come back to bite me next time I
try the same tactic :-). Windows as a server platform *is* stupid,
but not all Windows admins are stupid. There, I've already found a
counter example that I agree with.

I'll say this though. Even though I don't agree with everyone on this
list: Jonathan, Stewart (and others who are avid Java haters). At
least you guys are speaking from experience. Sometimes that
experience is limited -- but it's not just emotion driven bull crap
(well mostly :-)). Even when these flame wars irrupt and things get a
little rough, I still respect the experience that you all have.

I personally learn more from our fights, than the casual discussions.
So, keep throwing those hand grenades! ;-)

-Bryan

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Stuart Jansen
2006-01-27 17:35:21 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 2006-01-27 at 10:27 -0700, Bryan Sant wrote:
> I personally learn more from our fights, than the casual discussions.
> So, keep throwing those hand grenades! ;-)

/me dumps a pallet of thick J2EE books on Bryan

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Ross Werner
2006-01-27 17:47:11 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 27 Jan 2006, Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> Look, if a language is known primarily for being prone to degenerate
> into spaghetti if everyone isn't very careful, something's wrong,
> and when the best apology is pointing out that you can write bad Lisp
> or Python or Smalltalk

Where I'm confused is that through this entire conversation you haven't
pointed to a single example of a way that Perl is "prone to degenerate
into spaghetti". Every major Perl project I've looked at, the code has
been surprisingly easy to read. I gave you my example of frozen bubble and
haven't received a response, not even a "Well that's obviously an example
where the programmers were REALLY careful and managed not to fall into all
of the Evil Traps that exist for the poor, ignorant Perl programmer."

I know it's de rigeur these days to bash Perl for being unreadable
("obfuscated Perl contest? Isn't that redundant?"), but I have yet to see,
in a major project, this idea of Perl being "prone to degenerate into
spaghetti".

*What*, exactly, about the language causes this? And can you find any
examples of how it's true in projects out there? Surely your opinions must
be based on some feature in the language that you see time and time again
being abused and turning otherwise decent code into an unreadable mess?

~ Ross

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Bryan Sant
2006-01-27 18:25:10 UTC
Permalink
On 1/27/06, Ross Werner <ross-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> On Fri, 27 Jan 2006, Jonathan Ellis wrote:
> ("obfuscated Perl contest? Isn't that redundant?")

Ha! That's awesome. I'm going to use that line in the future :-).

> *What*, exactly, about the language causes this? And can you find any
> examples of how it's true in projects out there? Surely your opinions must
> be based on some feature in the language that you see time and time again
> being abused and turning otherwise decent code into an unreadable mess?

I can't speak for Jonathan, and I'm not a perl hater, but I would say
that perl is (or at least can be) messy because the syntax is too
rich. There are too many ways to express the same thing. To be fair,
a developer's personality will shine through in the way they write
code with any language. But perl allows a *way* bigger spectrum of
coding style. I'm far more likely to run into perl code that was
written in a totally bazaar fashion compared to *my* perl coding
style. This makes life harder for me more often. Though perl's
liberal syntax was working *with* the original author's way of
thinking, it is now working *against* me and the way I think now that
I have to maintain the prior guys "crap" (crap from my perspective not
the original author or even another developer).

In a more structured language like Python or Java, I am less likely to
run into someone else's code that looks so different from how I would
have written it myself (syntax-wise) because the language syntax is
comparatively restricted. I view this as "a good thing" (tm). I like
consistency and predictability. But you may not like those
trade-offs. That's cool. But it's fair to say that more people
consider the majority of perl code they come across as "messy" because
"no two people write perl the same" (I know this is an exaggeration).

-Bryan

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Jayce^
2006-01-26 15:24:12 UTC
Permalink
Mister E wrote:
> Jonathan Ellis wrote:
>> ... But it's worth noting
>> that Python doesn't have the maintainability problems that some
>> dynamic languages have (Perl would be the poster boy here), and
>> scales much better in that respect.
>
> Just curious what you meant by "maintainability problems" in Perl. I
> work quite a bit in Perl (one of several favorites). I also code and/or
> have coded in a host of other languages. I haven't had any probs with
> this issue for what I use Perl for. I am curious about your perspective
> on the issue.

It's the classic flame against Perl. It's flexible, so therefore, it
must be messy. Basically Perl code is a reflection of the developer.
The team I work with just happens to write beautiful Perl code, that is
very much "Enterprise" level, and we do it in a fraction of the time as
other divisions of our company that use other languages. (Oh, and do
more with less hardware).

Basically, different languages not only have different strengths for
different situations, but their whole composition has strengths that
make it better for different people. You see people here have mentioned
how easy and great python is for reading (something they seem to mention
endlessly), and yet when I was choosing between Perl and Python to learn
way back in the day, I absolutely found Perl more readable. Why?
because it fits me better. Python for some, Perl for others, use the
one that is easier for you. For me, Python seemed to bring all the
things I didn't like about Java to a scripting language, without the
good features.

--
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Mister E
2006-01-26 17:49:29 UTC
Permalink
Jayce^ wrote:
> It's the classic flame against Perl. It's flexible, so therefore, it
> must be messy. Basically Perl code is a reflection of the developer.


I think any code is the reflection of the programmer(s). I've have been
coding as a regular job or on the side for over 25 years. Started in
Fortran 77, Cobol, Pascal RPG II, and yes even did a bit of card punch.
No matter the language, you will find zealots as well as poor
excuses for programmers.

>
> Basically, different languages not only have different strengths for
> different situations, but their whole composition has strengths that
> make it better for different people. You see people here have mentioned
> how easy and great python is for reading (something they seem to mention
> endlessly), and yet when I was choosing between Perl and Python to learn
> way back in the day, I absolutely found Perl more readable. Why?
> because it fits me better. Python for some, Perl for others, use the
> one that is easier for you. For me, Python seemed to bring all the
> things I didn't like about Java to a scripting language, without the
> good features.

I found PERL to be highly readable and easy to grasp it's TIMTOWTDI
concept. I like the language a lot, but more so the philosophy behind
it. However, I know some of the core folks involved in the Ruby on Rail
project, I like the direction of that language as well. If I could I'd
list all the ones I enjoy, but these two top my list at the current
time, in regards to enjoyment.

Mister Ed




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Hans Fugal
2006-01-26 02:25:09 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 at 16:37 -0700, Bryan Sant wrote:
> Another example is Rails. Rails is cool. Now make a GUI app. Make
> an image manipulation program. Make an enterprise scale system. I
> don't think Ruby is up to the task. I gain some things but loose a
> lot more. Nonetheless, I'll surely learn Ruby because it's fun.

I don't understand why you feel that dynamic languages are not "up to
the task" of doing what you feel are "serious" tasks.

Let's step back and rewind a few years. When I first learned Java, GUI
apps were much more painful to create than they are now in ruby. Swing
came along and things improved, but my memory of swing implies that
doing it in ruby is still easier. Haven't tried SWT.

Was java always enterprise-scale? I'm sure Sun had that in mind from the
beginning, so maybe it had that potential, but it really was slow. The
whole world didn't just imagine that part. Its performance is good now,
but it was slow.

Image manipulation program... I'm not sure what you're referring to, is
there a popular one written in java? I'm not much into image
manipulation so I may have just missed it. I am an audio guy though, and
I have written audio processing in C/C++ and ruby both, so I feel like I
can speak to this point to a degree. It's slower in ruby, just like it
(is|was) slower in java than in C. Even so, in some cases I might choose
ruby over C even in this domain - where speed wasn't as critical. Where
UI and speed both are critical, I'd probably do the signal processing in
C and the UI in ruby. There's certainly nothing stopping me from taking
that approach, and it works well.

Will ruby overcome the speed/"enterprise" issue? Only time will tell but
I believe it will. Some very smart people are working hard on that as we
speak. When Java started out, it was the crazy language doing this OO
stuff that nobody could possibly make fast like C. Just remember that.

Oh, and you're right, rails is cool and ruby is fun. Make the right
choice for your needs today, but don't underestimate the up-and-comings.
It's not _ruby_ that "isn't up to" your tasks, it's the current
implementation thereof.

> These other languages are improvements for certain problem domains.
> But I personally haven't seen anything in another language that just
> made me want to dump Java because it was so much better (if better at
> all). Perhaps I just see what I want to see.

Perhaps you have too much invested in Java. I'm not saying you're the
devil for it, don't get me wrong. I've got this C# book sitting on my
shelf that I've been meaning to read, and I've always wanted to take a
look at python. But my needs have always been served by C++ and ruby, so
I don't. Fact is, even a language like ruby does take effort to learn.
Those of us over here will tell you it's worth the effort, but only you
can really decide whether to take that plunge. If you're really
interested in doing some osmosis on ruby, stick Jim Weirich's blog in
your RSS feeds: http://onestepback.org/index.cgi He's a ruby bigshot
that comes from a java background, and still does java by day if I'm not
mistaken.

> Partly I feel this is why dynamic languages are praised so much. They
> are often used for small projects that require fewer people. The
> natural consequence is that the team is more productive (because it's
> small, not necessarily because of language X per se).

I don't have statistics, but I believe the majority of programmers out
there are on small teams doing in-house applications. So this is a big
deal. I agree with you though, different tasks take different tools.
Sometimes java is that tool (I would argue primarily because of the
prior work rather than the language itself, but the fact remains),
sometimes C is that tool, etc. But a lot of the time, a dynamic language
does the job and does it with less pain.

> As dynamic languages gain popularity, they will be used for bigger and
> bigger projects with bigger and bigger teams and I believe we'll see
> productivity tank. The human dynamic is a far bigger productivity
> issue than any underlying programming language used.

Time will tell. I believe you are erroneously equating dynamic language
with some language you saw once that had scaling problems and happened
to be dynamic. It is my belief that some dynamic languages are
definitely capable of scaling. I'd put ruby in that category, probably
python, certainly smalltalk, lisp if you have masochists like
levi to write it (j/k), and there's probably others.

Wow, I rambled more than I thought I would. Let me wrap up by saying I
like java. When I think back on my java days I get some of that same
feeling I get when I think back to my first girlfriend. I like to think
that I liked java then because it was worth liking, so even though we've
grown apart I still keep a cup of tea on for it. Even typing
"System.out.println" and "public static void main" brings back some good
feelings instead of evoking utter horror as it should.

--
Hans Fugal ; http://hans.fugal.net

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the
right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
-- Johann Sebastian Bach
Ryan Bowman
2006-01-26 17:30:44 UTC
Permalink
On 1/25/06, Jonathan Ellis <jonathan-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
>
> Oh, come on. Let's be honest here. Look at poor Ryan over there --
> he's barely sure what J2EE _is_, let alone whether his project needs it.
> With very few exceptions (*cough* twisted *cough*) you don't
> see this kind of bloated monstrosity in the Python world.
>

Thanks, that sure makes me feel pathetic. As a side note, with what
little experience I have right now, I do prefer python to java, but my
supervisor doesnt.
Another side note, one of the main reasons we're using Java is because
we took over the project from an inept software group and the project
owner hoped that we could salvage some of their code. We would have
been better off starting over.

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Michael L Torrie
2006-01-25 23:13:30 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 2006-01-25 at 15:23 -0700, Bryan Sant wrote:
> I hardly type at all, the IDE does all the work for me.

If that much busy-work is required to do tasks, then lots of code
generation, although a convenience, represents a deficiency in the
language, in my opinion.

Now most languages probably do though.

> So long as it is small enough for a single person or small group to
> maintain. For larger projects, type-safety and mature frameworks save
> time and reduce errors. The same effect *could* be achieved by
> asserting the correctness of parameters by a dynamic language, but now
> you've just impacted run-time performance and your productivity just
> went out the window.

I think Smalltalk effectively proved that a dynamic weak types can be
just as safe, if not safer, than strong static types. So this argument
is really fallacious. As for performance, well, static typing does have
the edge.

> Well there you have it. The undeniable proof we've all been waiting for :-).

I agree. When I program in Java and consume large amounts of Ibuprofen
I also have less headaches.

Michael



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Levi Pearson
2006-01-25 23:44:35 UTC
Permalink
I don't think Java is a bad language, overall. It's got a lot of
industry support and a lot of programmers who know it. Sometimes
it's the best tool, sometimes not. But it ain't the be-all of
programming languages, and I have some arguments against some of your
points.

On Jan 25, 2006, at 3:23 PM, Bryan Sant wrote:
>
> This is only true if you're restricted to use vim or emacs. If all
> you have is a text editor, then a verbose, typesafe language like Java
> is a hindrance. If you use an IDE such as Eclipse or NetBeans, your
> productivity with Java and these tools far outstrips that of dynamic
> languages. I hardly type at all, the IDE does all the work for me.
>

There's more to dynamic typing than simply not having to type out
type annotations. Consider the Gang of Four's book on Design
Patterns. Quite a few of them are completely unnecessary in a
dynamically-typed language. They're ways to produce dynamic,
flexible systems in a static language. An IDE won't be able to work
Design Patterns into your programs like it can automatically enter
type annotations.

I submit that productivity is not so based so much on the amount of
typing that must be done as it is on the amount of conceptual work
that must be done. When building dynamic, flexible software systems,
dynamically-typed languages can require a lot less conceptual work,
as evidenced by the lack of need for several common design patterns
that are necessary in statically-typed languages.

> Additionally, dynamic languages have always hit a major wall when
> dealing with larger projects. As long as your project is trivially
> small, or very well suited to the original problem domain of that
> language, you're better off with a stricter, type-safe language.
>

This is often trotted out by proponents of static typing, but I don't
know if there's any hard evidence. Certainly static typing brings
some benefits, but it has some costs as well. I believe dynamic
languages suit large projects quite well, and as evidence I can point
to a number of large systems built in Lisp and Smalltalk, which were
developed and marketed as systems languages long before the term
'scripting language' was coined.

>> - Runtime performance goes up
>
> Completely incorrect. Java is significantly faster than any dynamic
> language. It is nearly as fast as C/C++. Get your facts straight.
> Run some of your own benchmark tests if you must.
>

Java has a very mature implementation with lots of cool technology in
its virtual machine. The fact is, though, that dynamic behavior has
run-time cost due to extra layers of indirection. Although types are
established at compile time, so they don't need to be checked at run-
time, method dispatch is still performed at run-time. This
dynamicity is what slows Java down relative to C, for example, when
coding object-oriented programs. Java's advanced implementation
technology is what speeds this up and makes it competitive, not its
static typing.

If you're going to benchmark language implementations (one language
is not faster than another, but one language implementation may be
faster than another one) then you have to decide what you're going to
benchmark. A 'dynamic' language has a lot of features that make it
easier to program dynamic, flexible software. You can also program
dynamic, flexible software in statically-typed languages (witness
Design Patterns), but there's a conceptual overhead that the
programmer must pay, namely how to work dynamicity into a static
language. The extra levels of indirection required to implement
dynamicity in 'static' languages produce a similar run time cost to
the dynamic features in the 'dynamic' languages. So, benchmarks must
be carefully chosen to reflect what /you/ intend to do with the
language implementations you're considering.

By the way, a lot of the technology behind Java's virtual machine
comes from an extremely dynamic language called Self that was
developed by some Sun researchers. It's based on Smalltalk, and
requires the advanced virtual machine to have reasonable performance
at all. But the technology does exist, so it is a surprisingly fast
language implementation.


--Levi

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Bryan Sant
2006-01-25 23:54:28 UTC
Permalink
On 1/25/06, Levi Pearson <levi-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
<A Bunch of good stuff>
> --Levi

That was a really good post Levi. I agree with your points. It's
made me think.

-Bryan

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Gabriel Gunderson
2006-01-26 03:46:12 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 2006-01-25 at 16:54 -0700, Bryan Sant wrote:
> On 1/25/06, Levi Pearson <levi-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> <A Bunch of good stuff>
> > --Levi
>
> That was a really good post Levi. I agree with your points. It's
> made me think.

I think that's as close as we come to a truce on this list :)

Gabe


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Michael Torrie
2006-01-26 04:22:54 UTC
Permalink
Thanks for this post, Levi. This is one of the most insightful comments
I've seen in quite a long time. Because I really learned something
better about some of the cool technologies in the Java virtual machine,
and also more about these so-called dynamic languages.

Michael

On Wed, 2006-01-25 at 16:44 -0700, Levi Pearson wrote:

> I don't think Java is a bad language, overall. It's got a lot of
> industry support and a lot of programmers who know it. Sometimes
> it's the best tool, sometimes not. But it ain't the be-all of
> programming languages, and I have some arguments against some of your
> points.
>
> On Jan 25, 2006, at 3:23 PM, Bryan Sant wrote:
> >
> > This is only true if you're restricted to use vim or emacs. If all
> > you have is a text editor, then a verbose, typesafe language like Java
> > is a hindrance. If you use an IDE such as Eclipse or NetBeans, your
> > productivity with Java and these tools far outstrips that of dynamic
> > languages. I hardly type at all, the IDE does all the work for me.
> >
>
> There's more to dynamic typing than simply not having to type out
> type annotations. Consider the Gang of Four's book on Design
> Patterns. Quite a few of them are completely unnecessary in a
> dynamically-typed language. They're ways to produce dynamic,
> flexible systems in a static language. An IDE won't be able to work
> Design Patterns into your programs like it can automatically enter
> type annotations.
>
> I submit that productivity is not so based so much on the amount of
> typing that must be done as it is on the amount of conceptual work
> that must be done. When building dynamic, flexible software systems,
> dynamically-typed languages can require a lot less conceptual work,
> as evidenced by the lack of need for several common design patterns
> that are necessary in statically-typed languages.
>
> > Additionally, dynamic languages have always hit a major wall when
> > dealing with larger projects. As long as your project is trivially
> > small, or very well suited to the original problem domain of that
> > language, you're better off with a stricter, type-safe language.
> >
>
> This is often trotted out by proponents of static typing, but I don't
> know if there's any hard evidence. Certainly static typing brings
> some benefits, but it has some costs as well. I believe dynamic
> languages suit large projects quite well, and as evidence I can point
> to a number of large systems built in Lisp and Smalltalk, which were
> developed and marketed as systems languages long before the term
> 'scripting language' was coined.
>
> >> - Runtime performance goes up
> >
> > Completely incorrect. Java is significantly faster than any dynamic
> > language. It is nearly as fast as C/C++. Get your facts straight.
> > Run some of your own benchmark tests if you must.
> >
>
> Java has a very mature implementation with lots of cool technology in
> its virtual machine. The fact is, though, that dynamic behavior has
> run-time cost due to extra layers of indirection. Although types are
> established at compile time, so they don't need to be checked at run-
> time, method dispatch is still performed at run-time. This
> dynamicity is what slows Java down relative to C, for example, when
> coding object-oriented programs. Java's advanced implementation
> technology is what speeds this up and makes it competitive, not its
> static typing.
>
> If you're going to benchmark language implementations (one language
> is not faster than another, but one language implementation may be
> faster than another one) then you have to decide what you're going to
> benchmark. A 'dynamic' language has a lot of features that make it
> easier to program dynamic, flexible software. You can also program
> dynamic, flexible software in statically-typed languages (witness
> Design Patterns), but there's a conceptual overhead that the
> programmer must pay, namely how to work dynamicity into a static
> language. The extra levels of indirection required to implement
> dynamicity in 'static' languages produce a similar run time cost to
> the dynamic features in the 'dynamic' languages. So, benchmarks must
> be carefully chosen to reflect what /you/ intend to do with the
> language implementations you're considering.
>
> By the way, a lot of the technology behind Java's virtual machine
> comes from an extremely dynamic language called Self that was
> developed by some Sun researchers. It's based on Smalltalk, and
> requires the advanced virtual machine to have reasonable performance
> at all. But the technology does exist, so it is a surprisingly fast
> language implementation.
>
>
> --Levi
>
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Stuart Jansen
2006-01-25 20:56:15 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 2006-01-25 at 12:51 -0700, Ryan Bowman wrote:
> Um, you do know that the current version is 4.0.3, right? It's worked
> okay for us, I don't know anything about ejbs, I'm just a code monkey
> right now, so I don't know what other appservers would gives that
> jboss doesn't. I think most, if not all, of the problems we've had
> with it have been misunderstandings, misconfig, etc on our part.

Sounds like you've fallen victim to JBoss's superior marketing. If
you're not using EJBs, you shouldn't be using JBoss. Very few people
actually need EJBs.

--
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google talk: stuart.jansen-***@public.gmane.org
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Ryan Bowman
2006-01-25 21:29:52 UTC
Permalink
On 1/25/06, Stuart Jansen <sjansen-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
>
> Sounds like you've fallen victim to JBoss's superior marketing. If
> you're not using EJBs, you shouldn't be using JBoss. Very few people
> actually need EJBs.
>

We are using ejbs, I meant to say that I don't know anything about
them so I'm not qualified to say if we NEED them, but we are using
them..

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Jonathan Ellis
2006-01-25 21:57:04 UTC
Permalink
On Wed, 25 Jan 2006 14:29:52 -0700, "Ryan Bowman"
<ryanlbowman-***@public.gmane.org> said:
> We are using ejbs, I meant to say that I don't know anything about
> them so I'm not qualified to say if we NEED them, but we are using
> them..

That's easy: if you don't know that you need them, you don't need them.

-Jonathan
--
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Dennis
2006-01-25 22:21:21 UTC
Permalink
>
> That's easy: if you don't know that you need them, you don't need them.
>
>
I really must agree fully with this statement. EJBs should only be
considered when you get to a point where you can't solve a problem
without them, or where programming an EJB is less work than the solution
you'd have to do otherwise.

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Bryan Sant
2006-01-25 22:46:09 UTC
Permalink
On 1/25/06, Ryan Bowman <ryanlbowman-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> We are using ejbs, I meant to say that I don't know anything about
> them so I'm not qualified to say if we NEED them, but we are using
> them..

There are three types of EJBs and three marketed benefits:

1) Entity beans make accessing a database easy.
2) Session beans make distributing an application across the network trivial.
3) Message driven beans make using message-oriented-middleware a snap.

The truth is that:

1) Entity beans suck hard. Performance is really bad. You should use
an ORM solution such as Hibernate or iBATIS.

2) Distributing applications across a network is a sure fire recipe
for a poor performing application. Some services must be located on
another physical box. In those cases, nothing beats EJBs. The
remoting support is great. However, most apps don't need to
communicate with a remote box (other than a database) -- or they will
communicate over the Internet and use SOAP or XML-RPC.

3) Message driven beans do rock. Super simple and message-oriented
software is powerful and has a proven track record. However, you can
use the underlying Java Messaging API without the need of an EJB
container.

Spring provides a refreshingly simple "light-weight" container that
can be used with a stand-alone java app or a hugh enterprise app. It
scales up to big projects AND down to simple ones. Often it is used
with a WAR deployed to tomcat to provide the component or
"services" benefit of an EJB container without the clunky-ness of EJBs.

If you guys aren't remoting (and I doubt you are) you should dump EJBs
and write standard classes and components is plain-old Java.

Ryan, I'm sure that politically you don't have the power to alter your
applications chosen architecture. I'm just sharing some advice for
what a superior infrastructure/architecture would look like. By and
large in the industry, no one uses EJBs when they can avoid it.

EJB 3.0 is a whole other story though. It's actually really great --
they've incorporated the concepts of Spring :-).

-Bryan

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Ryan Bowman
2006-01-26 17:21:39 UTC
Permalink
On 1/25/06, Bryan Sant <bryan.sant-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> There are three types of EJBs and three marketed benefits:
>
> 1) Entity beans make accessing a database easy.
> 2) Session beans make distributing an application across the network trivial.
> 3) Message driven beans make using message-oriented-middleware a snap.
>
> Ryan, I'm sure that politically you don't have the power to alter your
> applications chosen architecture.
>

You got that right.

>
> EJB 3.0 is a whole other story though. It's actually really great --
> they've incorporated the concepts of Spring :-).
>
> -Bryan

We're using session beans, and looking forward to upgrading to ejb3
sometime, and hopefully hibernate someday, so we're not so tied down
to a specific database, which currently we're stuck with, you guessed
it, MS SqlServer 2000, Yeah! But that's a wholy different can of
venomous snakes.

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Dennis
2006-01-26 18:16:48 UTC
Permalink
> We're using session beans, and looking forward to upgrading to ejb3
> sometime, and hopefully hibernate someday, so we're not so tied down
> to a specific database, which currently we're stuck with, you guessed
> it, MS SqlServer 2000, Yeah! But that's a wholy different can of
> venomous snakes.
>
>
Better the MySQL.....

All right, All right.. I just threw that in because I thought I'd poke
fun at all the java vs python group.

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Erik R. Jensen
2006-01-25 23:16:07 UTC
Permalink
> Yes, it is supposed to, but it's never worked for us, even on Linux.
> When it rescans the war file it gets all confused and screwed up and
> our website crashes.

I've never experienced this problem and use the auto redploy feature quite
often. What version of JBoss are you using?

Erik R. Jensen


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Ryan Bowman
2006-01-26 17:17:42 UTC
Permalink
On 1/25/06, Erik R. Jensen <erikrj-***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
>
> > Yes, it is supposed to, but it's never worked for us, even on Linux.
> > When it rescans the war file it gets all confused and screwed up and
> > our website crashes.
>
> I've never experienced this problem and use the auto redploy feature quite
> often. What version of JBoss are you using?
>
> Erik R. Jensen
>
>

We started with 4.0.2, and are now on 4.0.3sp1.

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Gregory Hill
2006-01-26 16:09:28 UTC
Permalink
> Basically, different languages not only have different strengths for
> different situations, but their whole composition has strengths that
> make it better for different people. You see people here have
mentioned
> how easy and great python is for reading (something they seem to
mention
> endlessly), and yet when I was choosing between Perl and Python to
learn
> way back in the day, I absolutely found Perl more readable. Why?
> because it fits me better. Python for some, Perl for others, use the
> one that is easier for you. For me, Python seemed to bring all the
> things I didn't like about Java to a scripting language, without the
> good features.

Amen. I don't find Perl difficult to read at all, except for the cases
where it is purposely obfuscated. I've maintained Perl code that was
written well, and Perl code that was written poorly, but I didn't find
it all that difficult to figure out what was going on, even in the
poorly-written code. Mind you, the hard part was resisting the urge to
just scrap the bad code and start over, but that's more of a typical
arrogant programmer response to anyone else's code, methinks. I don't
have anything against Python; I've been meaning to try it out for a
while, in fact. The arrogance of a few of the outspoken Python bigots
on this list make me want to try it out less, if for no other reason
than to avoid having to work with people like that in the future. I
think I'll try Ruby instead; the people advocating it seem to be much
more level-headed.

Greg

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Ross Werner
2006-01-26 16:39:29 UTC
Permalink
On Thu, 26 Jan 2006, Gregory Hill wrote:
>> Python for some, Perl for others, use the
>> one that is easier for you. For me, Python seemed to bring all the
>> things I didn't like about Java to a scripting language, without the
>> good features.
>
> Amen. I don't find Perl difficult to read at all, except for the cases
> where it is purposely obfuscated.

I'll ditto that one.

I've got a question for all the perl-bashers out there ... the piece of
perl code that I use most on my machine is frozen-bubble. When I look
through the frozen-bubble code it is instantly readable. Perhaps could one
of you take a look through the frozen-bubble source code and point out to
me a few examples of really unreadable or hard-to-follow code that would
be much more elegant in your Language of Choice[tm]? That might help me
understand a little better what specifically you don't like about the
language.

Thanks,
~ Ross

p.s. if you don't have frozen-bubble on your machine, here's a patched
version that's similar enough I think to the original code for our
purposes:

http://funderburgs.net/games/frozen-bubble

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Gregory Hill
2006-01-27 18:32:52 UTC
Permalink
> I can't speak for Jonathan, and I'm not a perl hater, but I would say
> that perl is (or at least can be) messy because the syntax is too
> rich. There are too many ways to express the same thing.

Wow, someone's hit the nail on the head finally. Some people like being
told how to think. Others like to express themselves. I, for one,
quite enjoy the looseness of Perl's syntax. To each his own.

Jonathan's main problem is that he's so convinced of his own superiority
that he's completely blind to other people's opinions. I used to be
like that when I was younger. We all start that way, just some of us
learn that there are other equally smart (or smarter) people out there
who don't necessarily agree with us.

Greg

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Ross Werner
2006-01-27 19:52:36 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, 27 Jan 2006, Gregory Hill wrote:
>> I can't speak for Jonathan, and I'm not a perl hater, but I would say
>> that perl is (or at least can be) messy because the syntax is too
>> rich. There are too many ways to express the same thing.
>
> Wow, someone's hit the nail on the head finally. Some people like being
> told how to think. Others like to express themselves. I, for one,
> quite enjoy the looseness of Perl's syntax. To each his own.

I hear this argument a lot against Perl ("the syntax is too rich") but I
don't see how it leads to unreadable code. I mean, let's say you have a
large project and in one file, code typically uses lots of "[exp] if
[exp]" and "[exp] unless [exp]", and in another file it typically uses "if
([exp]) { }" and "if (![exp]) { }" instead.

Maybe you can argue against this from an aesthetics standpoint, but I
don't see how it makes the code any less readable.

Again, does anyone have any *actual* real-life examples of how Perl's
"more than one way to do it" philosophy leads to unreadable code??

~ Ross

p.s. I'm a Perl-hater too, by the way, lest anybody think I am the Perl
Defender from Hell. I just hate it for completely different reasons, as
I've never seen unreadable Perl code in large, real-world projects.

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Ryan Simpkins
2006-01-27 18:51:57 UTC
Permalink
> A whole bunch of stuff preceeding this post....

I'm surprised with all this talk of Perl, Python, and Java there hasn't
been more talk of Ruby.

We all know that Ruby's creator (Yukihiro Matsumoto) is a MORMON. And
since we are in UTAH shouldn't we all be using this language created by a
fellow religious believer?

Sure Larry Wall is a Christian, but he's not a MORMON. So that makes Perl
acceptable to you NON-MEMBERS out there until you are baptized and then
you will have to switch to Ruby. And as far as Python goes - well - we all
know who the SNAKE is right? Is anyone confused about that? Python is the
DEVIL'S language!

Java is like COFFEE. And we all know that COFFEE is of the DEVIL as well!
So just by religious background alone we see that Ruby and Perl are the
only Christian languages. And since you are in UTAH shouldn't you be using
the TRUE language?

Ruby is a CELESTIAL language. Which language do you think we will be using
in the MILLENNIUM!? And since it is CELESTIAL that means it has to be
PERFECT. So I wanna put this flame-fest to rest by showing that RUBY is
the only TRUE language, and being so it is PERFECT!

Ruby. Ruby. Ruby. Perl is okay, but only as long as he takes the
discussions. Python can come hang out on Friday, but he has to leave at
midnight. Java is to be shunned unless you enjoy the movie CHICAGO.

Do you think it's okay if I program on SUNDAY if I'm using Ruby?

Sorry - I couldn't resist. I figure this argument makes about as much
sense as many of the others I have enjoyed reading. No offense to anyone.

-Ryan




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Charles Curley
2006-01-27 19:04:51 UTC
Permalink
On Fri, Jan 27, 2006 at 11:51:57AM -0700, Ryan Simpkins wrote:
> > A whole bunch of stuff preceeding this post....
>
> I'm surprised with all this talk of Perl, Python, and Java there hasn't
> been more talk of Ruby.
>
> We all know that Ruby's creator (Yukihiro Matsumoto) is a MORMON. And
> since we are in UTAH shouldn't we all be using this language created by a
> fellow religious believer?

Chortle. This almost makes up for wading through the rest of this
thread. Thanks!

--

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Zach Wily
2006-01-27 19:08:47 UTC
Permalink
> Ruby. Ruby. Ruby. Perl is okay, but only as long as he takes the
> discussions. Python can come hang out on Friday, but he has to
> leave at
> midnight.

Fridays he can stay till 1:30. Every other night - midnight.


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Bryan Sant
2006-01-27 19:17:12 UTC
Permalink
On 1/27/06, Ryan Simpkins <plug-Y/***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> Ruby. Ruby. Ruby. Perl is okay, but only as long as he takes the
> discussions. Python can come hang out on Friday, but he has to leave at
> midnight. Java is to be shunned unless you enjoy the movie CHICAGO.

Ha ha ha. That's great. Now I MUST use Ruby!

But wait... Aren't Ruby, Python, and Perl GLUE languages?!! People
huff glue to get high! This is EVIL and far worse than an occational
COFFEE :-).

-Bryan

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Jesse Stay
2006-01-28 00:51:03 UTC
Permalink
LOL! This has to be the best defense of Ruby I've heard so far! Now
keep in mind that because Mats is Japanese we definitely CAN'T support
RUBY if we're MORMON. As MORMONS we're told to support our nations
leaders and because this is PLUG and not that one "P" LUG out in
India, we have to support American made! Long live Perl (and
Catalyst/Jifty/Maypole)!!! :-P

Jesse

On 1/27/06, Ryan Simpkins <plug-Y/***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> > A whole bunch of stuff preceeding this post....
>
> I'm surprised with all this talk of Perl, Python, and Java there hasn't
> been more talk of Ruby.
>
> We all know that Ruby's creator (Yukihiro Matsumoto) is a MORMON. And
> since we are in UTAH shouldn't we all be using this language created by a
> fellow religious believer?
>
> Sure Larry Wall is a Christian, but he's not a MORMON. So that makes Perl
> acceptable to you NON-MEMBERS out there until you are baptized and then
> you will have to switch to Ruby. And as far as Python goes - well - we all
> know who the SNAKE is right? Is anyone confused about that? Python is the
> DEVIL'S language!
>
> Java is like COFFEE. And we all know that COFFEE is of the DEVIL as well!
> So just by religious background alone we see that Ruby and Perl are the
> only Christian languages. And since you are in UTAH shouldn't you be using
> the TRUE language?
>
> Ruby is a CELESTIAL language. Which language do you think we will be using
> in the MILLENNIUM!? And since it is CELESTIAL that means it has to be
> PERFECT. So I wanna put this flame-fest to rest by showing that RUBY is
> the only TRUE language, and being so it is PERFECT!
>
> Ruby. Ruby. Ruby. Perl is okay, but only as long as he takes the
> discussions. Python can come hang out on Friday, but he has to leave at
> midnight. Java is to be shunned unless you enjoy the movie CHICAGO.
>
> Do you think it's okay if I program on SUNDAY if I'm using Ruby?
>
> Sorry - I couldn't resist. I figure this argument makes about as much
> sense as many of the others I have enjoyed reading. No offense to anyone.
>
> -Ryan
>
>
>
>
> /*
> PLUG: http://plug.org, #utah on irc.freenode.net
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>


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Erin Sharmahd
2006-01-28 01:19:06 UTC
Permalink
> LOL! This has to be the best defense of Ruby I've heard so far! Now
> keep in mind that because Mats is Japanese we definitely CAN'T support
> RUBY if we're MORMON. As MORMONS we're told to support our nations
> leaders and because this is PLUG and not that one "P" LUG out in
> India, we have to support American made! Long live Perl (and
> Catalyst/Jifty/Maypole)!!! :-P

Hmmm... Guess we all have to switch to Windows, then...
Well, BSD would work too...

~Erin

---
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Shane Hathaway
2006-01-28 04:19:04 UTC
Permalink
Erin Sharmahd wrote:
>>LOL! This has to be the best defense of Ruby I've heard so far! Now
>>keep in mind that because Mats is Japanese we definitely CAN'T support
>>RUBY if we're MORMON. As MORMONS we're told to support our nations
>>leaders and because this is PLUG and not that one "P" LUG out in
>>India, we have to support American made! Long live Perl (and
>>Catalyst/Jifty/Maypole)!!! :-P
>
>
> Hmmm... Guess we all have to switch to Windows, then...
> Well, BSD would work too...

I heard that Linus has a friend whose cousin is a Mormon. So Linux is ok.

Shane

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Justin Findlay
2006-01-28 06:48:59 UTC
Permalink
On 1/27/06, Ryan Simpkins <plug-Y/***@public.gmane.org> wrote:
> Ruby is a CELESTIAL language. Which language do you think we will be using
> in the MILLENNIUM!? And since it is CELESTIAL that means it has to be
> PERFECT. So I wanna put this flame-fest to rest by showing that RUBY is
> the only TRUE language, and being so it is PERFECT!

Let me take this opportunity to plug (heh) my brand new fantastic,
phantasmic, uber language, currently in hypothetical development
called emerald, which I, myself being a MORMON, from UTAH, and having
read the book of REVELATION, know that the references to precious
stones are obviously allegorical to computer languages. When I have
some time I'll think about pretending to write diamond and amethyst as
well.


Justin

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