August 2013 Archives

When "unsafety" is a Good Thing

Some months ago, I read an article by someone who teaches Perl to Java programmers.  In it, the author wonders a bit about some of Perl’s features which seem counterintuitive to those coming from a Java background.  As you might expect, one of those features is its typing.  He says:

For example: stern, protective type safety is not only missing from Perl but actually not even considered particularly desirable.  Perl is relaxed.  The reaction from students is, naturally: “Isn’t this a huge obstacle to getting anything done?” Obviously the answer is “No”, but even after all the Perl I’ve written I sometimes wonder why not.  Is it really just the fact that it takes less time to type method signatures and variable declarations?

At the time I read this, I thought to myself, “Hey, I know the answer to that!” But I just jotted it down as a potential blog topic and let it percolate for a bit.  Many folks reading this will also know the answer, but it’s an interesting topic, and I’m sure someone will get something out of it.

About Buddy Burden

user-pic 7 years in California, 18 years in Perl, 27 years in computers, 47 years in bare feet.