January 2014 Archives

Perl and Me, Part 8: Endless Forms Most Beautiful and Most Wonderful

This is part 8 of an ongoing series where I explore my relationship with Perl.  You may wish to begin at the beginning.

This week we look at the ongoing evolution of Perl.

Last week I closed with the observation that it’s difficult for other languages to evolve beyond Perl because Perl keeps evolving.  And it does: it evolves at quite a bewildering pace, compared to other languages.  Take a look at the evolution of C, for instance.  Oh, sure: we can talk about C++, and C#, and D, and even Java, as evolutions of C, but they are different languages, far more so than Perl 6 is a different language than Perl 5.  If you look at the C language itself, it’s changed several times throughout its history, but the C we have today doesn’t look that different from the original K&R.  It’s no more different than, say, American English is to British English.1

Perl and Me, Part 7: The Most Powerful Weapon Which You Can Use to Change the World

This is part 7 of an ongoing series where I explore my relationship with Perl.  You may wish to begin at the beginning.

This week we meander around the topic of education hoping to come to a point about Perl.

So far we’ve learned that I’m an English major, that Perl has a lot of linguistics baked into it, and that (at least in my opinion) creativity is good for programmers.  What does all that mean?  Well, for me, one of the things it means is that I lack some of the computer science background of my peers.  I never had to take a class in compiler design, for instance.1  In fact, there’s a lot of stuff that CS majors had to learn that I never did.  Oh, sure—I picked some of it up along the way.  But it’s still true that when I read certain very technical programming blogs (like Jeffrey Kegler’s excellent articles on Marpa), I have to skim over a bunch of parts.  But I also have an analogy I’m fond of breaking out:

You don’t have to understand how the internal combustion engine works in order to drive a car.

Perl and Me, Part 6: Perl Is Engineering and Art

This is part 6 of an ongoing series where I explore my relationship with Perl.  You may wish to begin at the beginning.

This week we look at the question of creativity in programming.

Last week I talked about how the linguistics baked into Perl allow for maximum programmer creativity.  But of course all that discussion contains a hidden premise: that allowing for programmer creativity is something desireable.  But is it really?  Maybe programmer creativity isn’t that great an idea.

Perl and Me, Part 5: Speaking with the speech of coders

This is part 5 of an ongoing series where I explore my relationship with Perl.  You may wish to begin at the beginning.

This week we look at Perl’s linguistic heritage.

Last week I talked about how good code reads like a story, and how Perl is the best language for writing stories in code.  The reason for this is of course the linguistics that are baked into Perl.

About Buddy Burden

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