Is 10% really mean perl is Dead??

Looking at any number of differing sites that rate programming languages it is clear that since the early 2000s perl started a decline but has be happily chugging along at anywhere from 7.5% to 10% depending on which site you look at.

The TIOBE index is one as is langpop and they have their way to create their results. Mostly they look at github, Stack Overflow and Google searches.

Somehow F# is trending upward. But is it because its is better or is it because it is new and people are looking for answers on it and checking in many new modules into Github?

I think Tim Bunce has long since debunked the myth of the death of perl and if you have seen this presentation it is well worth your time as his point his point is quite clear, Perl is a mature language that attracts a higher quality of developer.

My take on it is this perl is underrated in most of these indexes because of its maturity, it is what 27 years old and was one of the first big languages of the web and so most of the content you find is rather dated but then again how many perl hash tutorials can be written (583,000 according to Google, but then again there are 2,030,000 php hits with the same search) and as perl programmer we go to CPAN to get out fix not GitHub though we are trending upwards there.

Now 27 years is about how long I have been a programmer and I have seen a good number of languages completely disappear in that time, Foxbase, SybaseJS (though this one is making a comeback with NodeJS), Visual Basic, Visual J, Pascal, Delphi, DataEase, Access, Hypercard.

I could keep on going.

I think the only new point I would like to add to this rather tired subject is perl may be only say 10% of the pie but the size of the pie is very very large. In '95 when I did my first CGI program in perl it was the #5 language and the web had some 16 million users. Today we are the #10 of some 2.7 billion web users.

One never sees an absolute number for any of the PLP indexes and I don't think we ever will.

I wish programming was like web servers you just count the boxes and be done with it. I guess perl is the 'nginx' of the programming world, it has been around forever has a core of dedicated uses and just stays around despite be pronounced deada few times.

Well at least perl wins the speed tests.


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2 Comments

7.5% to 10% of what?

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About byterock

user-pic Long time Perl guy, a few CPAN mods allot of work on DBD::Oracle and a few YAPC presentations