Why I don't write in Pascal
A friend, Ido (ik_5) put up a post (in Hebrew) about the last TA.pm meeting, and although he misspelled my moniker twice, he raises two interesting points.
First of all, he complains about being mocked when everyone introduced themselves and he said he works with Pascal. Secondly, he asks why don't people program in Pascal? What's so bad about it?
So, apologies have to go to people you've offended. Even if you didn't mean to, even if they didn't get a joke you thought you were sharing. When feelings are hurt, it's time to pause and apologize. So, hopefully Ido is reading this and might be less upset now.
It's also important to note, once we've cleared the air, that at meetings (whether Perl, OSDC, FOSDEM, PyWeb, or any other technical conference), I think the humor flows more. For example, at a Linux conference, Gentoo Linux received an unassembled Ikea chairs set, to assemble on their own while the rest got chairs. I love Gentoo and if I were representing them there, I'd laugh it out. Then again, I'm not everyone. The point is, we feel more comfortable to poke each other. Perhaps sometimes too much.
On to more interesting issues, I've asked people (especially at the last Top Posters meeting) why they aren't using Pascal, to try and answer Ido.
I've received a lot of answers, some of which were about job security, some of which were about the fun, some about the community, some even complained about the feeling in Pascal that there is only one editor, one compiler, one solution, even if untrue.
The two most interesting answers came from a friend, and co-worker, Tamir Lousky. When I asked him, his reply was simple, at first: "CPAN". CPAN is such a wide, amazing resource, by any standard, which makes your work easier, more fun and enjoyable and definitely more productive. It also emphasizes community very strongly, connecting people by interest (and sometimes, even work). It is a resource that isn't easily matched by other languages, and that includes Pascal.
The second answer is something I personally relate to even more, the flexibility of the language. Truly, you cannot understand the elasticity of the Perl programming language until you work heavily with it. While I have a few years of experience with it, and I have written quite a few modules with a good amount of work-code, I've still touched just the surface of the language's abilities and indeed, flexibility is a language virtue that is often overlooked.
What are your reasons for not using Pascal? Or, even, what are you reasons for sticking with Perl?