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From Jonathan Vanasco <>
Subject Re: Amazon
Date Fri, 29 Feb 2008 16:17:14 GMT

On Feb 26, 2008, at 8:29 PM, J. Peng wrote:

> coding from perl to python is easy,at least it's easy for me.
> but,as many guys have said to me, from python to perl is not easy.
> perl's many features,like the rich built-in variables and context,are
> not so easy to be accetable by newbies.

I think the big issue in going from python->perl is losing the  
formatting and whitespace.  i went from perl->python -- which was  
dead simple -- and occasionally bring in python friends to help with  
perl stuff.  the only things they groan about are differences with  
the idiomatic ways to accomplish tasks, and using curly brackets

On Feb 26, 2008, at 9:06 AM, David Scott wrote:
> I've seen that too.  Some engineering managers have an absolute  
> phobia when it comes to Perl.  But some of these same managers turn  
> right around and extol the virtues of Ruby.  Go figure.  As far as  
> I can tell, beyond a lot of syntactic sugar the two are virtually  
> indistinguishable - except that Perl has been around longer and  
> runs a lot deeper.  Same with Python.

Perl is known as messy.  Ruby is known as clean.  I'd say ruby is  
messier than Perl, but has had 1000x more marketing materials pushed  
its way because of Rails.
I've seen too many CEOs and CTO/Tech-Directors make decisions based  
on this:
	how many more people are talking about ruby than perl?
	i see a lot more ruby jobs right now.
	ruby is getting a big rise in usage, perl has plateaued
	there are big web conferences, and fancy web 2.0 sites done in ruby
Anyone on this list could give very eloquent reasons as to why that  
line of reasoning is flawed, and show each argument as being incorrect.
The point is that people are making decisions based on questions like  

> I think a lot of the debate boils down to culture.  Perl people  
> tend to come from a sysadmin culture and are more comfortable  
> working where the rubber hits the road.  PHP people tend to come  
> from web dev, and really don't see the need to go too far beyond  
> dynamic web pages.  Ruby and Python people tend to be Java refugees.
I'd disagree with that a bit.
PHP and Ruby both have their root in 'web dev', but their core  
audience is more like this:
	they did java in web 1.0 because it was the next big thing with all  
the jobs
	they moved to php, because it was the new big thing that people were  
hiring for
	they moved again to ruby, because it was the new big thing that  
people are hiring for

i see SO many resumes that show 'java->php->ruby' -- and friends who  
run companies have seen the same.
whenever we see that, we pretty much toss the resume -- those people  
aren't engineers or thinkers, they're basically code monkeys who are  
trading on the current in-demand language.

Also, most people I see in python come from all over - lots of Perl  
and Java , some php, and a lot of C - they're looking more or less to  
do rapid prototyping of apps they either want to scale one day, or  
will re-write in c.
I see this group less as refugees, as they often maintain their other  
languages.  Probably 60% of the python devs I know will often write C- 
libraries to handle issues or are starting to offload onto Erlang.

> But the skill set involved in writing good code is no different,  
> regardless of your background.
That is 100% true.  A good person can shift languages in a  
heartbeat.  The languages all have their strengths and weaknesses,  
but are mostly just syntax and approach differences.
The good engineers know how to solve problems, with fundamentals and  
creativity - not a languag.

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