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From <>
Subject RE: decline and fall of modperl?
Date Tue, 24 Mar 2009 10:25:30 GMT

if nobody did already, please have a look at the Perl Miths presentation by Tim Bunce:

Now my personal view:

I'm committed to perl since 1996, and, although I work since that date in a quite big software
company (>250 employees, and Microsoft certified partner), I remember to have had very
seldom problems convincing customers about technology issues like which language to use.

Regarding your experience, I would not confuse the future of Mason with the future of perl
in the web programming sector at large.
There are similar experiences in other technologies: in the J2EE domain, Jetspeed is almost
dead, this doesn't mean J2EE is dead (but it really means you will have problems convincing
a system architect to adopt Jetspeed for the next web portal).

I'm involved in web programming since 1999 and at that time there were really little choices.
We started building our own LAMP (Linux+Apache+ModPerl !) framework that now is the backbone
of our solutions anytime the customer gives us the freedom to choose. Sometimes the customer
has other technologies in mind, but we always convince him with an unbeatable time-to-market
using our own tools.
In spite of being a 'simple scripting language' we do not see major problems in mantaining
and evolving our framework of 500+ perl modules.

Moreover I mind you that there are sectors where perl is still one of the best choice to pick
(Natural Language Processing, web crawling, data mungling at large...).

The long history of Perl means also that it is much more common to find it at your customers
sites than what you could immagine. Some times I talk about Perl admittedly with a little
fear, only to find that most of the clients know it already and have already used it at least
in the past.

So personally I still love Perl and I'm still happy to have learnt it some 13 years ago, and
I'm happy that now it is seen as an 'obsolete' technology: for me  it only means that is rock
solid and that I learnt once in the past, exploiting my knowledge for several years without
the need to switch.

I think this goes for the most of perl programmers out there. The problem is that Perl is
not able to attract new programmers as other tecnologies (Java/.NET) are.

One issue being the lack of a common and powerfull development framework as other technology
have (MS Visualstudio/NetBeans).  And, of course, the not-so-fast transition between Perl
5 and Perl 6 could also be an issue.

Finally, regarding the issue of not being forced to deploy the source code: sometimes we deployed
perl bytecode for the ByteLoader, and I found the level of security is almost the same than
with java bytecode (if you know how to deparse one, you are able to find how to do with the


----- Original Message -----
From: Louis-David Mitterrand []
Sent: Mon, 23 Mar 2009 14:07:31 +0100
Subject: decline and fall of modperl?

Hi and sorry for the provocative title of my post :)

One of our customers is doing a detailed review of a mason/modperl ERP
app we've built for them since 2001. Prodded by some buzzword-compliant
consultants they are expressing concerns that the app's underlying
technologies - perl, modperl and mason - are becoming obsolete. They
feel that a web application framework must have 'rails' or some other
buzzword in its name.

But their main argument is that perl is declining as a web developement
language. Also they rightly feel that competent perl developers are
becoming harder to find.

What arguements could I use to address these concerns and convince them
that their initial investement in perl is still safe and won't be
obsolete in 10 years?

The client's local developers (who maintain the app we've built) feel
that mason gives too much freedom to write messy code and badly
structure a web app. 

Indeed mason has very little constraints, maybe just slightly more than
straight modperl. So it requires experienced, self-disciplined devs,
which are few and far between.

So my second question is, what perl web development framework should we
recommend to our client? Catalyst looks like a winner, but maybe there
are others?

Thanks for your insights,

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