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From Octavian Râşniţă <orasn...@gmail.com>
Subject Re: decline and fall of modperl?
Date Wed, 25 Mar 2009 22:02:58 GMT
From: David Ihnen 
  Octavian Râşniţă wrote: 
    From: Mike Bourdon 
    > The hidden message here is “the more available senior developers, the more likely
available 
    > jobs”, an expanding talent pool will lead to an expanding job market. 

    I fully agree. What happends in the regions where there are extremely few perl programmers,
no matter if they are good or bad... we can imagine.
    What can we do in order to promote perl in those countries/regions?
  A programmers guild?  Providing training, guidance, and advocacy in the market?

    There are almost no translated books for learning perl in my country, and the editors
are not very interested in printing perl books because they won't sell well enough, and those
few which would be interested would probably pirate them.
    Without books and without funds for promoting perl for beeing taught in schools, perl
won't have any chance in face of DotNet or Java.
  > I think you've got it right there.  We've got to get perl taught in schools.  That
means perl experts need to be in teaching.  And I have a 
  > suspicion that perl doesn't appeal to the pure computer scientist very well - these
are the people who invented hard typed languages, after all.

  True. I know some guys that love math and all of them love more the strongly typed languages.
  Maybe I don't like the strongly typed languages because I attended a university and a high
school in business and economics.

    > I tried to convince some programmers that Perl is better than PHP, but without any
success.
  > How could they know, if they have never used it?  I was far less convinced that PHP
was a blight on the face of scripting science until I got a 
  > job working in it, after all.

  They know it because everybody tell them so. Most web sites are done in PHP, most job offer
for web programmers ask for PHP experience...

  > Pay them to do it in perl, and after they get through the learning curve they'll probably
be much happier with it.

  I can't tell that in my country there are no software companies specialized in perl programming
because I don't know all the software companies, but if there are some, they could be counted
on fingers, and they aren't probably very big.
  So who should pay those PHP programmers in order to motivate them?

    Can perl programs run on share hosting web sites? There are some such hosting companies
that don't even offer perl support, and those who offer it, offer just the standard Perl distribution,
which don't offer a web framework, or templating systems, or ORMS, or form processors, and
in these conditions I can't tell that perl is so great.
  Isn't that to the denigration of the hosting company?  Not supporting the framework is no
way to support your user base.  As long as the dollar is more important than the feature,
there's not much we can do about this.  These are not things that should be built into the
core distribution of a language, its the main reason PHP is so awful.

  I agree that those things shouldn't be built in the core distribution, but there could be
more distributions, like the one offered by ActiveState, or Strawberry Perl or others, just
as the Zend PHP distribution contains the Zend Framework.

  It could be helpful to have a perl distribution that includes the latest versions of Template-Toolkit,
HTML::Template, Mason, Catalyst, CGI::Application, DBIx::Class, Moose, HTML::FormFu and other
helpful cpan modules.
  A hosting company may want to install that distribution, and it would really offer a much
better support than the one offered by PHP.
  Yes, those modules won't be updated frequently, but it would be much better than simply
a CGI.pm support.

  > Can they hide the source code? (Because who knows who can get it from those free hosting
web sites)
  > Who cares?  Hiding source code is valueless.

  Maybe in your country. In my country 10 euro means too much and actually even 1 euro means
too much if the same thing can be got for free, legally or not.

    > I found that they can hide it, but only after installing Open SSL and a perl module,
which they can't do, because those sites don't offer > root access and neither shell access.
  > You get what you pay for I guess.


    Well, they can get a free support offered for Zend Optimizer (or how it is called the
Zend Decoder).

    > In order to show them how good is perl, I told them that they would need to have
a dedicated server, or a VPS, but the cheapest VPS > costs much more than a shared hosting
solution, so in this case perl has another disadvantage.
  > If they care that much about a few $ on a monthly fee for their web site, they're not
going to pay enough to get a skilled programmer in ANY > > language, to do the programming.


    Of course they care. If the same thing can be done cheaper using PHP, they will surely
choose PHP.
    (The quality doesn't matter, because here the things are so fast changing, and the easiness
of maintenance doesn't matter for most, because who knows what will happen after a few years.


    > They've also told me that they know that perl is harder to learn than PHP.
    > What can I tell them? That it is not true?
    > Yes, but you may or may not be right.  We all agree that coming into perl is confusing
- too much old data about how to do 
    > things is out there in the world.  That makes it harder to learn - not because the
language is harder to learn - but because its not clear what the proper way to learn it is.

    I've seen that the newbies always want recommendations, and think that there should be
a recommended way of doing things, a best way.
    Well, there is no such thing for perl. Perl is not a language, but it is more languages.
    If a programmer uses Catalyst and DBIx::Class and HTML::FormFu there is a language, if
he uses CGI::Application and Rose::DB::Object it is another language, if he uses CGI.pm is
another one, and there may appear other differences if they use mod_perl or fastcgi or just
CGI, or if they use classic OOP or Moose, Template-Toolkit or Mason.

    It is not bad that we can choose, but the beginners don't know what to choose, and finally
they would find all these confusing and start using RoaR or PHP.

    > Of course that I could have told them that for real good big projects, perl is easier
to use than PHP, but most of the PHP users don't 
    > care about that kind of projects. They care about simple projects created from scratch,
that don't even use a web framework or an 
    > ORM or a form processor.
  > Sounds like the people who buy expensive fixed-lense cameras, then the moment they
get interested in photography discover that they could 
  > have bought an SLR, more capable and flexible, for the same price.  But they swore
they didn't need the capability to do that when they > 
  > bought the original cameras, so now they're screwed.

  Not exactly, because most of the PHP programmers don't work for themselves, but for other
clients, and yes, they would find that they are scrued if they would need to update a program,
but the really scrued is the client, because the programmers will ask more money for upgrading
that software, because they would need more programmers to do it.
  The good news is that some software companies started to see that this is a problem and
don't consider PHP a great idea anymore.
  The bad news is that those software companies start to use more and more DotNet and Java,
and don't even think to Perl, because they know that perl is harder to maintain, that perl
is write-only and other things like these.

  Yes, Perl 4 style of programming, or using CGI.pm might create code which is harder to maintain,
but there isn't a big software company that promotes perl and tell them that this is not true
anymore.
  Octavian

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