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From David Ihnen <>
Subject Re: decline and fall of modperl?
Date Wed, 25 Mar 2009 18:23:46 GMT
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 
> 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.
> > In my humble opinion the perl community needs to embrace the concept 
> of self propagation. For
> > the most part perl/oo perl/mod_perl developers are self taught. 
> Junior or mid level talent (a
> > majority of the talent pool) is passed over as not enough 
> experience. Perhaps this is because
> > they do not push themselves or the roles they come from are User 
> Interface or system ops,
> > people that did not make it in those roles.  This where as an 
> investment of time and effort can > go a long way into building the 
> pool of perl/oo perl/mod_perl developers. Too often everyone is > 
> looking for the instant gratification of a senior level skill set.
> True, but how to do this practicly?
> 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.

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

The value is that you start with something that will scale, because 
believe it or not, its going to grow - either the one you're working on 
or the next one you're going to work on, leveraging what you learned in 
this job. 

But not everybody sees programming as all that, which is probably just 
another argument for a guild...
> But finally those poor PHP programmers find more jobs than a perl 
> programmer.
Poor programmers will always be more employed than skilled programmers - 
not only are they in greater abundance, they simply cannot demand the 
value that skilled programmers can.


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