Reasons Why Perl Isn’t Dead Yet

Posted by: Rea Maor In: Programming - Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

It’s hard to believe that Perl 6 just hit its tenth anniversary. Whole empires have risen and crumbled in as much time. And after ten years, it’s starting to look kind of doubtful that Perl is ever going to see another version. Hey, everybody seems so happy with it now, what’s to change anymore?

#1. DuckDuckGo is written in Perl using an Apache/ BSD stack.

#2. Perl works with SDL. SDL is the media-library for graphics, sound, disk access, and more. Which means that games can be written in Perl.

#3. This program runs. It is composed entirely of punctuation marks:

`$=`;$_=\%!;($_)=/(.)/;$==++$|;($.,$/,$,,$\,$",$;,$^,$#,$~,$*,$:,@%)=(
$!=~/(.)(.).(.)(.)(.)(.)..(.)(.)(.)..(.)......(.)/,$"),$=++;$.++;$.++;
$_++;$_++;($_,$\,$,)=($~.$"."$;$/$%[$?]$_$\$,$:$%[$?]",$"&$~,$#,);$,++
;$,++;$^|=$";`$_$\$,$/$:$;$~$*$%[$?]$.$~$*${#}$%[$?]$;$\$"$^$~$*.>&$=`

On a recent Ubuntu, I just got a couple of error messages, ($# $* no longer supported) but it worked anyway, running from #!/usr/bin/perl . It prints out “Just another Perl hacker.” Still that’s gotta count for something!

#4. They’re launching a project to translate the Java API to Perl 6. Which basically means that Perl will inherit a lot of Java’s leftover mojo. To hear people saying things like “Perl 6 has the potential to become a very popular language.” now, in 2010, is mind-boggling. Didn’t it already have its chance in, like, 1999?

#5. News still happens regularly in the Perl community. One example is PerlBuzz, a very happy little site ticking away like a grandfather clock logging all the goings-on in the Perl community.

#6. Big corps still use Perl. This includes Amazon.com, the BBC, eBay.com, Yahoo!, Slashdot, and the IMDB. These are top-ranking web destinations, serving hundreds of pages per second. So you though PHP had taken over?

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2 Responses to “Reasons Why Perl Isn’t Dead Yet”

  1. Tim Bunce Says:

    I doubt I count as “they” but I certainly wrote “Perl 6 has the potential to become a very popular language.” with typical British understatement.

  2. Mergetech Says:

    I agree with you, many programmers are comfortable using perl 5.

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