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(for: Perl Development Environment)
1 | Posted by: Joen (Guest) | ~ 2 years, 4 months ago |

Nice article. I’m sure better programmers than myself will find it very useful.

At work, my programming is limited to javascript, flash actionscript and just a little bit of php. For these things, I plainly use UltraEdit32.

Forgive me for going off topic, but now you mention Perl, I’m interested as to why you chose just that language. I did read an article that comparing programming languages, and Perl won as “best language” or something. Yet, I recently migrated my website from Movable Type (which is Perl based) to Wordpress (which is entirely php). While there were other issues that made me migrate, the primary reasons was because the Perl annoyed me. I had to upload files in a special way (ascii mode), I had to set CHMOD properties to get them to run, and sometimes CGI scripts would fail silently, and after hours of shotgun debugging I’d learn that the cause was a corrupted ascii upload.

So from a master Perl programmer such as yourself, I’d love to hear just a few reasons why you think the strenghts of the language are worth the hassles.

2 | Posted by: DarkBlue (Registered User) | ~ 2 years, 4 months ago |

It’s funny, despite hearing many good things about UltraEdit32, I have never actually tried it. One becomes attached to the tools one uses and, having adopted TextPad from v1.xx, I was never tempted to try another editor until I was directed towards Komodo.

I’ll reiterate what I wrote in the article: Komodo is a revelation!

I was always proud, in a geeky sort of way, that I could create complex applications using nothing other than a regular text editor. However, my productivity has probably doubled since I switched to a proper IDE.

Why did I choose Perl?

This question deserves an entry of all its own. If you’ve even seen the film “Ronin” you may remember the scene where Sean Bean discusses firearms with Robert De Niro. Bean’s character asks De Niro’s which weapon he prefers. De Niro replies, “Well you know, it’s a toolkit. You just chose the right tool for the job.” (Or words to that effect.)

This is how I think about programming languages. I chose Perl for my CMS because Perl excels at text manipulation. Thus I use it whenever I need to process, filter, munge or manipulate textual data.

However, I don’t use Perl exclusively. I use C for the performance-critical components of the CMS (search-engine, cache handler, etc). I used PHP for the CMS’ asset-manager (web-based FTP) and WYSIWYG editor. So, as De Niro says, “it’s a toolkit”.

I will say that I prefer to program in Perl than any other language. Perl suits my way of thinking.

Perl annoyed me.

Perl annoys me sometimes too. The language has many idiosyncrasies and a fair degree of redundancy. Perl does have one big asset though - CPAN. Show me another language that enjoys such a vast library of open source, peer reviewed, drop-in code - you can’t, there is no competition.

I had to upload files in a special way (ascii mode)

This shouldn’t be a problem at all. Most FTP and SFTP applications support file-type mapping, which allows one to configure how each file is uploaded (ASCII or binary). You would simply configure this so that any file with a “.pl”, “.pm” or “.cgi” suffix is uploaded as an ASCII file, then set the upload type to “auto”.

I had to set CHMOD properties to get them to run

Damn right. You should always have to think and explicitly configure the file permissions for any executable code you upload to a production server. Perl does this right - PHP doesn’t.

So from a master Perl programmer such as yourself, I’d love to hear just a few reasons why you think the strenghts of the language are worth the hassles.

Oh boy, I’ve never been referred to as a “master Perl programmer” before. I’m going to print your comment out and frame it Joen!

Seriously though, Perl is worth all the “hassle”, if it is the right tool for a particular job. Just as learning how to handle a blowtorch is worth the hassle if you want to do a little plumbing!

3 | Posted by: Noah (Guest) | ~ 2 years, 4 months ago |

Nice post DarkBlue…. though I'm gonna stay well away from talking about Perl! :)

I just wanted to pick you up on a very small point… hehe, do you expect any less from me!?

MySQL is not a RDBMS because it does not suport views or atomic transactions. Therefore, it does not qualify as a true relational DBMS.

See Codd's rules for more info:

http://sheridan.gothcentric.com/comp/more/codds_rules.html

PostgreSQL is much better! Woo for PostgreSQL! :)

(and no, im not trying to invite flaming)

NOTE: This comment has been edited by its author! Additions are shown in italics, deletions with a strike-through.

4 | Posted by: DarkBlue (Registered User) | ~ 2 years, 4 months ago |

> MySQL is not a RDBMS because it does not suport views or atomic transactions

You're half right Noah (did you expect anything less from me?)…

MySQL does support atomic transactions, it is fully acid-compliant via its InnoDB storage engine.

Views are not yet implemented but are scheduled for MySQL version 5.1 (at the time of writing, MySQL is available as version 4.0.20. Version 5.0 is available as an “alpha”).

NOTE: This comment has been edited by its author! Additions are shown in italics, deletions with a strike-through.

5 | Posted by: DarkBlue (Registered User) | ~ 2 years, 4 months ago |

For anyone who might be interested to see how MySQL fares against PostgreSQL…

Database Server Feature Comparison: MySQL-4.1.0/MyISAM, MySQL-4.1.1pre/InnoDB, MySQL-4.1.0/MyISAM/ANSI, MySQL-4.1.0/MyISAM/ODBC, PostgreSQL-7.3.3

6 | Posted by: danbee (Guest) | ~ 2 years, 4 months ago |

I tried Komodo quite a while ago (1-2 years ago iirc) and I really wanted to like it. I found myself going back to Textpad in the end though. I found Komodo was rather slow and quite buggy, especially compared to the speedy joy that is Textpad. Has Komodo improved recently?

As for databases, I prefer mySQL for it’s simplicity and ease of use, but at work we use PostgreSQL for it’s views and functions.

7 | Posted by: DarkBlue (Registered User) | ~ 2 years, 4 months ago |

I found Komodo was rather slow and quite buggy, especially compared to the speedy joy that is Textpad. Has Komodo improved recently?

Komodo is not as quick as TextPad to start up but, once it’s running, it’s certainly not slow (not on my machine anyway). Nor have I encountered any obvious bugs. I suspect it’s improved in the past 1-2 years danbee.

8 | Posted by: danbee (Registered User) | ~ 2 years, 4 months ago |

I figured it might have, that’s why i’ve just downloaded it and am going to give it another chance! :)

9 | Posted by: DarkBlue (Registered User) | ~ 2 years, 4 months ago |

[I] am going to give [Komodo] another chance

Good for you my friend. If your experiences are anything like mine then you won’t regret it.

10 | Posted by: Joen (Guest) | ~ 2 years, 4 months ago |

Sorry for my sudden disappearance. I took a extended weekend trip to sweden, just out of the blue.

You argue very well for your case, and I understand now how you use “Perl in your toolkit”. I ask because, as mentioned, I am no master programmer, and I’ve just discovered the beauty of PHP. It asks so little, and gives so much. I can code messy messy bad code that shouldn’t work, but it’s so tolerant that it work flawlessly anyway.

It’s funny because I mentioned my sudden interest in PHP to an old programmer friend of mine, (Truly Master PHP’er), and he mentioned that “If you love PHP, then you’re not a good enough programmer”. I guess that may be true, but still I asked, “What should I like then, were I a good programmer?”. Python, he said.

Interesting to hear your view though.

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