Blog Archives

Perl as a better …

Today I ran across Minimal Perl: For UNIX and Linux People. The book was published a few years ago but I hadn’t heard of it because I haven’t kept up with the Perl world. The following chapters from the table

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Extreme syntax

In his book Let Over Lambda, Doug Hoyte says Lisp is the result of taking syntax away, Perl is the result of taking syntax all the way. Lisp practically has no syntax. It simply has parenthesized expressions. This makes it

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Learn one Perl command

A while back I wrote a post Learn one sed command. In a nutshell, I said it’s worth learning sed just do commands of the form sed s/foo/bar/ to replace “foo” with “bar.” Dan Haskin and Will Fitzgerald suggested in

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The anti-JavaScript

The problems with JavaScript come from premature standardization. The language’s author Brendan Eich said I had to be done in ten days or something worse than JS would have happened. For a programming language designed in 10 days, he did

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Perl One-Liners Explained

Peteris Krumins has a new book, Perl One-Liners Explained. His new book is in the same style as his previous books on awk and sed, reviewed here and here. All the books in this series are organized by task. For

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Conservation of complexity

Larry Wall said something one time to the effect that Scheme is beautiful and every Scheme program is ugly; Perl is ugly, but it lets you write beautiful programs. Of course it also lets you write ugly programs if you

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All languages equally complex

This post compares complexity in spoken languages and programming languages. There is a theory in linguistics that all human languages are equally complex. Languages may distribute their complexity in different ways, but the total complexity is roughly the same across

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Plain Python

Perl is cool, much more so than Python. But I prefer writing Python. Perl is fun to read about. It has an endless stream of features to discover. Python by comparison is kinda dull. But the aspects of a language

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API symmetry

Symmetric APIs are easier to use. I was reminded of this when doing some regular expression programming in Python and comparing it to Perl. Perl’s regular expression operators for search and replace are symmetric in a way that their Python

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Languages that are easy to pick back up

Some programming languages are much easier to come back to than others. In my previous post I mentioned that Mathematica is easy to come back to, put Perl is not. I found it easy to come back LaTeX after not

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Programming language subsets

I just found out that Douglas Crockford has written a book JavaScript: The Good Parts. I haven’t read the book, but I imagine it’s quite good based on having seen the author’s JavaScript videos. Crockford says JavaScript is an elegant and

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Periodic table of Perl operators

Mark Lentczner has posted a periodic table of Perl operators. The table shows Perl 6 in all its Byzantine glory. If you work in the language constantly and enjoy the terse syntax optimized for experts, you’ll love Perl 6. But if you’re

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Three-hour-a-week language

I listened to an interview last night with Perl guru Randal Schwartz. He said that Perl is meant for people who use the language at least two or three hours per week. If you’re not going to use it that often,

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