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Perl Coding in the Enterprise Considered Harmful

It’s true, if ever you’ve had to debug someone else’s Perl code it’s …. daunting, irritating, despondence-inducing, isolating, baffling, frustrating.

Perl is a great language wherewith to get something done and forget it.

“I need to slurp all the pics of Marilyn on this site” “I need to edit one line in 30 files”

Perl is your buddy.

If you have to come back to this or a task later, this flexibility and permissiveness will make even your own code seem….beyond easy comprehension. Granted one can leave some breadcrumbs to make this process easier…yet still it’s inherently Not Easy ™.

Furthermore, Perl is a great language for creativity, it’s motto “There’s more than one way to do it” allows each writer to follow his muse and get his work done – and this is very important to Great Hackers ™.

Yet this permissiveness and wide latitude for expression make debugging someone else’s creative caprice a colossal pain in the keester. Some people write their Perl in a C or C++-ish style. Others have learned the more Perl-ish style, and yet some others write in an arcane lexicon of Perl-gurudom that make it as comprehensible as looking at the periodic table through a glass sphere.

A certain friend of mine wiseley summed this up as:

it’s like some autistic kid came in with a crayon and scribbled some shit out on a napkin…