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Ah... the chaos is so warm and comforting...

From: John F.
Sent on: Friday, October 28, 2011 4:33 PM

This is, an awesome place to learn.  About flame(s), troll(s), and goober(s) of course, the Internet is riddled with 'em.  But if you read past that noise there is wonderful signal to be had.

http://developers.slashdot.org/story/11/10/27/213231/is-perl-better-than-a-randomly-generated-programming-language

More concise at: http://www.neverworkintheory.org/?p=211

 

My take on this: they are trying to academically replicate (and then improve upon) the iterative process of Open Source development.  While this is not without merit, this parallels things like the raging debate between the DVORAK vs QWERTY keyboard.  It has very specific relevance.  A DVORAK keyboard is supported on every major OS, but programmers don't want them because they are sub-optimal for the typing patterns of programmers.  And modern typing studies replicating the DVORAK tests don't indicate the same keyboard layout anymore, the English language has changed too much since the 1930's.  So testing like this has self-imposed limits, or if you will, hazards.

Consider that Perl is what, 20yrs old and is to this day modified by a constant influx of ideas and feedback loops into iterations, and plain reboots (like Perl 6!  It is not your Daddy's perl, or your Boss' perl, or heck even the Perl I write to today)..  C programming's growth is more clearly named: C, C+, C++, Objective C, C#, etc...  some are flavors, some are whole different animals.  

Even then there is a big chasm between writing a simple linear Perl script and writing a complete line-of-business application using "Modern Perl".  Modern Perl is not a different executable or or version, but a way of approaching the features in the executable(s) that includes optimized syntax, *real* Objects, best practices and TDD.  And they weren't testing any of that.

Modern Perl represents the accumulation of all those years of world wide crazy-eyed experience, that has gone through the crucible that is open development, and the bits that survived the forging won the right to be "in".  The academics are designing tests, using statistics to rate the results, and changing their language (programming and testing) based on that feedback.  Sounds iterative-ly similar, right?  But do they have passionate shouting matches advocating approaches in these tests?  My response can be jokingly summed up:

Remember: Professional Engineers designed the Titanic, not the sailors.  And it was great while used as directed. 

Read the comments, uncover the smart people saying smart things, learn until it is your time to stand up and shout. :)

John

 

 

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