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Re: [vox-tech] hold on to your hats - perl vs python
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Re: [vox-tech] hold on to your hats - perl vs python

begin Charles Polisher <cpolish@attbi.com> 
> On Fri, Jul 19, 2002 at 11:09:54AM -0700, Micah Cowan wrote:
> > Jeff Newmiller writes:
> >  > On Thu, 18 Jul 2002, Peter Jay Salzman wrote:
> >  > 
> >  > > jeff newmiller got me thinking about switching from perl to python as my
> >  > > main scripting language of choice.
> >  > > 
> >  > > i'd like to hear the opinions of anyone who has actually MADE the switch
> >  > > from perl to python as their scripting language of choice.
> > 
> > Sorry to respond to Jeff's mail, but I seem to have accidentally
> > deleted the original or something.
> > 
> > To be honest, I think they're both great languages: there are some
> > things in each that I really love - and there are some things in each
> > I really hate. Python has several things which make strong
> > software engineering principles easier to follow - however, their
> > lexical scoping rules are slightly bizarre and impractical, regexes
> > are less powerful, and there are some other things that bother
> > me. Perl is *fun*, but there's too much magic under the hood, no real
> > typing, and it's somewhat harder to write truly disciplined software
> > in.
> And lets not forget awk - a pleasant, well behaved,
> easily learned language. It's yet one more great Unix
> tool for manipulating text and the odd system-admin
> chore. It's been around alot longer than Ruby or Python
> (maybe even longer than Perl), which is a plus. I'm
> an OOP advocate, but most simple text-processing and
> sys- admin doesn't lend itself neatly to OOP style
> so those benefits of OOperl, Ruby & Python seem
> dubious. 
not to start a thread or anything, but i used to use awk and sed for all
my text processing needs, before i ever knew what perl or linux was.
i'd call awk alot of things: powerful, stable, old.   i'd never call it
"pleasant".  for one, its error messages are very close to useless[1].

i'm not sure i'd call it easy to learn[2], either.  i've written some
pretty hairy awk scripts.

i'd certainly call it older than perl.


[1]: i used awk/sed exclusively on a sunos machine, before i ever knew
about linux.  i've never used gawk.  maybe gawk is easier to use and has
better error reporting.  but sun's awk on sunos was ridiculous.  the
time differential between using awk/sed and using perl for advanced text
processing is absurd.

[2]: a common joke is to say that the complexity of a topic is
proportional to the number of pages of an o'reilly book.  you can't take
this too seriously (advanced perl is a very thin book), but fwiw,
awk/sed is larger than the perl/tk and apache books.
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