Like braille to the night

You don’t need to understand anything about computers to read this entry. It’s a cultural observation.

For a long time – since about 1999 – Perl has been my favorite programming language. Formally i studied Pascal, C, C++, Java, DCL and SQL, but i haven’t used them much outside the studies. I’ve done almost all of my real work in Perl and i’m quite proud of it.

Lately i started to think about it. There are other programming languages which can compete with Perl. Perl’s best known strengths are price (zero), freedom (“open source”), dynamism (no need to worry about memory allocation) and portability (ability to run on almost any computer). But the same can be said about Python and Ruby and a significant number of people are sure that those two are even better. Java and the .NET family of languages have lovely and colorful tools and rich and robust libraries of reusable code. Yet i’ve never really came to love any other language as much as Perl, which still remains my absolute favorite. And then i understood why.

It’s the Perl culture that fits me so well. Yair Garbuz, a well-known representative of the current Israeli intelligentsia, said once: “I don’t speak to anyone in his language; If I have to speak to him in his language, it means that I don’t respect him enough to think that he’ll understand me if i speak my own.” The Perl culture doesn’t try to speak to me in my language. It considers me smart enough to learn to understand it.

Oh (edit): Stupid, stupid. I did use a lot of DCL for work.


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