Co-workers: "But we have always written our scripts in Perl"

Me: "Nope not a good reason to keep using it."

  • 7
    But I've always written my scripts in php
  • 6
    Don't knock Perl too much. It's decent if you can read it 😅
  • 3
    I dislike perl. It looks like someone randomly mashed a keyboard and called it code.
  • 6
    @Root I'm not saying it doesn't have it's strengths. It has served me well many a time.

    I am saying that claiming tech debt from years of janky Perl hacks that have been put into production isn't a good reason for staying with Perl if there is something else that is more suitable for the task.
  • 2
    @bhouston Definitely agree
  • 5
    To be fair, that's how having tons of scripts in multiple random languages start.

    Which is objectively worse.
  • 5
    Not sure I agree.

    Okay, today you stop writing Perl scripts and start writing in what.. python? Say py. Now you need 2 runtimes: py and pl. And folks must be able to read/write/maintain now scripts in 2 languages. 4 years later some other smart champ will come in and say "no no no no, py3 is now obsolete - we should be writing in A3EScript!" Now you have 3 runtimes and every new hire in the team will be expected to have knowledge of 3 scripting languages. And this goes on and on.

    This is a great way to find yourself in a situation where:
    - you ask HR to look for a yellow-but-brown unicorn when you need a new team member
    - project becomes unnecessarily complex due to mixture of too many languages/frameworks
    - mistakes start to happen
    - performance gets impacted when these tools need to be adapted to play once with each other
    - you get (head) pain pills addiction
  • 1
    @netikras I get what your saying but that doesn't make me hate the 30 years of tech debt I have to look at any less. Especially when it lacks quality of life features that make it easier to maintain, test, and support.
  • 2
    @bhouston Hating is one thing. Making the situation more complex is another :) Just saying that it's very easy to make a situation even worse.

    How about eliminating the tech debt in a first place so you would not need those scripts at all?

    P.S. did you get my @mention notif? I didn't get yours. Could be dR queues are crashing again
  • 3
    @netikras Sorry if I didn't make it clear but the idea would be a full phase out of Perl. Fragmented solutions are no solution at all and would make things worse.

    Yeah I did get your mention notification. Wonder what is going on 🤔
  • 1
    @bhouston Yeah I was in that situation. I had 19 years of miscellaneous languages and frameworks to support. Mostly C#, F#, VB, and much of it was done with a conventions du jour from Microsoft.

    I immediately respect people much less for “no need for comments when conventions are followed.” Yeah what happens when the manual disappears, the staff is turned over, and you get to figure out what it does without knowing why it does it? Because I have been in that misery and I’m not with suffering from people’s idealistic attitudes towards code conventions.

    I would have loved to have a singular thing like Perl.
  • 0
    @bhouston oh, didn't know you're phasing pl out :) it makes sense then

    tho 'phasing' will most likely get stuck at some point and remains of pl will stay there, right next to the new python scripts :)

    unless ofc there is a task registered for this job. Then that task being open will not allow anyone to stop this initiative somewhere midway.

    I'm not insisting nor criticising. Just some observations from the cases I have seen :)
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