Why Perl Is Great

This week’s Accidental Tech Podcast featured two unrelated things that I want to patch together now:

First came an email from a listener who thought John Sirucusa hated everything. Siracusa, in response, provided a list of things he liked.

Near the end of the episode, Siracusa explained to Casey Liss why he’d like Perl. I’m pretty sure the Internet standard laugh about Perl came from Marco Arment at that point.

It’s funny to me how many people look down their nose at Perl while programming in languages that are so influenced by it. (Take Perl’s issues, multiply them by three and hello, PHP!) As I’ve said before, Ruby is just Perl with great object orientation. Perl’s regular expression engine is the standard of the programming world, including Erlang/Elixir.

I remember an episode of Hypercritical where Siracusa gave an all-too short explanation of why Perl is such a great language and Dan Benjamin couldn’t hold back his laughter. (Wish I had the episode number handy…)

People just don’t like the truth, I guess, because their vision of the language is so short-sighted.

So here’s what I suggest: A “Why Perl Is Great” episode of ATP in which Marco and Casey mute their microphones to hide their derisive laughter. I know John might want to prepare for that one, but I also think he could probably give an hour long lecture on this spontaneously. We’ll get him links to back it up afterwards. I want an hour of John pointing out all the Perl modules that did things five or more years before modern languages got credit for creating them. I want John to talk about the Perl Community and how YAPC and Perl Mongers and all the rest led the charge for modern “language communities.”

I’m curious what John thinks about things like “Modern Perl” or MOOSE, in general, also. Is he using OO Perl in his daily work? A specific Perl MVC framework?

What does he think about Perl 6? I’m sure that will get hypercritical, but I’m curious…

Nobody is giving Perl a voice in the podcast world today. The Perlcast has been dead for years now. I’d like to hear Siracusa give it a shot.