Bradley M. Kuhn

Go home, Perl 5, you're drunk.

Bradley M. Kuhn at

In the USA, Perl 5 is officially, as of today, the legal age to consume alcoholic beverages. (Today is the anniversary of Perl version 5's release, not the anniversary of the Perl language itself).


I must admit that I both (a) have scripts that were written for Perl 4 in personal production (i.e., I'm the the only user), and (b) that I still code most in Perl 5 more than any other language (not that I write much code anymore, sadly).


Perl 6 will be released officially this year. Obviously it won't have the success that Perl 5 had in its heyday. (cf my blog post for the 25th birthday of Perl itself: http://ebb.org/bkuhn/blog/2012/12/18/perl-cobol.html ).


I must admit again that I feel old enough that Perl 5 was once "a new Perl" to me. I watched Perl 5 have success that was beyond imagination. It's not that there were ever, say, more Perl 5 developers *ever* in its history than there are Javascript or Java developers today. That's not it. But Perl for a long time was the language that *almost everyone* who wanted to do something other than C used.


Programming language options are so varied today, and there are so many target platforms that didn't exist 21 years ago. As such, there is no "one cool programming language" (despite what the Javascript kids tell themselves). The community of software developers is just too big now for there to be any real contest between languages. So many languages exist that don't try to compete for developers. The world is too big for there to be the kind of affinity toward one programming language in the way there was 20 years ago. It's difficult to explain what the world was like then, but you really could be a "one language person" in those days, and be proud of it rather than sheltered and disconnected.


Markus, Christopher Allan Webber, Charles Stanhope, jrobb and 7 others likes this.

Christopher Allan Webber, jrobertson, Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠), Claes Wallin (韋嘉誠) and 1 others shared this.

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@jacobwb I believe there's a significant minority of  programmers who write in JavaScript because it helps pay the bills and not because it offers the best of what programming languages have to offer in 2015.
That being said there's so much focus and energy on JavaScript that out of all the programming languages is the most disposable, it is potentially the most adaptable to change.

jrobertson at 2015-10-18T13:56:42Z

It isn't that JS is "cool" ... it is near ubiquitous, but so broken that it rarely does what one expects. Without those thousands of pages, most people who have to wrangle JS would be lost.

lnxwalt@microca.st at 2015-10-18T21:51:13Z

The TIOBE index still gives Java at the top, followed by C, C++, C# and Python.


PHP only comes 6th, JavaScript 8th and Perl is still close behind at 9th.


I don't know if they count Android programming as Java or if its popularity is only motivated by the fact that AFAIK it's still the default language inside big corporatey environments. Cobol is 21st :)


OTOH, I have an unproved feeling that both PHP and JavaScript are often used by novices who have a big need to ask for help on the internet, which may explain the higher number of google results.



Elena ``of Valhalla'' at 2015-10-19T08:01:53Z

lnxwalt@microca.st likes this.

ObCOBOL, unless you want your paychecks to stop arriving.

jasonriedy@fmrl.me at 2015-10-21T00:49:56Z