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Re: Question about development languages

On Tue, 4 Nov 2003, Eric S. Raymond wrote:

>Michael K. Johnson <johnsonm redhat com>:
>> Hmm, it's my opinion that anyone able to learn Perl would find Python
>> trivial, but I guess that's just an opinion.  My experience, though,
>> is that I was pretty normal in being able to write maintainable Python
>> code the first day I started learning it -- I've heard the same from
>> lots of other people.
>> The real challenge here is probably not moving from Perl to Python,
>> but rather moving from Tk to GTK.
>I've had experience with this kind of migration.  Agreed on both counts.

Speak of the devil.  ;o)  Didn't notice you were in this thread 
prior to my last response.  ;o)

Actually, it was both your comments found linked off python.org 
and also Yoda's knowledge linked off python.org that convinced 
me.  The "understand it in 6 months" part in particular.

It made me realize how many times I had written a perl script of 
a few pages in length, then tried to modify it a few weeks or 
months later.  It was worse than trying to understand uncommented 
assembler quite often, and it was never what I'd call spaghetti 
perl.  Perl is just cryptic by nature, whereas python is 
hard-to-be-cryptic by nature.

After reading your comments of finally reading the python book 
and giving it a shot, then realizing all the benefits, and more 
or less switching to python from perl overnight, I decided it had 
to be worth spending at least 3-4 days poking around with python 
to find out for myself.  I don't know any developer who has used 
perl, then used python for 4-5 days who prefers perl still.

I do still like perl for quickie one liners, and <= 20-30 line 
sed'ish scripting though.  regex heavy stuff that is short tends 
to be cryptic in any language and perl's just a simpler syntax 
for short cryptic junk.  Beyond that though, I now reach for 


Mike A. Harris     ftp://people.redhat.com/mharris
OS Systems Engineer - XFree86 maintainer - Red Hat

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