[NBLUG/talk] I hate perl. :-)

Walter Hansen gandalf at sonic.net
Thu Jun 1 13:19:41 PDT 2006

> A lot of those sorts of levels of performance hit actually vanish in the
> noise.  Programmers are more expensive than hardware.  Imagine you've got
> a
> decent sized project that'll take 10 programmers a year to write in Java
> or
> either twice as many programmers or twice as much time to write in C.
> Even
> if the Java runs 10 times as slow, you can buy an awful lot of hardware
> for
> your over $1M savings.  And it's entirely possible to write a faster
> program
> in a "slower" language.  (Given just the memory management issues, I'm
> guessing my 2:1 ratio of programmer time is a much lower ratio than most
> projects would actually encounter)

(lots of quote snipped from Eric)

Just wanted to chime in and say that I've experienced the same thing. One
routine that my company runs 100+ instances of at one time was written by
me in perl. The orginal plan was to get someone good in C in a linux
enviornment to re-code it once the bugs were worked out. However in actual
practice it was found that even with speed being a important factor, the
routine wasn't slow enough to matter and the re-write never happend. About
the only problem with the code is the 2 or so megs of memory that each
instance requires. I imagine that C would slim this down quite a bit, but
it's never been a real issue.

On the other hand we had a complex routine programmed in Java by a
contract programmer and it sucks down reasources like soda. We actually
had to limit the amount of data going in as it would crash. I'm not sure
why, but chunking up the data and feeding it to it a bit at a time creates
no problems. I'd imagine it's a design flaw on the programmers part.

I also run into another time related programming issue. Things that run at
night. If a server runs a program for one miniute instead of one hour in
the middle of the night was it worth the extra work? It's a little like
the tree in the woods; nobody heard it. So it's important to consider if
you really need speed in the first place.

I do things mostly in perl. I haven't worked in C or C++ since the 90s and
never on a *ix box. I recently needed a mini application for windows
desktop environment and contracted a C++ programmer to do the work for
less money than buying a up-to-date compiler/library.

Oh, I love perl. It's a little like C^2. I used to love C and C++ and I'm
sure I could again if I need to. I also love PHP (for web use), although I
have no formal training and generally just modify existing code. I should
probably read a book on Python but I've got a lack of carrot problem.

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