Posts Tagged ‘evil’

Why I Hate Perl: Reason 1

Gumtree, my current place of work, is written almost entirely in Perl, and if you’ve found my blog via a tweet, you will almost certainly know that I hate Perl. I can’t often explain in 140 characters either how much I hate it, or what specifically about Perl I hate, so I’m going to start by writing a blog post every time I come across another reason, and have the volition to actually write about it.

So, what’s todays reason? Context.

My recent talk at Dibi Conference was (and an extended one at Web 2 Expo NY will be) about how we automatically provide context to the vast quantity of data we collect through the web. Without the context data is pretty much meaningless. And the same is true in Perl, without context to your variables, their content is meaningless . Access an array variable in a scalar context, and you don’t get an error, you get it’s length. Access an ArrayRef as though it’s a scalar and you just end up with bleedy eyes.

Providing this context shouldn’t be hard, other compilers / interpreters manage to do it. As a developer I shouldn’t have to mess about with working out context, this should be taken care of for me so that I can get on with the business of building logical process through code.