A good example of marketing Perl to other programmers

I tend to pounce on language comparison questions on Stackoverflow. Questions about language comparisons usually lead to fairly subjective and argumentative threads where everyone basically votes for her favorite language without understanding the other one.

Particularly bad are such comparison threads involving Perl: Invariably, someone feels the need to post a comment saying “Perl is write-only” or “Perl is only good for Perl oriented programming.” In fact, I do not think the latter is an incorrect assessment. Just like, Java is only good for Java oriented programming and C++ is only good for C++ oriented programming and Python is only good for Python oriented programming in the sense that, if you are using a specific language, you are essentially required to operate within the boundaries of said language.

Except … In the case of Perl, those boundaries are not as strictly defined and it is possible to do things well in many different ways (it is also possible to do things really badly in many different ways, but then my experience with looking at both my and other people’s code in other languages strongly suggests to me that the same can be said of every language).

In any case, today’s language comparison question titled Learning Perl or Java for Object Oriented Programming (OOP), at first glance, looked like it was going to generate another one of those threads with no information content. So, I cast the first close vote, but thought I should add an attempt at an objective answer.

Subsequently, @daotoad, @Axeman and @tchrist added much more well rounded explanations of why Perl’s object oriented facilities ought not to be dismissed out of hand.

In doing so, they did not have to resort to uninformed and incorrect statements about Java. Nor did they have to claim that languages other than Perl were unusable. This is remarkable because way too many non-Perl programmers seem to think that Perl has to suck for their choice of programming language to be validated.

All in all, a great group effort, dispelling myths and misinformation regarding Perl.