New Internationalist

Perl: Love it, or hate it, but don’t ignore it.

Call me a curmudgeon (and many do), but I just can’t understand why intelligent folks make the choice to completely ignore Perl. I can understand if you don’t want to use it yourself — that’s all cool — but I wish folks would at least give it the nod it deserves.

Case in point: I was reading Simon Wilson’s excellent blog post about Node.js — an "evented I/O for V8 javascript” and was surprised that he only referenced Twisted (Python) and EventMachine (Ruby) when talking about non-blocking event-driven frameworks.

Why no mention of Perl? In reading about Node.js, it looks like one of the critical pieces of Node.js — libev — was co-authored by Marc Lehmann, a rather prolific CPAN contributor. Mark also appears to be the author of AnyEvent, one of Perl’s own even-driven frameworks. It’s not like PSGI and Plack and POE haven’t been getting some good attention lately. And even the slideshow listed at the end of Simon’s post mentions AnyEvent as an alternate event-driven option.

So what happened?

As most Perlers have probably experienced, this is not an isolated event. Virtually every discussion of Web frameworks — Ruby on Rails, Django on Python, Symphony on PHP — manage to avoid any mention of Catalyst, Jifty, or the Mojo Web Framework.

Given Catalyst’s lineage — fork of a Perl MVC framework called Maypole — I find it a bit strange that it’s so often left out of the picture. (Even more strange when one considers that Catalyst is technically older that Ruby on Rails — or so I’ve read.)

So.. Why do intelligent programmers so often leave Perl out of picture when talking about new approaches? Is it a conspiracy? Just plain oversight? Or the legend of "Perl is dead" rearing it’s head again?

I don’t have an answer, but I wish I did. (Though, I’d probably start my investigation with the lackluster attention that O’Reilly gives to

There’s lots of activity around Perl. Just check out StackOverflow or Supposedly Perl Web searches are on the rise, and the Twitterverse is all a-flutter with everything Perl, and got a design refresh (hats off to those involved).

As the old saying goes: Love me, or hate me, just don’t ingore me. If people want to hate on Perl, so be it. But I propose that it would benefit the Perl community to ensure that Perl is not ingored.

So the next question is: How do we raise the volume even higher?

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