Discussion on: Why is your preferred programming language your go-to?

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Dave Jacoby

Perl is my go-to, and has been for over 20 years. This was back when Perl and CGI was the standard for dynamic web, and I thought "use Perl, or write it in C++ with the strings library?", and after a wave of nausea, never looked back.

My general move is to try to turn something that's available in one form and turn it into something else, and Perl is very good at that, and when it isn't, I can shell it out and play with the result.

I especially love CPAN, which I hold as a best-in-show for language repositories. I can install and upgrade old modules with every confidence that everything that worked before I started will work when I am done, which is not true of every dynamic language that starts with P.

I know that things I want to do are affected by things I know that I can do with Perl, and I know it has slipped a lot in popularity in the last 20 years. But I know that many of my idle questions, from "Can I brute-force solve this logic problem in my son's math homework?" to "Can I re-implement a spirograph in SVG?" to "Can I put my FitBit step count in my Bash prompt?" are solvable with Perl.