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Perl is Perl

jj profile image Juan Julián Merelo Guervós ・2 min read

This is not an actual image of Perl
What are conferences for?
Everyone has a different objective when attending a technical conference. Some people are interesting in finding a job, or finding future employees. Some are willing to add a line to their resume, or learn interesting tidbits, or just meet face to face with people they've interacted online.
I really don't know why I go. I guess I just enjoy it.
But, in this case, I wanted to see what is Perl.
I'll tell you something. I was doing Perl stand duty during FOSDEM, and someone came up to me and asked, just a bit tongue-in-cheek: "Perl? Is that still a thing?"
For some people, Perl might be like that sad teddy bear in an abandoned franchise in Glasgow. Something that made people happy for some time, but now it's mostly forgotten. Only they don't say that in so many words: they talk about the Stackoverfow survey, the TIOBE index or the IEEE ranking.
So you might expect people not going to conferences or running away from what looks like a dumpster fire, but doing the kind of things you do in August. Which, in my case, is standing the heat and not bearing with a constant 50% chance of rain in Glasgow.
Fire and dumpster
Surprise! There were lots of people in this particular conference, first-time attendants as well as others that have been there all along. Including Larry Wall, who created the language and coordinated the effort to take it forward in the shape of Perl 6.

This is resulting longish than I expected. But look at the pictures!

After reading above, you might think that most talks were a bit like this:
Interesting, if a bit quaint

And, in fact, there was at least one talk going in that direction

I didn't attend that one, although I do have a huge codebase to maintain myself.

As a matter of fact, they were more like this
Singing to the clouds

Enthusiastic, passionate, maybe a bit crazy, but of the good kind. Some of them even matched the attire. Most talks were about pushing Perl and Perl 6 technology forward to new applications or in new directions. About expressing yourself using the technology. And about using languages to get people together as a community.

In a picture, Perl is like this plush toy.

Camelia

And in a word: Perl is Perl.

Discussion

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spidamoo profile image
Vladimir Zatoloka

I'm not getting it, seriously. I've read maybe 20 articles like this in the past years and it's always the same.
This whole article essentially is: "People say Perl is dying, here's the data they provide. I say it's not, here are photos!"
Perl is dying. All data says that. And the only thing the community does to counter it is saying "no it's not!" Do you guys seriously think this is the way to "make it great again"? There should be a better way I believe.

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jj profile image
Juan Julián Merelo Guervós Author

Photos are just there for the lols. They're not trying to prove anything. The fact is that Perl is still used throughout the industry, and is supported by most operating systems. Check out my recent articles on using Perl in CI environments: It's all over. There's not a single environment that does not include Perl. So dying it is not.

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Douglas McKechie

Perl was the first language I used in industry, so interesting to read its still around.

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jj profile image
Juan Julián Merelo Guervós Author

Around and kicking, and progressing to a modern, progressive language in the shape of Perl 6. Give it a try again :-)