DEV Community

Gabor Szabo
Gabor Szabo

Posted on • Originally published at

Perl Weekly #603 - Generating prejudice

Originally published at Perl Weekly 603

Hi there!

I am sure most of you reading this newsletter have heard that "perl is unreadable" or "perl is a write only language", or maybe that "perl is dead". In many cases this comes from people who have never actually saw perl. You might have not named this phenomenon, but this is called prejudice.

Prejudice is having (usually negative) opinion about an individual, a group of people, or a thing, with partial or no real knowledge about the subject. It's name is quite clear. It is having a judgement before (pre) having knowledge.

One can see prejudice as a phenomenon that happens naturally, but it can also be manufactured and used for personal, economic, or political gains. We saw that happening in the last 25 years with Perl. I saw a number of very interesting, though painful cases.

Prejudice against Perl clearly has way less personal consequences than other forms of prejudice, but maybe because of that it is easier to discuss it.

In one case, a few years ago, someone explained to me that he writes both in Perl and in Python. When he writes in Perl he does not care about indentation or good programming practices as Perl works that way as well. Then he continued explaining that Perl is unreadable. He did not seem to realize the absurdity that the cause and effect relationship might not be of language->readability, but rather effort-to-write-clean-code->readability.

I often hear people writing in Perl talking about the code being unmaintainable. It is a type of internalized prejudice when you could know otherwise, but because of the social pressure of viewing the negative aspects one will adopts, repeats, and thus strengthens the prejudice. "If even Perl developers say so then it must be true."

Once, more than 10 years ago, when I was at FOSDEM I talked to someone at the pre-conference beer drinking party. She explained that at their company they would not consider hiring anyone who had ever written in Perl. - Clearly a very stupid idea as there are some brilliant Perl programmers. However, this is where prejudice leads to. It does not only hurt the Perl developers, it also hurts the people having the prejudice.

How is prejudice manufactured? One key aspect of creating and then increasing this prejudice against Perl and even against people who wrote in Perl was the repetition of lies that are now accepted as "facts". Another aspect was that saying bad things about Perl seemed like a requirement to be accepted in the Python community. It certainly helped some people who moved from Perl to Python to "be forgiven". I remember when I first started to write in Python and go to Python events, there was a some pressure to distance myself from my "sinful past" writing Perl. So far I managed no to cave in and so I still receive such demands once in a while.

How to fight prejudice? There are many articles about this topic, I am sure it will be interesting to read some of them.

That's it for this weeks rant.

In the meantime I continue running two instances of the Open Source Development Course. One in Hebrew for a mix of biologists and programmers. Some of whom are students and some with work experience. The other one is in English with extra focus on Perl. I hope that the participants in this course will soon start opening issues and sending Pull-Requests to various CPAN modules.

Enjoy your week!

Your editor: Gabor Szabo.


RIP Prairie Nyx

Just a few months ago I talked to her. She wanted to work at least till she is 70. Unfortunately that won't happen now.


Project Report "Google TensorFlow API Bindings for Perl"

The project has been submitted for final review. The delivered deliverables are in the article as outlined by John Napiorkowski.

Bug fix and maintenance release 1.62 of perl-workflow

I can only applaud the extra mile Jonas goes publishing about his releases on too.

The Perl Toolchain Summit 2023 has a COVID Policy

The single most important step in protecting others is to not show up sick.

First release of SPVM::File::Copy and SPVM::FindBin

It is really nice that Yuki sticks to his project(s) so much and even keeps blogging about them. Where are the followers?

Find expiring SSL certs using curl, Go and Perl.

Just like domain name registrations, SSL certificates need to be renewed regularly, otherwise they expire. This means you now have one more thing to monitor. Let's look at ways to do this in Perl, curl and Go. The article also gives a quick introduction to a hosted Mojolicious app that Olaf wrote to make this even easier.


I am not sure why post all of these now, but maybe Steven has just created the script to generate the annual reports. So here they are.

List of new CPAN distributions in 2022

Number of new CPAN distributions this period: 789; Number of authors releasing new CPAN distributions this period: 252

List of new CPAN distributions in 2021

Number of new CPAN distributions this period: 876; Number of authors releasing new CPAN distributions this period: 269

List of new CPAN distributions in 2020

Number of new CPAN distributions this period: 1287; Number of authors releasing new CPAN distributions this period: 329

List of new CPAN distributions in 2019

Number of new CPAN distributions this period: 1179; Number of authors releasing new CPAN distributions this period: 352

List of new CPAN distributions in 2018

Number of new CPAN distributions this period: 1358; Number of authors releasing new CPAN distributions this period: 426


This week in PSC (097)

The Weekly Challenge

The Weekly Challenge by Mohammad Anwar will help you step out of your comfort-zone. You can even win prize money of $50 Amazon voucher by participating in the weekly challenge. We pick one winner at the end of the month from among all of the contributors during the month. The monthly prize is kindly sponsored by Peter Sergeant of PerlCareers.

The Weekly Challenge - 204

Welcome to a new week with a couple of fun tasks "Monotonic Array" and "Reshape Matrix". If you are new to the weekly challenge then why not join us and have fun every week. For more information, please read the FAQ.

RECAP - The Weekly Challenge - 203

Enjoy a quick recap of last week's contributions by Team PWC dealing with the "Special Quadruplets" and "Copy Directory" tasks in Perl and Raku. You will find plenty of solutions to keep you busy.

Quadruple Copies

Dry run with verbose mode is the best combination. Keep it up great work.

Non-Authoritative Information

Dave is fan of recursion and use it very intelligently. Cool contributions. Thanks.

The Weekly Challenge 203

James is master of elegant Perl solution. You will fall in love with Perl again. Highly Recommended.

PWC203 - Special Quadruplets

No hard question for me this time, happy me. Thanks for your funny notes.

PWC203 - Copy Directory

Cool use of CPAN modules, I loved it. Thanks for sharing the knowledge.

Perl Weekly Challenge 203: Special Quadruplets and Copy Directory (Functional Programming Approach)

Laurent always spoil us with varieties of solutions. Keep it up great work and thanks for your contributions.

Nested Loops

Using good old loops did the trick this time. Clean solution, well done.

Perl Weekly Challenge 203

One-liner wasn't appropriate this time, so we got to see the different side of Luis. Thanks for sharing.

Quads and directory enquiries

Practical discussion around the task makes it easy to follow the solution. Well done.

The Weekly Challenge #203

Full credit goes to Robbie for the extra effort. Appreciate your contributions.

Directing the Quadruplets

Pure CPAN solution this time, smart move. Well done.


OSDC Lesson 2

Notes from the 2nd meeting of the Open Source Developer Course for Perl programmers.

Weekly collections

NICEPERL's lists

Great CPAN modules released last week;
MetaCPAN weekly report;
StackOverflow Perl report.

Perl Jobs by Perl Careers

Adventure! Senior Perl roles in Malaysia, Dubai and Malta

Clever folks know that if you’re lucky, you can earn a living and have an adventure at the same time. Enter our international client: online trading is their game and they’re looking for Perl people who have passion, drive, and an appreciation for new experiences.

Senior Perl Developer with Cross-Trained Chops. UK Remote Perl Role

The client is interested in anyone with experience building web apps in Perl, using one of the major Perl frameworks. If you’re a crack-hand with Catalyst, a Mojolicious master, or a distinguished Dancer, they want you. You’ll be deploying apps your work to AWS, so experience would be handy, and the company’s big on testing, so they’d like you to know your way around Test::More.

C, C++, and Perl Software Engineers, Let’s Keep the Internet Safe. UK Remote Perl Role

A leading digital safeguarding solutions provider is looking for a software engineer experienced in C, C++, or Perl. You’ll have strong Linux knowledge and a methodical approach to problem solving that you use to investigate, replicate, and address customer issues. Your keen understanding of firewalls, proxies, Iptables, Squid, VPNs/IPSec and HTTP(S) will be key to your success at this company.

You joined the Perl Weekly to get weekly e-mails about the Perl programming language and related topics.

Want to see more? See the archives of all the issues.

Not yet subscribed to the newsletter? Join us free of charge!

(C) Copyright Gabor Szabo
The articles are copyright the respective authors.

Top comments (0)