Subscribe to
NSLog(); Header Image

I Hate Perl

I hate perl. I really really do. Sometimes. And yet, I realize it's a powerful thing. I realize it actually DOES something with the billions of bytes it downloaded to my server just a few hours ago. Granted, I'm not sure where Perl 5.8.0 WENT after it downloaded, configured, and installed itself (the server still runs 5.0x)... but that's beside the point I guess...

Perl is one of those things that, like many other things in the world, I just detest at first. WHY can't it do this? WHY can't it do that? WHY can't it say "hey, I might have to download a bunch of things now."

I suppose one answer is "because you're supposed to know what you're doing." I'm more and more comfortable with the CLI. Less and less likely to have to read a man page "just to make sure" I won't bork my system by running some command or another. But when it comes to Perl, I'm a newbie. Worse yet, I've spent many years on a Mac with a great GUI.

I read a review yesterday on about whether a Mac could replace a PC. The answer, in 99% of the cases, is "yeah, duh." Macs have Office. Macs can get on the Internet. Macs can do everything that 99% of the world needs them to do. Can it do them all better? No. Can it do most better? I'd say so, but that's an opinion.

The point is, the author, a PC user, came into the Mac realm with so many stupid preconceived notions about how things SHOULD work… the subtext was that they should work like Windows, because that's what he was used to.


So while I hate Perl now, it's really my preconceived notions about how the damn thing should act that are holding me back. Will I learn to like it? Sure. And in fact I've already got some nice perl scripts that do some nice fun things for me (like add spammers to my my server's '/etc/mail/access' file to block retards from emailing me).

So let's just say I'm not planning the honeymoon yet…

10 Responses to "I Hate Perl"

  1. My first ever entry was called I Hate Perl. I don't really hate Perl, but man, sometimes I'm just not a big fan. The CLI...

  2. I agree. It probably is my lack of knowledge that I find it strange to learn perl. All the tutorials start with, type


    print "Hello World\n";

    But there is no gui or promptline. And what is even more strange. There is no interface that will save the .pl or .cgi file for you. I am puzzled.

    Maybe I need a tutorial for retards to begin with.

  3. I have been trying for quite some time now to get a search form on my site (that searches a, and returns a list of titles and descriptions with the titles linking to the relevant page)

    every place i look for cgi/perl info to do this all i find is search.cgi and a search form (search.htm) that look like they should work together. i put the files in the correct locations and everything...

    what does this: #!/usr/bin/perl mean?

    i don't have a folder like that hosted on my website (and there is no filename listed in that line...)

    so the point... i have no clue what i'm talking about and any help to get a database search going that returns results and links would be appreciated A TON!

  4. As I consider moving to ExpressionEngine, I see a race of sorts. The race is between EE's "MT Import" script and MovableType 3.0. The first to win the race will get my vote (at least initially). As I wait, I...

  5. I don't make new year resolutions, because I tend to believe that if you're serious about improving yourself as a human being, you should resolve to make positive changes in your life throughout the year, not just after a dramatic...

  6. perl makes baby jesus cry

  7. Don't use perl for anything. There is never a reason too. Anything you could do with perl you can do much simplier with some other language (Python, Ruby, etc.).

    It is not your "preconceived notions" that are getting in the way. It's the horrible (lack of) language design. It is a hack fromt he ground up. Even having a program consist of more then one file is a hack (that is why if you make some other source file you have to put a "1;" at then end: because file inclusion is a hack).

    They say "you can do anything in Perl" and it's mostly true. But you can do anything in assembler language as well. The question is: why work so hard? Just use a language that does everything so much easier.

  8. [...] Today is my four-year "blogiversary." The very first post I made back in 2002 was called "I Hate Perl." I did then, and I still do now (well, I don't really hate it, I just prefer not to use it). [...]

  9. Bah. You dislike perl, or do you dislike CPAN?

    Just because you don't know how to install perl (or, apparently upgrade it) on your machine - don't fault the language.

  10. [...] this post I've lost a dog and one awesome friend, but gained a daughter, two great friends, and a wife. I've [...]