Friday, May 6, 2011

On using PERL -- The "Print Evaulate Read Loop"

Anyone who has gotten deep enough into Perl programming has been asked questions about PERL. Supposedly this is another programming language related to Perl, but only used by newcomers.

I submit however that this is the natural course of events with the Perl noob. It is the PERL flow -- Print Evaluate Read Loop.

Many people are familiar with the REPL (Read Evaluate Print Loop) mechanism of program interaction. This simply is a program that Reads a line of code, Evaluates what that line does, and Prints the response, Looping in order to do it all over again.

PERL is very similar. The noob Prints out some Perl code, perhaps amending some totally unrelated and possibly aweful old code found online somewhere, Evaluates it on some poor shmucks on say Stack Overflow, asking why it isn't doing some task (which it had no earthly possibility of doing), Reads what he should have read in the documentation, and finally Loops, doing the cycle over again.

In truth I am happy to help the Perl noobie from PERL to Perl, but every now and again you would think they would learn to capitalize it properly. I cannot figure out how they can all say Python (never PYTHON) but not Perl.

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