Last updated: 2000.07.30

Perl is the COBOL of the Internet Age

Don't get me wrong. Don't send me hate mail. I love Perl. It is a great language for writing powerful text manipulation programs. AWK is still fresh in my memories. I cannot remember how many useful data extraction and reporting Perl programs I have written.

COBOL is a brain dead language. Anyone who program in it by choice should see a psychiatrist.

So what is this comparison to the COBOL language? It is not the technology. It is the general, or management perspective, that makes it so dangerous. On the service, Perl has a great power to text ratio. You can perform more processing in Perl per lines of code then many languages. Anyone seems to be able to write a Perl program. You don't need a real (read expensive) programmer to write Perl. Any kid out of school seems to be able to write Perl code.

Have you heard? Perl 5 is object oriented. What more do you want? An OOPL that can be used by junior programmers.

Perl encourage trail-and-error coding. Note that I did not say "programming". Programming by definition requires thinking.