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Language functionality (was: Re: another mysterious segfault)

From: Tim Nelson
Subject: Language functionality (was: Re: another mysterious segfault)
Date: Wed, 31 Aug 2005 10:44:39 +1000 (EST)

On Tue, 30 Aug 2005, Mark Burgess wrote:

Speed has nothing to do with it. Cfengine was written in C bcause there
was no alternative when I started cfengine. But even a scripting
language will not help avoid a seg fault, if it is caused by a pathology
of the system. I know people have this irrational belief in perl as
language for everything, but you just can't do serious programming in
perl. It's too primitive as a language.

I find this an interesting perspective, because I believe Perl is one of the most advanced languages (ie. the opposite of primitive). I've thought of some possibilities, and I'm interested in which one is true.

1.      You know of features available in other programming languages (eg.
        Lisp macros) that Perl doesn't have, and think that Perl is
        primitive due to not having them.  I find this unlikely compared
        to C, unless you're comparing with a version of Perl earlier than
        5, but I'll believe it if Mark indicates that this is what he's
thinking. 2. You believe Perl is primitive due to the way that things like OO
        and case statements are implemented (and I agree that they could
        be improved; see Perl 6 :) ), ie. you simulate them using other
functionality. 3. You have some other definition of primitive, of which I am
4.      Something else I haven't thought of

This might be slightly OT, but I use cfengine because it's more expressive (ie. less code = more functionality) than any other language in this problem domain. I use Perl for the same reason elsewhere. I'm just wondering if I've missed something, which is why I'm asking if Mark (B) could take a moment to indicate which of the four options above is true.


Kind Regards,
Tim Nelson
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