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- CPAN

- efficient and compact regex scripts

- one-liners.

Of course, some of these could be considered a reason NOT to use Perl depending on your specific circumstances.




CPAN ~ pypi ~ rubyforge. Ruby allows you to write decent one-liners too, though people don't like to use it this way.

the only argument I can extract from this is "Perl has a much nicer syntax for working with regexps", and I agree with this (and I hate it when other languages don't fully embrace regexps and treat them as first class citizens).

but that's the thing, not even the "reasons not to use it" are unique to Perl any longer: heck, if you want to write incomprehensible code for "job security" reasons, Ruby gives you enough rope to hang the whole neighborhood (and Python too has a "dark side", but fortunately most people don't know or want to learn about it)


work uses pypi every day, and I had to set up a caching proxy because mirrors are frequently unavailable. It was inconceivable coming from CPAN that the major package distribution network for a major language may be down.


I had to deal with the major third party, more or less essential, Ruby and RoR gems a few years ago. Rubyforge was a part of this constellation of essential third party gems. Dealing with gems was definitely dependency hell, with mixed up cross dependencies, which were dependent on certain versions of other gems, that were sometimes conflicting when there were a number of gems. Also, you would go to the main Ruby web pages and click links to documentation and the links would be broken - not some obscure, old documentation page to another old, obscure module, but from central help web pages to other pages of central importance.

I have used CPAN for many years and it is so much more rock solid and automagic. If a mirror is down it jumps to the next one without a beat.

The CPAN modules are great too. I was using XML:Simple recently, but the XML files got too big. So I looked around a little and started using XML:Twig, which works great. Then I needed to sort alphabetically words in a variety of languages. So I went with Sort:ArbBiLex which allows me to create my own sort dictionary and has suggested Western language dictionaries on the documentation page. And yes, it has a cmp call which allows for easy multi-column sorting. For whatever problem I have, it seems someone has already written a module for it, which I can get going with little effort.


Bundler helps a lot though when it comes to managing the gem dependency hell.


OT but I think it's one of the reasons mandrake/mandriva never quite took off. There was never a great centralized repository network you could count no - I grew tired of using the PLF system to grab a list of mirrors, and having to update it all the time because participating mirrors were offline or defunct after a few weeks/months.




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