1. No, that’s cobblers. If for no other reason than programming languages are not cool, it’s the stuff you do with them that’s cool.Warning: MBA marketing stuff coming up:Not that I’ll particularly defend Java, or most Java programmers, but I think Ruby, with Rails, has done a much more focussed branding campaign than Perl. After all, Perl’s been around for years and hasn’t captured the imagination in the same way, probably because of programs that look like a cartoon character saying “bollocks”, ie #!$^&##!&&@~But more than that, I think Perl has suffered from not being properly positioned in the mind of programmers. It’s a sort of multi-purpose, jack of all trades thing, whereas at least Ruby on Rails is clearly positioned as “Build web-apps fast”. Now, it might well be that a jack of all trades language is pretty handy, but that’s just not the way that the human brain (and hence marketing) works.Also, I think Perl has an image problem in that it’s promoted by beardie weirdie lefties (no offence!) at the major-league hardcore end of geekdom, whereas Java and other languages are maybe more pitched at people that have more balance in their lives. Possibly controversial, that.Anyway, I blame the Tories.

  2. Ian,I think you’re misunderstanding what Piers is saying. It’s really not about Perl vs Ruby or Perl vs Java or anything like that. It’s actually about the difference between dynamic languages (like Perl, Ruby and Python) and static languages like Java and C#.I agree completely that Ruby (particularly with Rails) has had some phenomenal marketing over the last year or so. And it’s that which has made it acceptable for Java programmers to try it out. And when they try it out they find that dynamic languages are actually pretty cool (and, yes, I think a programming language can be cool).And, of course, you’re also comparing two slightly different things. By itself Ruby is a general purpose programming language that is a lot like Perl and is useful for exactly the same set of tasks. It’s only when you add Rails into the mix that it becomes positioned as “build web-apps fast”. Perl can do that to. You just have to choose a framework to work with. Catalyst and Jifty seem to be the most popular this month.

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