After skimming the article at the heart of the Slashdot discussion I think
there are some reasons for the popularity of Perl-alternatives:

a) Large corporations have supported some languages or standardized on them
(Sun/Java, Apple/Objective-C).
b) Some languages are hot because of a perceived low learning curve,
widespread framework availability and adoption (JavaScript, frameworks like
Mootools, JQuery, et. al.)
c) In cases where you would think Perl would be a natural choice Bash seems
easier in some cases, "people are opting for the simplicity and portability
of Bash rather than Perl in these cases..."

Prospective Strategies:

A: Powerhouse Corporate Endorsement

Our beloved computing industry has companies like Apple and Google at the
forefront and they are both decidedly un-Perl-friendly. But who would have
ever thought that these companies would be where they are today ten years
ago? Certainly not me, that's for sure. My guess here is that, like
everything in computing, sooner or later the computing market is going to
shift again. Perhaps rather than computers or cell phones we will all start
buying robots or something. Let's look into the future of computing,
whatever is coming *after* this round, to become the defacto language.

B: Slash Thine Learning Curve

I'm all for building a smaller, more compact, version of Perl that is as
absurdly restrictive as other languages. We can call it LockBox Perl or
Nope-You-Can't-Do-That-Anymore Perl. Whatever. (There used to be something
like this -- EmbPerl or something but I think it died because the Perl
community didn't like it.) Allow for some special instruction at the top of
scripts that allows you do actually use Perl instead of the locked-down
version. That way corporations can simply say -- 'for project X you CANNOT
use the cool unlock instruction.' Once Perl is in use it becomes easier to
sell them onto more advanced features/syntax.

C: Wait a Minute There...

Here is where I think a marketing campaign would work. I think there is
growth in the Linux user base and folks who want to experiment with the
'coolness' of Linux will inevitably experiment with scripting. The
certification examinations for Linux all center on Bash, so it is no wonder
that it is rising in popularity. If someone took the time to analyze this
they might find the Bash adoption curve mimicking that of Linux adoption or
perhaps Linux certification attempts. If this is correct then a good
strategy might be to steer people toward trying Perl while they are banging
away at the console. Perl was originally built to beat out scripting
alternatives so this is fairly logical.

On Thu, Jan 31, 2013 at 2:10 AM, Johan Vromans <> wrote:

> We know we suck at marketing, but is there anything we are going to do
> about it?
> -- Johan


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