On Wed, Nov 05, 2003 at 04:19:44PM -0500, Esposito, Anthony wrote:
> How would you convince someone that programming in Perl is better than
> using the UNIX Korn Shell? 

I agreed with many of the comments others gave on this thread,
regarding how each has its merits. To summarize a bit and add my
own spin, I'd emphasize that there's very little that can be
accomplished with any shell by itself, given that they are
command and flow controllers foremost, rather than flexible
data processing tools.

This means shell programmers have to learn other technologies to
get any real work done, and for UNIX/Linux folks, the best choices 
are Perl, Awk, and then grep/sed/sort/find/tr/col/dd/m4, etc.

The choice of Perl is unique amongst this group because those who
learn enough about it don't have to learn the dozens of other
utilities that other shell programmers must master to accomplish
the same tasks. (I used to say the same thing about AWK, but it's
since been eclipsed by Perl in this department.) And as an extra
bonus, Perl programming skills are portable to other OSs.

Along these lines, I'd like to mention that I'm currently writing
a book (see .sig) whose goal is to make it easy for shell users
and programmers to acquire Perl skills, by focusing on a subset
of the language, and embracing Perl through a gradual,
incremental approach. For example, it starts out by showing how
simple Perl commands can function as better versions of grep,
sed, sort, find, awk, etc., and then moves on to show how
knowledge of shell programming can be translated into Perl
programming techniques.

Assuming I ever finish it* 8-}, the book should become available
sometime in 2Q 2004, from Manning Press.

P.S. Believe the rumors! Writing a book is *MUCH* harder than it
     seems/looks/appears/should-be/deserves-to-be, no matter how
     close you might think your previous projects have resembled
     the task. And the pay is terrible! 8-{

| Tim Maher (206) 781-UNIX  (866) DOC-PERL  (866) DOC-UNIX   |
| tim(AT)Consultix-Inc.Com  TeachMeUnix.Com  TeachMePerl.Com |
|  UNIX Fundamentals Class: 11/10-13   Perl Class: 12/01-05  |
|  Watch for my Book: "Minimal Perl for Shell Programmers"   |

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