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I have had this data-cleaning experience often. "we don't have budget for the software","we are looking at blah product". I have usualy accomplished the task with a few carefully crafted Regex. Hey thanks for the heads up on Lingua::EN::NameParse I will definitely haver a look at that!

Francois Marais wrote:
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Another example: At a major SA financal institution we are working a M$ developer was given the task to clean name and address lists on a DB2 database. You know the thing: Address line1, line2,... with potentially everything in each line. The task was to sort that as far as possible into title, forenames, surname,...

Anyway, a month later he came back proudly wielding a 12page SQL script. When asked how it worked he refused to explain, with a proud smile, saying the logic was too impenetrable.

I heard about this, had a look around on CPAN, downloaded Lingua::EN::NameParse, and after fiddling with the config file to introduce local titles like Mnr/Mev/..., I was cleaning the DB2 data no problem. And I only had to write 10 lines of code, and importantly no parsing. And it took me one hour. And the parsing criteria are in a config file for all to see, easy to change.

From every possible angle, except the original programmers twisted sense of pride, the Perl solution was better.

On Thu, Apr 8, 2010 at 2:20 PM, Spike < <>> wrote:

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    perl will never die for the simple reason it works. And works
    fast. Ask a java programmer to do the equivalent of perl -p -i -e
    on a hundred 500Mb files and see which app is ready first and
    which runs the quickest.

    We have complex systems built on .net. they work, not brilliantly
    but they do work.  But simple things are often very time
    consuming. A quick example springs to mind - we need to FTP a
    600Mb text files from a remote site and total all the numbers in
    the 4th, 9th and 17th columns depending on the value of the text
    in the first column. It took about 15 mintis to write and hour to
    polish in perl. The .net guys are still trying to get the FTP to work.

    So what I'm saying is that no matter how advanced and expensive
    your lazer concrete cutter is, a drill will always be faster and
    more reliable if you want to make hole.

    Winston Haybittle (by way of Anne Wainwright
    <> <>) wrote:
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    Hi Ann & Group
    We need clear roadmap for PERL 6, maybe a standards cross platform compiler.
    This is definitely not technical issue, maybe management/marketing
    optimizations needed. And then there is training and support? I mean PERL
    kills PHP hands down?! Modern day architecture with open standards means
    that Programming Language/OS lock in is less relevant. People should be
    packaging virtual appliances with Perl in the core? As is the norm with the
    very best VM appliances.

    -----Original Message-----
    [] On Behalf Of Anne
    Sent: 06 April 2010 11:04 PM
    To: za perlmongers
    Subject: [za-pm] is Perl on the decline?

    Note: Default reply-to is to the poster.

    Well, is it?

    I was surprised (perhaps I wasn't) when I logged onto the za-pm
    list-server to find that of course it is the ubiquitous Mailman which
    is written in Python, and although it is a very capable package I
    thought we might be supporting home industries  ;) There are a number of
    mailing list managers written in perl (sympa, dadamail). Can't comment
    on whether we have the best one, but I'm happy with it anyway.

    Looking on the ubuntu software centre app, entering 'perl' brings up 19
    apps which is reduced to 13 if we omit editors, ide's, and perl-specific

    entering 'python' brings up 99 apps reduced to 72 on the same basis.

    OK, figures up or down one or two, but that's a big difference. There
    are an awful lot more general applications written in Python than perl
    available for a linux box.

    Conversely, under IT & computer the local new book site 
    lists 338 books under 'perl' and 207 under 'python', but of course Perl
    has been around a _lot_longer and many of the perl titles are of

    I am (very slowly) developing an app in perl/Catalyst. Needing
    something up and running faster than I was going I found a RAD front -
    Kexi - to do the CRUD dirtywork. No suprise, buttons & stuff can have
    actions coded in Python or Ruby, but not perl! That's the KDE offering,
    the Gnome offering - Glom - also allows coding in Python but not in perl
    (or Ruby for that matter).

    This result could of course be skewed by the sort of programming that
    each language is typically used for. Perl is probably way ahead in the
    administration stakes, but why has it lagged behind in general useage?
    Is this a technical issue?

    Do we have a new generation of programmers brought up on Python and not
    perl? At the local university Python has been the starter package for
    IT for some years. They are very M$ oriented and students are not
    much exposed to linux and hence perl.

    I could go on, but wondered what the views on this from the
    professional world are.

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