In comp.lang.perl.misc John Ousterhout <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> That said, I still suspect that as scripting applications grow it makes
> more and more sense to implement parts of them in a system programming
> language. The great thing about scripting languages is that this is
> easy to do. You can take the performance-critical kernel of a Tcl
> application and implement it in C or C++; ditto for any complicated data
> structures or algorithms. The simple, non-performance-critical parts
> can be left in Tcl. I knew when I started on Tcl that it wouldn't be
> appropriate for all problems, so I designed it to work smoothly with
> other languages. In contrast, most languages are egotistical: they
> expect you to do *everything* in that language and make it very hard to
> split the functionality of an application between multiple languages.
> For example, I've been involved with several attempts to make C and Lisp
> work together, and they all failed.
Perl is very good at this; you can easily embed C code in Perl and vice-
versa (!!), Perl code in C.
If I'm not mistaken, FORTRAN libraries have also been linked in already.
And you can even compile Perl into plain C code.
> - It is possible to make languages with execution speeds like C or C++,
> that use dynamic typing successfully, whilst being high-level enough
> in the creation of abstractions to "glue" things together quite
> nicely and easily.
> Can you point to a specific language and identify a large community of
> users who agree with this assessment?
> Many people have made claims like
> this to me, but no one has been able to point to a good real-world
> example. The white paper argues that you can't have a jack-of-all-trades
> language. Either you have a strongly typed language, which gives high
> speed and manageability but makes gluing hard, or you have a weakly
> typed language with the opposite properties.
IMHO, "tertium non datur" doesn't hold for Perl...
Because the philosophy of Perl is quite distinct from all other programming
languages (see the interview of Larry Wall and Tom Christiansen in WebWeek -
a link to the article can be found by following links down from www.ora.com),
it combines high speed, manageability and maintainability (if so written,
that is), *and* easy gluing (see "How Perl saved the human genome project" in
"The Perl Journal", for instance).
And Perl actually *is* sort of a "jack-of-all-trades" language...
It's not for pure fun alone that Perl is also nicknamed "PERL = Pathologically
*Eclectic* Rubbish Lister"... :-)
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