A lot of comments seem to be equating dying with dead. Adding Bitcoin and Blockchain I was just curious. Certainly popular enough to be considered among the major programming languages at the time. For example, it doesn’t support functions with arguments, well, not like what exists today in mainstream languages. Free Talk Live Welcome to the Free Talk Live bulletin board system! That's odd. Other than C++ in high school, Perl was one of the first languages that I learned. The only reasons to use Perl for a new project these days are because you have better nearby support (from yourself or others) for it than you do for another language or because there’s some rare library that Perl has that other languages don’t, and it’s not more practical just to port the library. Nothing specific to which I can point but I’ve never seen a language with quite the utility of Perl’s format feature. Nor is it its decline, along with COBOL and Delphi, anything to do with age. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! A whole generation of programmers became familiar with regex (mostly for the good!) Lots of other languages were around for many years or even decades before: COBOL, FORTRAN, Pascal, C, Algol, LISP, just to name a few. We're still actively maintaining a whole bunch of TCL code, which is much farther down the list. By that definition you can just as well argue that Python and Ruby “don’t support functions with arguments” because they also don’t do do call-site checking against prototypes in the way that C and Java do, instead letting you pass a string to a function expecting an integer and waiting until it gets however much further down the call stack before generating an exception. This forum is abused. Just have a look at some Perl websites and CPAN and on the horizon there is a whole new language - Perl 6. Making sure your’e using the efficient C/C++ code for the parts where you really need a lot of performance, but still being able to use a much less efficient language for the other work, is tricker than you think; it’s easy to design an API that suddenly sticks you with having to move some processing up into Python unnecessarily and slows down things by a couple of orders of magnitude, or makes you go write C++ code to do trivial things that are nonetheless much harder to write in C++ than Python. I have a backlog of clients interested in Perl work longer than I can handle, and they don't mind my requirements because they have no one to replace me with. Surely a more constructive comparison might be looking at a 1 page app in Mojolicious vs Flask, Express, etc? if any? [0] (I believe it now forks to sh instead. If you play to its strengths, it is amazing. Published on April 13, 2015 April 13, 2015 • 40 Likes • 27 Comments. Well, I don’t think it became really popular until CGI programs took off in the mid-90s. This is just like a book on antique furniture restoration. For one-liners, awk. I dunno, for certain task I think Perl is unmatched. I really like perl. Modern IDEs make syntax addition cheap. Not that any of this tiny niggles invalidate your main point. > Contrast with Perl, which was mainly used by niche hackers (in the original, respectful sense), used in the types of products that live by the SV valley motto of "move fast and break things". This article is describing Perl from 10-15 years ago at least if not 20. if any? Various parts of that style (magic variables, punctuation prefixes/suffixes determining variable type, automatic variable interpolation in strings, etc.) I'm not so sure, but I'll like to know what makes a language a dying or dead language. Yet talking to people who work in those same companies, reveals Perl is something they need and look for, but they aren't mentioning in their job ads. They just don’t tell you because that might offend the Python Social Justice Warriors–PC and all that. @thehftguy what are you talking about? About 30 years ago, Perl 3 was released. Perl is not dead if you're keeping track of the language. But I think it’s a bit of a stretch to correlate language popularity with the frequency of searches on Google. Much innovation continues to take place, but since you so concerned with “popularity” trends, you are missing much of what is happening in this space. If the language is being maintained and bugs fixed, is that dying? Like its peers, Perl and Haskell, Lua might be showing its age in terms of developer excitement and usage. If you were writing an HTTP API, you would probably do something very similar although not running over CGI. Perl code is unreadable. Perl’s growth is currently on a decline. Complicated regexes? Just doing stats. How to Deduplicate String Objects In-Memory in Python? Perl won’t be extinct anytime soon due to its quality. Perhaps a little bit of research could help your point as well. The world has moved on. While the development of the core language seems to have shuffled off the mortal coil, CPAN is more active today than ever before. Apple announcement: Future versions of macOS won’t include scripting language runtimes by default + discussion on Hacker NewsRedHat announcement: Python in RHEL 8. It can be a backronym and the official name at the same time. Learning any bit of awk is worth every moment of the investment. That's a far leap from saying the module is "broken, bad and wrong". I used Python for a while, but the Perl job market was just too nice to pass. Is Perl Dead? Besides, many websites are still written in it which seems to be important for some reason. Perl is dead. I don't think it is gone within 4 years. Some rather famous Wall Street ones actually. Perl is still very much a viable choice for modern programming. The OSS world, all the glitter, is just an iceberg to the ice continent of the software industry as a whole. I also like that you can make the language evolve without having to add syntax (something Java is suffering from). And perl.com is run by a small group of Perl enthusiasts; it hasn’t been in any way “official” for a very long time. I always hear, "Perl is sooooo 1995, this all needs to be redone in PHP, time to live in 2010 . I don't even know much awk! The IDE had a GUI editor to drag and drop widgets, very efficient and easy to use, maybe the first to provide that. Perl and Python have always come pre-installed on Linux. In the end, it had a good r… I never made the switch to python as it seemed to have more aspirations than that. If you're building a message to go on the wire as part of a protocol that needs certain specific characters, and if you're trying to write portable code, then you shouldn't use "\n" (or "\r"). Yup, me to. """Perl officially stands for Practical Extraction and Report Language, except when it doesn't.""". I'm not sure using a very outdated CGI example as an illustration of why Perl is dying is all that convincing. Perl has a well-deserved reputation as a "write-only language". I always preferred it to Perl myself. As for your argument that Perl is dying and should be avoided for new projects, it is especially specious. Much has changes since then, but let's not rewrite history to completely ignore Perl's role in where we are today. This can be verified from multiple sources, including the "Learning Perl" book ( see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perl#cite_note-57 ). The current state of Perl 5 for Python fans: Larry was originally going to include the 'a' and name the language 'Pearl'. I'm not saying you should have liked Perl, but in the programming landscape of 15 years ago you were passing up one of the most important things powering the Web. As a real scripting language for basic system tasks is still good enough and probably you won’t find better replacement. But folklore is a thing. For one-liners, I considered switching from Perl to AWK, but gave up because AWK behaves differently on BSD and Linux. Basic CGI script to show all GET request parameters. The CGI example is straight copy/pasted from the official Perl guide, November 2018. https://www.perl.com/article/perl-and-cgi/. Certainly not the kind of Perl a software engineer in a startup is producing today. Perl is very much alive for me, and here’s why. The amount of 'legacy' systems that run Perl and need maintenance is staggering. Long live Python! Also, it seems unlikely to be a “matter of time” until Python gets removed from the default Ubuntu install since Snappy and other Canonical tools are written in it. Link to Google Trend: Delphi, Haskell, COBOL, Perl, Rust. Links and other helpful resources for new and experienced Perl programmers. Perl was one of the main languages used on the internet pre-2000. I’ve seen mind-curdlingly horrible Perl of several varieties (novice, mad genius, and the biggest ugliest balls of mud you’ve ever seen), yet nothing has yet touched even the hem of the horrors I presented over-architected Java ravioli with acute patternitis. The Practical Extraction and Reporting Language thing is not Perl's name, it's just a backronym that Larry Wall came up with. However, I have used many other tools as well, so I haven't stayed in touch with Perl-using companies much. And the line of code that broke me was something similar to. And again I reiterate (perhaps more clearly this time): Perl was in no way “genuinely unique and exotic” when it was introduced; it brought together and built on a bunch of standard language features from various languages that anybody programming on Unix above the level of C in the 80s and 90s was already very familiar with. Why use Perl when you could use Python? I used to write perl 20 years ago and haven't touched it in 15 years. I didn't say anything about primarily. It is a fantastic tool. This article is poorly researched on at least expressing the functionality available and *used* by anyone writing Perl today. Ruby is, and it came out in 1995. I generally measure th health of a language by how much contemporary use it gets. https://www.perl.com/article/perl-and-cgi/, https://github.com/Perl/perl5/graphs/contributors, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perl#cite_note-57, https://www.notch8.com/bash-commands-ruby/, https://everything2.com/title/BSD+is+dying. It’s just a simple example to show what the languages look like, including variable, loop and print. Nothing personal with Perl. Or if I want a 100-line script that will work in 2029 the same as it works today and won't require any stuff to be installed first? But it’s there for anyone who wants to use it. It saddens me that perl does not get more love. Btw: The book "Perl One-Liners" from No Starch is not bad for people who want to learn a bit of Perl to become "dangerous". After a while I started to contribute: bug fixes at first, and later language features. Same in the 3 languages straight from the textbook and stack overflow. Compare this with Python, which I've never really used as a day to day language, but every few months have to deal with some smaller project written in Python. And what’s the replacement for collecting params? Much of its syntax and semantics are inspired by Bourne shell, AWK and similar languages, and a number of these ideas were even carried forward into Ruby. Curious what’s dying faster between COBOL, Delphi and Perl? There is still a lot of new mainframe code written today. Once you get familiar with a lot of the idioms, it is extremely powerful, and the amount of processing you can do in a line or two of perl would take 10 lines in Java and 20 in C. And 15 years ago, these were the languages it was competing against. (more precisely: it parses the headers the script outputs in a relaxed way and lets the server write them in a correct format later). Perl may look exotic now, but to someone who had been scripting on Unix in the 80s and 90s, Perl was very comfortable because it was full of common idioms that they were already familiar with. Job/contract adverts from those companies either don't mention Perl, or mention it only in passing "DevOps... expert in Kubernetes, AWS, Terraform, etc. About functions. Please stop creating this kind of content, it’s a large factor in the “demise” of Perl. It's against regulations! Perl is dying quick. 0000000 X – f o o : b a r \r \n C o n t Calling it "one of the first" programming languages is just flat-out wrong. > For example, it doesn’t support functions with arguments. The flexibility in Perl is nice, and while references can be a real PitA, a weird assertion to just make. It’s worth noting, however, that even though Perl’s Community Engagement ranking was lower in 2019 than in 2018, it still finished in a respectable 9th place. Better yet, K - it's even more cryptical than Perl :). > "Perl was a popular programming language about 30 years ago", And if sometime in the future Perl is no longer included by default, it will be installed "by dependency" just when you install packages like rsnapshot, CSF firewall, etc. As someone who’s been using sh/awk/sed/etc. Ruby: 687 I like all the special symbols. Booking.com also still has a ton of Perl I believe. > That makes one wonder about who else is still using Perl? I like how you skip Lisp, Smalltalk and C to show that Perl was one of the first. I was pretty fired up to find that, if only for nostalgia (haven't used it myself since undergrad studies required it [bioperl]), Larry Wall is 65 years old. But was that ever a real possibility? My understanding is that's still in use, but probably not undergoing extensive development. Some of the big names that used it are Amazon and Craigslist. Because it was so easy to use, lots of people who were not first-class programmers were able to write a lot of not-so-nice scripts which made later programmers sad and angry. * Just general, unquantified impressions from Perl communities I vaguely follow (twitter, Perl questions on Stack Overflow, some IRC channels etc). A lot of breakage in that space is due to new people with no perl familiarity coming in and making changes--the pool of people that understand how that stuff works is shrinking. I mean I have languages I don't use anymore, except on the odd times when I know they're the best solution. Enter perl: Rather than use mySQL’s primitive tools for discarding lines, I condition the input files with perl one-liners that process one file at time, called from a Powershell script. Perl first appeared 18dec1987, which is 31 years and 10 months ago. It’s still heavily used for the tasks it was used for when I learnt it, in 1994–1995, but at that time, it looked set for an even brighter future: it was develop If it's free it's not getting money from users to finance that; if the user base is dwindling it also means there are few developers or other-company employees to work on it. I started using Perl in the late 80s as a replacement to complex sed and awk scripts, but switched to Python in 2010. People have been writing “Perl is dying” articles longer than many modern languages have been around. Personally aside from getting sucked into ~ 30% devops over the last few years, I've had trouble finding decently paid work that isn't perl. There is no better language for ingesting text in ad hoc formats and generating formatted reports. Perl will be dead because there are less searches on it and Apple is deprecating all script interpreters (not singling out Perl) and RedHat has announced that. I keep hearing about how there is demand for good Perl programmers, especially ones who know other things too, because there's so much Perl out there which needs maintenance, modernisation, or conversion to something else. > how much new code is being written in Perl? I never used CGI.pm for generating HTML...the idea of using functions for tags seemed unneccusarily dense when HTML is a string and Perl is well suited to handling strings. Is that a sign of a dying language? ( Log Out /  Sigils? (And PHP is). Search for Perl this month: Out of ~800 positions, exactly 1 is for Perl, and Perl is mentioned in passing in only 2 others. I still use it every day but in more modern sense with Moo. When the first user group was set up in London, where I was living by then, I signed up immediately. Ruby on Rails: 105 Yet, about half of the best paid contracts I see have Python as the primary skill. Later I shifted to templating modules like HTML::Template and Template::Toolkit. I have nothing against Perl, I just find that the young are much more likely to know Python. Those who know it treasure it for the unmatched performance. So, not “about 30 years ago”, but “about 25 years ago”. I recently learned Python and while I think I'm pretty OK at it, I still have WTF moments from time to time. In both cases, you have a need to let the system render something differently depending on context (platform or user location/language/etc., respectively). https://www.mongodb.com/blog/post/the-mongodb-perl-driver-is... https://github.com/duckduckgo?language=perl. Nevertheless, I’m sure your article will be vastly popular by everybody that knows very little about Perl but are happy to believe that their chosen language is superior without actually verifying the facts. By the forces a circumstances, I had to reverse engineer and decommission a few Perl scripts in an old company earlier this year. Keeps working great with Perl 5.20, which is the most recent Perl version at this moment. I have been programming in Perl since the mid 90s. That is, it's possible for something to have less relative market position but be increasing or static in total usage if the total market is increasing fast enough. I immediately mentally inserted “Netcraft confirms” before the title of this submission. I like Perl and I’m gonna keep using it, probably for quite a while. I have the same experience. Is it dying? Error codes in "$! Most of all, Perl was fun with all the different ways you could do things. ...able to write scripts in Bash, Python or Perl". If I wrote a custom language for me and a few friends or companies and there's 100 of us using it, no one would declare the language dying. Huh, I guess all of those ancient Apache installations running mod_perl are more glamorous than we thought. Nobody wants to rewrite existing scripts that are used by system tools, ie. This is such a lazy trope. Sure, Perl is loosing popularity but I don't think it's anywhere near dead or extinct. Perl is quite useful and still comes bundled up with any modern Linux system. So why do we use number of users? There is no bug with `\r\n`. >>> And banks do use Perl. This was a constant problem when you were trying to go through the RHEL 5-6-7 upgrade paths among other things. I am aware that CGI is not used to develop applications anymore. HTTP headers MUST be separated by \r\n line ending. That’s why it’s installed in most UNIX derived operating systems as well as embedded in popular software products, i.e., Oracle and Git. 0000020 e n t – T y p e : t e x t / p AWK works for simple things, but has significant limitations especially for more complex parsing you might do in a dozen lines of PERL. That makes one wonder about who else is still using Perl? and it lives on in the large number of PCRE or equivalent implementations – Java, Nginx, R, etc – which really moved the ancient Unix regex to a new level. Dead as in hasn't received an update in years. Yes it does, but not for everything, and there's certainly less new work being done with it. Let’s see some data. Once you get familiar with a lot of the idioms, it is extremely powerful, and the amount of processing you can do in a line or two of perl would take 10 lines in Java and 20 in C. And 15 years ago, these were the languages it was competing against. But it has been quite a while since I last used Perl for cgi. I don't like Perl, but since it's there, it works, it runs quite fast and I'm familiar with it, I'll probably continue using it for my own stuff for as long as I continue to use a computer, which is likely to be at least a couple of decades beyond 2023. 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Its age in terms of developer excitement and usage gotten to Perl 5, version 22, released... Would never use it gets physical newline character the mortal coil, CPAN is more active today ever..., AWK versus GAWK versus NAWK compatibility is an issue or Apple redhat! You need to figure out than what came before it, probably quite! The operating system, device drivers, C # and Java on systems!