Re: "Perl is the duct tape of the Internet" and other musings

Robert S. Thau (
Thu, 9 Jul 1998 13:52:11 -0400 (EDT)

Brad Cox writes:
> Frankly, the ONLY reason I'm considering java for production (non-toy) work
> is that the lack of real databases for perl. I've outgrown my home-brew
> OODBMS and crave a real management system. But the CPAN DBMS alternatives
> I've seen are, well, embarassing. If anyone knows of a robust DBMS
> (preferably OODBMS but RDBMS would do), please send an url.

Ummm... I'm confused. Perl interfaces to the most common commercial
databases (Oracle, etc.) are available and widely used. Likewise for
the freely available databases I mentioned in my previous post. There
are no industrial-strength databases written *in Perl*, but that's
because it's simply the wrong tool for the job. (Java's a bit better,
but any substantial query-result cache, for instance, would probably
choke the garbage collectors of most current VMs; it won't be
reasonable to try to implement something like a full-strength DBMS in
Java until Sun starts to deliver performance improvements which
they've been promising for a while).

> But the java world is even worse. Client-side java is ludicrously useless
> (download times, browser incompatibilities, etc) and server-side little
> better. I learned enough perl to start building real stuff in little more
> than a month. But I've been climbing the java curve for nearly two years,
> learning lots but accomplishing little compared to what I can do in perl.

I'm more confused. I've been doing server-side Java for the past
year, doing development on Linux for Windows, and run into no
cross-platform compatibility problems of note. Then again, I'm not
using Macintoshes, and Java on the Mac has a reputation for being
flakier than Java elsewhere.