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

Brad Cox (
Thu, 9 Jul 1998 15:25:23 -0400

At 01:52 PM -0400 07/09/1998, Robert S. Thau wrote:
>Ummm... I'm confused. Perl interfaces to the most common commercial
>databases (Oracle, etc.) are available and widely used.

Sorry, I wasn't clear. Prior to the Paul Allen award, the problem was no
money at all. The perl INTERFACES were free but not the DBMS, thus the "no
solutions" re: Perl.

Ultimately bought Symantic Visual Cafe Database Edition out of pocket,
which comes with a bundled RDBMS. The problem there was wedging it all into
a 24mb Toshiba laptop. Couldn't use my production server for experimental
(Java) stuff because that's BSDI Unix. Visual Cafe required a Windows box.

All this may change when capable equipment arrives (big PC from Dialogos,
big Mac G3 server via Paul Allen).

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.

That's what I'm experiencing.

Brad Cox; George Mason University; 703 361 4751; A Project with Paradoxical Goals