Cluj Perl Mongers: Make Perl Great Again

2016-11-09 10:11:36 admin Perl Events Perl Interests 0 Comments

At last week’s meeting, the 11th since its inception in 2012, there were a few interesting talks, starting with mst’s presentation, the “godfather”of as he was the first ever guest speaker.  But today we want to talk about another presentation, one called “Make Perl Great Again” by Mihai Szilagyi, a Perl programmer @Evozon. The title of the presentation may put a grin on your face, but hopefully only because of its Trumpesque quality. The presentation was very brief, it can be extended in a larger conversation, but it did point out a few things that are worth mentioning (all references and materials are from the presentation)

Basic premise

Perl was the primary language of the web in the 1990’s, one of the top languages out there, but today we’ve fallen through the cracks a bit further down the line.  Perl is not top dog anymore, but it still has the potential to get back on top. So, how do we make Perl great Again?

Disclaimer: the charts are rigged


20 years ago, Perl was number 3. Now it’s 9. JavaScript was 19. Now, it’s 7. JavaScript is laughing at us (quote from the presentation).

Although Perl’s ranking in the TIOBE index is improving, on a month by month basis, the overall ranking is on a negative trend.

PYPL ( how often language tutorials are searched on Google)


This chart (also rigged) shows something quite different. It’s not about popularity or usage, but about how often people search tutorials for certain languages. The fact is that JavaScript and Python have a lot more resources available when it comes to learning, than Perl has.  

An example from the presentation mentioned was a real life problem that Mihai encountered. In Java the solution was literally the second result on a Google search. Complete with baby steps. In Perl he couldn’t find any solutions. And when you’re a deadline with a problem you don’t have the luxury of posting in a community group and waiting for replies. You need to find a way. And in this case Java offered the solution, even though it took 3 times the code lines and coding time.

So what’s the answer here, how do we make Perl Great Again?

Mihai had some throughs:

  • move from PERL development to software development

  • create learning resources: accessible, easy to find and applicable

  • understand and accept frontend frameworks

  • embrace javascript

The presentation was a bit tongue in cheek, but it did show some good points. In order for Perl to prosper and be a part of the future of programming it must tap into the new generation of developers. That won’t happen without good and accessible learning materials. Also, developers have to be polyglot and they have to embrace the front end side, JavaScript. It can’t be ignored anymore.

What do you think needs to be done to make Perl great again?

Leave a comment


Subscribe to our newsletter!

Make sure you never miss the interesting stories of Perl startups, apps and projects.