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Programming Perl, 3rd Edition by Jon Orwant, Tom Christiansen, Larry Wall

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Chapter 27. Perl Culture

This book is a part of Perl culture, so we can't hope to put everything we know about Perl culture in here. We can only whet your appetite with a little history, and a little art--some would say "very little art". For a much larger dose of Perl culture, see http://www.perl.org and http://www.perl.com. (Larry keeps copies of all his (official) ravings at http://www.wall.org/~larry.) Or just get acquainted with some other Perl programmers. We can't tell you what sort of people they'll be—about the only personality trait Perl programmers have in common is that they're all pathologically helpful.

History Made Practical

In order to understand why Perl is defined the way it is (or isn't), one must first understand why Perl even exists. So, let's drag out the old dusty history book....

Way back in 1986, Larry was a systems programmer on a project developing multi-level-secure wide-area networks. He was in charge of an installation consisting of three VAXen and three Suns on the West Coast, connected over an encrypted, 1200-baud serial line to a similar configuration on the East Coast. Since Larry's primary job was support (he wasn't a programmer on the project, just the system guru), he was able to exploit his three virtues (laziness, impatience, and hubris) to develop and enhance all sorts of useful tools--such as rn, patch, and warp.[1]

One day, after Larry had just finished ripping rn to shreds, leaving it in pieces on the floor of his directory, the great Manager ...

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