The Truth of Python and Perl – Features, Pros and Cons Discussed

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Avishek Kumar

I am a major in computer science, love to research nix. I love to write codes and scripts, review distros, experiment Foss Technologies, write technical articles, Hack, of course Ethically. I am working as System Administrator (nix) for a NGO.

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13 Responses

  1. Marco Aurélio says:

    Wait, Perl is so far portable, because it is ANSI C and is available for a wide range of machines and OS. Someones say that this is the most Portable Scripting Language because it is the oldest Scripting Language…

    Python -> RAD/Team Work
    Perl -> Critical Systems/Sysadmin

    But you are right, Perl has ugly Libraries on CPAN, on other Hand, Python has so far useful Libraries.

    • jjolla says:

      what precisely is meant by “ugly libraries” ?

      imho, CPAN is the silver bullet – Perl programs don’t need to be large at all .. because just about everything you need done has already been published on CPAN. Your program tends to be simple glue more times than not.

      Python has awesome math/scientific libraries, and in this space it outshines Perl.

  2. Marco Aurélio says:

    Yes, Perl has a poor (Function) Argument Handling, because it has no true Real Subroutine Signatures, but it change in Perl 6. And yes, Perl isn’t suitable for a team work, seems so far Hardcore put 20 Perl programmers to work without a good standard coding style, even ‘use strict’ try it… So, in the OO, the MOP try to resolve it.

  3. DataMunger says:

    Apparently the author of this article has never worked with Perl.
    Every CON point mentioned is wrong.

    I suggest he read the following article.

  4. Ron S says:

    I disagree that the two items you list as cons for python are actually cons. I think they are big pros.

  5. pmu says:

    One more article where a so called programmer who do not have sufficient knowledge of a language tend to give some really flimsy reasons to run it down. “Interpretor” is how you spell it?? Really??

    Perl may not be as popular as Python, but it’s a great language.

    A LOT of big organizations use Perl to this date and will continue to do so.

  6. Tony Cooper says:

    Another so called expert talking nonsense! Some points:

    “Many ways to achieve same result, means unreadable code, which in turn means untidy code” No this is down to lazy/incompetent programming. Perl is much more forgiving as a language so you can get away with more. More choice means less constraint.

    “As scripting, it is slower for a lot of tasks.” This is Python vs Perl so this point is irrelevant!

    “Object Oriented not implemented well”. It’s not as nice as Python but core OO in Perl works perfectly well and is still easy to use. There are also good frameworks that help streamline things,

    “Creates problem when the codes are larger say more than 200 Lines.” Nonsense. I have written 20K programs without issue. In fact this is a weakness of Python, which does not support data privacy, whereas Perl does.

    “Argument Handling is poor” Well he had to get something right!

    “Not Portable” Nonsense. Just as portable, if not more so than Python. Python does have issues with being less mature as a language and so often requiring one to upgrade Python in order to get a script working.
    “No Interpretor Shell” Nonsense, perl -d – Ctrl-D.
    “Ugly Libraries” Nonsense. Most have OO interfaces these days.

    If you want a more informed comparison look here at my blog:


  7. Nawaz says:

    Tecmint folks,

    Could someone please give us a headstart into learning perl and python scripting languages. I am a DBA and i do a lot of automation of Oracle DBA tasks using shell scripts. But I read a couple of years ago that some 100-200 lines of shell script code is just a few lines of code in perl for automation. I did set out to learn perl from the basics but could not follow through and apply it in real world (Oracle DBA world). I would appreciate if someone could post articles on the basics/intermediates of perl and python so folks like me can improvise from there.



  8. Konstantin says:

    I fully support you, Sam. Perl is very fast, maybe fastest in scripting languages. But for refactoring Perl is not so good as Python.

  9. Sam says:

    This is a horrible article, the author has no idea about perl. Let me go through the supposed ‘cons':

    Many ways to achieve same result, means unreadable code, which in turn means untidy code — Good I say, this promotes creativity

    As scripting, it is slower for a lot of tasks. — What?

    Object Oriented not implemented well — OO in perl is fine, it has 10+ OO frameworks

    Creates problem when the codes are larger say more than 200 Lines. — Flat out lie, I know plenty of perl programs that are 10k+ lines

    Argument Handling is poor — how so?
    Not Portable — How? where does python run that perl can’t? Perl interpreter is less than 50kb. Python interpreter is 1+mb. Clearly python could never run on an embedded system with less than 1mb of ram…

    No Interpretor Shell — more lies, just type ‘perl -d’
    Ugly Libraries — beauty is in the eye of the beholder…

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