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Journal FortKnox's Journal: Perl vs. J2EE on the Web 13

After the CPAN April Fools joke, and the Taco troll, I went ahead and put in my two cents. And I was yelled at (read the reply), because Perl does what you want and Java is contained. Since it was a reply that sounded like a child, I proceeded to rip the low UID 1337 dude a new one.

Anyone care to MATURELY discuss the advantages/disadvantages to the different web languages in an enterprise website (high traffic site like slashdot)?
I have my opinions, but I like to hear others (as long as they are mature, of course).

Note: Yeah, the last journal entry was an April Fools joke. It'd be good if /. didn't completely ruin April Fools Day.

Addendum: That reply to my post above was a troll, and I bit like an idiot. I can't believe I was trolled... bah!
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Perl vs. J2EE on the Web

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  • yes, both.

    Both are well suited for specific tasks in their own respect. Perl I have found to be very error prone because of loose typing, variable-length arguments to functions/methods, etc.

    It truly depends on what one needs done and how big the job is. Need a server that can do 1000 queries/minute and scale to 10000 users, needs to last 50 years after it's written. Deadline for project is two years. J2EE on your choice of middleware (WebShere, Weblogic, etc) is the best option. Java as a language was designed to be maintained for those 50 years when change becomes necessary.

    OTOH, need a program by the end of the week for doing the next few months of backups? Perl (or even sh/ksh/etc) is the better choice, because it was written for doing rapid development.

    Need a routine in that massive server app that can parse a flat file database quickly? Use embedded Perl! get the parsing goodness of perl by compiling perl code into Java bytecode.

    writing an OS? C/C++ are excellent choices.

    It really comes down to what the task at hand is to decide what language is suitable for use.

    (also, anyone who says Java is slow because of the bytecode and the VM should realize Perl does roughly the same thing when it compiles source to bytecode and executes it. And I agree that people are basing the "java is slow" on 1.1, and have refused to touch anything since.)
    • Right, it totaly depends upon what you are doing. Running a linux webserver/database server? Perl. Almost no choice.. unless, like me, you hate coding in perl and would rather rip your toenails out.

      Now, on the other hand Java roxxors for some stuff. Take IBM servers like the eSeries, iSeries, whatever. Put websphere on them and they can do some amazing stuff with Java since IBM has already embraced java (and linux) while almost ignoring pearl. Which brings up a good point. If you are doing large scale database queries (on the order of 1000 a minute or so) you should really just use a ibm boxxen running DB2 (heck with oracle, DB2 is much better + better supported + cheaper) connected to a linux webserver. You use Java to run database queries/etc. Really, it is quite slick, just setting one up for online transactions.

  • 77000 is a low UID? Guess it depends on where you're coming from:) Personally, I only consider it a low UID if it is under... Oh, about 28000 or so:)

    It's a shame that some of these stories are fake. AMD+nVidia would be good. A bit scary, but good for consumers. Wil Wheaton (Still am not sure if this is bogus or not.) on Trek... Well, I think it's good. He's a better actor. But jumping back into Trek might be bad for his career. Also, I thought Enterprise was trying to distance itself from Trek (witness lack of 'ST' in the title as well as the theme).

    But CJAN? That would be pretty damned cool. Perl is just pretty screwed up. Or too much. Too powerful (yes, spoken by a non-programmer). Actually, the software I was thinking of coming up with, I'll probably do in Ruby. Community seems a lot more laid back than Perl, etc. (Actually, anything would do. I just stumbled upon several references to Ruby when I was thinking this thing up. Now it's just a matter of sitting down with it.)

    The front page reminds me of David Letterman running a joke into the ground for weeks and weeks. Okay, haha. Enough.

    Mostly, I've been watching my eBay auctions today while rerunning some ext3 journals.
    • Java may not have a community the way perl does for a while. Perl had the benefit of growing up and maturing the same way the BSDs and Linux did -- in the pre-www era when newsgroups were the big thing on the Internet.

      Java is also tied to a corporation unlike Perl and Linux, so getting a community going is tough because the most we have for Java, IMO, are Sun's JDC webpages and the bugtraker. Granted, I havent done much of a search for a Java community, probably because they seem tough to find.

      Perl's community is all over the Camel Book and other books, so that gives them some benefit. I dont see many Java books saying there's a community.

      Maybe what's needed is a Java weblog site? A site that can also archive home-grown Java APIs the same way CPAN does for Perl. Do these already exist somewhere? Sun already makes current versions of API's available as exptension packs, but they're becoming more and more bundled with the SDK and JREs, making these move toward going obselete.
  • dont worry. it happens to everyone [] sooner or later.
  • I've fallen in love with PHP. I have yet to learn Perl (it's on my to do list). I think Java is an okay language (but I prefer C++ to Java).

    Just my two cents.

  • I remember the first time I used Perl and I do think it has it's advantages, but I also think there are better scripting languages for getting the job done. The nice thing about PERL though, is that it is pretty platform independent, as opposed to VBScript or JScript (for example, on the MS platform) which I think are both pretty decent scripting languages.

    As far as J2EE goes.. I haven't had a lot of experience on that level (I have to use MS tools where I work, including VB.NET and C#). I'm sure it is MUCH more appropriate for an enterprise tool, because that is what it is geared towards. Scripting languages are typically limited.. they aren't as reusable by other apps, they don't scale as well (aren't compiled), etc. I'm sure these arguments would also apply to PERL vs J2EE.
    • ColdFusion is a terrible language for web design or anything else.
    • That ASP/VB stuff. Better than ColdFusion, but still very bad.
    • "Enterprise-level" "portal" "solutions." I think the marketing strategy is to make themselves sound like they're affiliated with Star Trek and then tell clients they'll get to meet Commander Data if they use their product. There is no other reasonable explanation for these things existing.
    • PHP is nice, perl is nice. Neither of them is particularly well-suited to abstracting your program logic away from your display logic, and neither has facilities for expressing web applications in computation-based (rather than page-based) ways. Maybe five years from now ...
    • Apache's Cocoon project looks interesting. I keep meaning to learn how to use it.
  • I'm convinced as time goes on that the real issue is the framework. Given that perl can be a CLR frontend with, the argument quickly devolves into a .Net v J2EE debate once taken to its logical conclusion.

    At the language level, I don't think perl relly provides distinct functionality anymore - even its regex model has migrated over to other languages.

    In a way though, the framework issue is sort of compelling - choose the syntactic sugar that you like, and address common functionality underneath. Sure, the framework imposes some limits on the cooler language syntaxes out there, but most of these (lisp, haskell) had been relegated to the fringe long ago in any case.

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