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Thursday, 27th July 2006

I just spoke to Larry Wall, and told him I have a problem with Perl. The problem is, there are other languages that would be useful to learn - for example, I'd like to work for Google, and they don't use Perl, but they do use a lot of Python - and I have no motivation to learn any other languages, because Perl is so great.

Larry also agreed with me that a real issue I noticed a couple of years ago is undesirable, but explained the reason why it wouldn't really be a good idea to fix it. On 32-bit systems, if you have more than (some really big number) elements in an array, it will silently wrap around and start going backwards or something. This isn't something most people are ever likely to do, and the problem essentially doesn't matter on 64-bit systems (because the limit is so much higher you're REALLY never going to hit it), and the problem essentially doesn't exist in Perl 6 (because integer scalars are assumed to be long ints unless specified otherwise), and the problem with fixing it (I believe the appropriate behavior is to do bounds checking on the index value and crash if it wraps around) is that adding the explicit check needed for this would slow down pretty much every other time where you use an array for anything anywhere.

On another note, Scalix looks neat, and it's free for up to 25 users. I'm definitely gonna check that out; I have a few clients who use Outlook and would love shared calendars. Blackberry interoperability coming by Christmas?

And I need a Wi-Spy. Sucks that they're $100.


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