On Thu, Feb 7, 2013 at 10:36 PM, George Hartzell
> But I'm so sick of getting into arguments (or walking away from
> them...) with Ruby and Python [and lisp and *PHP*] fans; Perl is dead,
> you can't write good code in Perl, look - Ruby has GEMS!, etc...
> Perl of the olden days was an easy language in which to write really
> shitty code. Even the Perl of the BioPerl heyday wasn't really much
> help; role your own OO, role your own distro-building, mountains of
> monkey-work to provide consistent POD, versioning, etc...
> But that's not the Perl that I use. I have Moose and Moo. TAP and
> the things built on it. Dist::Zilla. PerlTidy. PerlCritic. cpanm.
> MetaCPAN. Pinto. GitHub. Perlbrew. Wow.
I share that experience.
> But BioPerl *is* dying. You might be standing on the shoulders of
> giants when you use it to solve a problem, but you *definitely* have
> those same giants (and their extended families) on your shoulders
> every time I see you try move the project forward. All of that
> history has become the tail that's wagging the dog.
I share your sentiment. Most of BioPerl is architected so badly I
can't stomach it most days, and I've worked on hairy codebases
included perl itself. There's just too much sick and wrong. It's like
hundreds of dot-com-era cgi scripts.
The problem (which is common in scientific computing) is that once
code works it's effectively abandoned. BioPerl is essentially a
gathering of more than a thousand such modules.
> If all y'all are going to keep the thing alive, moving forward and
> contributing to new great works then make Apple your hero. Deprecate
> the stuff that's holding you back, give folks a path forward and move
That would be lovely, but who is going to do that? We're suffering
from the tragedy of the commons.
> Have fun. Use sharp tools. Do cool science. Build cool things.
> Advance your careers (forgot that one last time). Be reasonable and
Sounds like good advice to me :-)
> Supporting last year's projects is someone else's business
> ps. Are all y'all following this thread?
> Maybe someone should search down for this bit: "Where to start? Any
> list of this [sic] projects?" and insert a plug for the various
> open-bio projects. (But "someone" doesn't work here, he said...).
Interesting discussion, though the original post is too cynical even
for my taste.