Posts Tagged ‘google’

I wouldn’t get into google (their interviews don’t select for my brand of genius). But that’s fine as I wouldn’t be able to write perl there anyway.

I was trying to think of a few reasons why Google would have chosen Python over Perl as their primary scripting language. A number of the ones I came up with are less relevant than they used to be.

Python integrates better with C++

Boost.Python promises seamless interoperability between the two languages. It has been a while since I’ve been tempted to embed a scripting language in my C++ apps so I’m not sure what the counterpart is in Perl if any.

Python "threads"

Back in the day, these were better than the Perl offering. More recently, on Unix at least; with Coro, AnyEvent, Twisted, etc. it’s a wash.

Windows Implementation

A few years ago, the various Perl Windows implementations were not very high quality. Strawberry Perl has changed all that though. It’s awesome.

Jython et el.

Was Jython around when Google was choosing Python? I guess it was.

Perl (5) hasn’t escaped its VM as well as Python and Ruby. Having said that, the Jythons and JRubys of the world are always second class citizens compared to the original C VM as no-one can be bothered to rewrite all the C extensions.

Easier to avoid making a mess as a secondary language?

Experts in either language can write clean, efficient code. But what about folks who are expert in C++ and Java and use either Perl or Python on the side and only occasionally?

I think such usage for a large system will result in unwieldy code in either language, unless the large system is curated by experts, but for small to medium systems in the absence of experts, python may have the edge.

Rabid anti-Perlism

Even smart folks I know seem to think Perl is lacking in some way in comparison to Python. I haven’t managed to get them to enumerate any reasons though so I figure they are speaking from a position of ignorance. This could have been the case for the folks making the decisions for google too or, more likely, they may have considered some of the other reasons on my list.


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…anytime soon at least.

Searching with Google

So, I’m looking for something I’ve written on my blog. This happens quite frequently – a lot of posts I write are where I’ve figured something out that is useful to me. I write it down in case I need it the information again. Blogs are not generally well indexed so I reach for everyone’s favourite search engine and type…

curiousprogrammer sysread

I’m looking for the post I did on unbuffered reading with perl (back in May it turns out).

And the top link is:

Did you mean: curious programmer sysread  
Search Results

      Read Stream of Input With Perl << A Curious Programmer
      14 May 2010 ... A Curious Programmer. Leveraging Perl and Emacs ... Okay, quite cool, but there is a better solution. sysread is unbuffered. ...
      curiousprogrammer.wordpress.com/2010/05/14/read-stream/ - Cached


Let’s try Bing.

Searching With Bing

We didn't find any results for curiousprogrammer sysread.
We're showing results for curious programmer sysread.

      Sysread - Blogs, Pictures, and more on WordPress

      Blogs about: Sysread ... output irregularly. First it sends "hello ", then waits 5 ... more   A Curious Programmer
      en.wordpress.com/tag/sysread . Cached page
      Perl Streams - Blogs, Pictures, and more on WordPress

      ... output irregularly. First it sends "hello ", then waits 5 ...
 more   A Curious Programmer ... p ... more   Tags: Perl Programming, unbuffered input, input stream, sysread
      en.wordpress.com/tag/perl-streams . Cached page

Okay, not really. It’s only even picking up the links on wordpress.com because I tagged it so well. Maybe it needs a bit more help.

site:curiousprogrammer.wordpress.com sysread

Er, no.

We did not find any results for site:curiousprogrammer.wordpress.com sysread.
Were you looking for: sys read site:curiousprogrammer.wordpress.com
Search tips:

    * Ensure words are spelled correctly.
    * Try rephrasing keywords or using synonyms.
    * Try less specific keywords.
    * Make your queries as concise as possible.

Why Does it Matter?

My website is pretty small. I get 3000-6000 readers per month, and I doubt that many of them are uniques. I probably have a core of around 200 regular readers. I don’t get a lot of referrals from google. To be honest, I think I’m okay with that – I like the conversation from regulars and I can’t be bothered to moderate a lot of spam or put the effort into getting popular.

But, and it’s a big but, my website has a lot of useful stuff on. And there are tens of thousands of other small ‘unpopular’ sites with lots of useful stuff on. If I’m searching with Bing, what am I missing?

You might say that this only happens because sites like wordpress notify google when there has been an update so it knows to come along and update it’s cache. Well, sucks to be Bing, but in that case it doesn’t even look like the gap is going to close.

I’m going to stick with google.

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