"Simple" Languages in FreeBSD

Jon Radel jon at radel.com
Fri Jul 1 01:50:45 UTC 2016

On 6/30/16 8:33 PM, Mike Jeays wrote:
> I completely agree with Felix Friedlander. Unless you have strong
> reasons for picking Perl or Ruby (and it doesn't sound as if you do),
> Python is easily the best choice these days. It is very easy to get
> started and the language syntax is very clean, but it is extremely
> powerful. Don't be put off by the unusual syntax of using alignment to
> denote structure. It seems like a mickey mouse idea at first sight to
> those who come from other languages, but it works well and leads to more
> readable code. It is a strength, not a weakness.

I pretty much agree with everyone, but will throw out a few more thoughts:

1)  Don't forget /bin/sh   Depending on your problem domain, it really
does have its uses.  And limitations if you want to do other things.
But not to be overlooked if you want to do very basic automation of
tasks on a FreeBSD machine.

2)  Did I mention that there are trade offs depending on what you want
to do?  There is no single perfect language for everything.  IMHO.  (If
somebody has the perfect language for everything, please do share.)

3)  Personal preference plays a huge role....   Personally I still whip
off a perl script now and then, as I learned perl long, long ago, but I
find the bolt-on aspect of the object-oriented features make me rather
queasy, so when I to deal with something deserving of that formalism, I
tend to reach for ruby.  I've never really gotten into using python, but
that's just the way things worked out for me, rather than due to any
distaste for it.

But I'll third the notion that if you're starting with no personal
baggage and want a general purpose scripting language to do a bit of
this and a bit of that, python is a great place to start.  Even if ruby
is kind of cool.  :-)

--Jon Radel
jon at radel.com

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