"Simple" Languages in FreeBSD

Warren Block wblock at wonkity.com
Fri Jul 1 15:07:48 UTC 2016

On Thu, 30 Jun 2016, Allen wrote:

> Hi,
> I've been using FreeBSD on and off since 4.0-CURRENT, which seems like
> almost a lifetime ago now, heh. I'm currently using FreeBSD
> 10.0-RELEASE and even though I've gotten my latest order from the
> FreeBSD Mall (Which I bought 10.3-RELEASE on DVD along with a bunch of
> other stuff for myself and my Wife) I'm not ready to upgrade yet since
> I've gotten my system working how I like (Got WindowMaker set up, and
> FVWM2, and some other stuff set up) so I'm using it for now.
> Anyway, in all these years that have passed using FreeBSD and a bunch
> of Linux distros, I never had time or patience enough to learn
> Programming Languages, and I'm getting more and more to the part where
> I'm thinking it's a good idea more so now than before.
> I have the book "Learning Perl" that I bought a while back, and I've
> also downloaded a bunch of stuff for Perl, Python, Ruby, and others, so
> I'm just curious on basically what Languages anyone here would
> recommend.

Practically speaking, it's worth knowing the basics of all three.  Perl 
is a mishmash of a lot of different things, so it's not particularly 
consistent.  But it is very expressive.

Ruby is kind of like a nicer, cleaner Perl.  They got rid of the sigils 
at the start of variable names, which to me is the ugliest part of Perl. 
Ruby has other interesting features, like nearly everything being an 
object.  However, it has seemed to stagnate a little over the last few 

Python is the mainstream "scripting" language of choice.  It has good 
features and is widely used.  It leans toward the strict side of 
languages ("there should be only one way to do things") and that appeals 
to a lot of traditional programmers.

As a background, it is worth knowing sh.  However, sh is extremely weak 
compared to any of these.  Doing anything nontrivial (that is, anything) 
takes a lot of code.  Still, a lot of constructs in other languages 
descend from it or at least make a little more sense in light of it.

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