Interview with HP's Larry Rosler

Thursday Jun 8th 2000 by ServerWatch Staff

Larry Rosler was both editor of the draft standard and chairman of the Language Subcommittee for X3J11. He helped put 'ANSI' in front of C. He is also just another Perl hacker. Larry recently took time out of his busy schedule to share his thoughts on the value of standards, how Sun ought to handle Java and optimizing Perl code.

"I am a relative latecomer to Perl. I was experimenting with CGI programming using shell scripts (!) because they were better for rapid prototyping than C, with which I was most expert. Soon I discovered that Perl offered similar advantages as the shell, but was much more expressive (particular in the manipulation of data structures) and much faster to execute (because of execution after compilation, instead of interpretation)."

"Because of my extensive use of Unix commands such as 'sed', which made heavy use of regular expressions, and because of my C experience, I was quite comfortable with Perl syntax. The hardest adjustment was to learn to write code with as few Perl operations as possible, because of the costs of dispatching each instruction. The Benchmark module became the most important tool I used to learn how to write efficient (and hence, sometimes elegant) Perl."

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