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O'Reilly books occasionally land on my doorstep, selected from among the new releases by some mysterious benefactor inside the organization using a random process I've given up trying to understand. I found this somewhat interesting, as I collect computer languages.
I know over two dozen general-purpose languages, write compilers and interpreters for fun, and have designed any number of special-purpose languages and markup formalisms myself.
Larry Wall, its creator, is rightly considered one of the most important leaders in the Open Source community, and often ranks third behind Linus Torvalds and Richard Stallman in the current pantheon of hacker demigods.
At that time, I had used Perl for a number of small projects.
One course I did not consider was going back to C as a default language.
The days when it made sense to do your own memory management in a new program are long over, outside of a few specialty areas like kernel hacking, scientific computing and 3-D graphics—places where you absolutely must get maximum speed and tight control of memory usage, because you need to push the hardware as hard as possible.
I have also written implementations of several odd general-purpose languages on my Retrocomputing Museum page,
These problems combined to make large volumes of Perl code seem unreasonably difficult to read and grasp as a whole after only a few days' absence.
Also, I found I was spending more and more time wrestling with artifacts of the language rather than my application problems.