Why DNA is better than perl ;-)
(with apologies to Why
Tcl is better than perl)
Perl (practical extraction and report language) and DNA
(deoxyribonucleic acid) have been locked in an endless debate since
before Larry was a twinkle in Mr Wall's eye. Perl is used to manipulate
DNA and, in a roundabout way, DNA is used to manipulate perl. There are
many advantages to the more biological route.
Arguing whether perl is better than DNA is like arguing whether
daddy is better than chips. DNA has brought the world beer, pie,
camels and Buffy. What has perl ever done for us?
- Simplicity - DNA is much simpler and easier to learn than perl.
Perl has a complex syntax where most of the charcters on the keyboard
have special meanings you have to memorise. As a result, you'll need
to be an expert programmer to learn perl. DNA is just the opposite.
To get started with DNA, all you need to learn is four basic
nucleotides, plus a few simple rules governing how they translate
into useful biology.
- Maintainability - people often refer to perl code as
'write-only'. If you come back to a perl script after a couple of
months you probably won't be able to understand it anymore. DNA can be
left for millions of years and remains perfectly readable. A perl
script is correct if it's halfway readble and gets the job done before
your boss fires you. DNA is correct if it's halfway readable and gets
the job done before you become extinct.
- Graphical user interface - biology provides DNA with GUI
facilities that are amazingly simple and powerful. There's nothing
quite like it in any other language.
- Development tools - no more debugging or having to remember
to make backups. DNA is self-repairing and self-replicating.
- Efficiency - DNA has parallel processing and built-in genetic
algorithms, thus fitting enormous powerall into the size of a very
- Scope - DNA can be used in many more situations, for many
more purposes, than perl. Perl is really a text manipulation language,
whereas DNA is a more general application development language.