Comments on "PHP, Perl and Python on the wane?"
The article PHP, Perl and Python on the wane? brings indications to a decline in Enterprise utilization of the 3 Ps of lamP: Php, Python, Perl. Still, most of the article discusses PHP and not Perl/Python. The Foucs on PHP is evident, as Oracle and IBM have invested some millions in PHP just recently.
A note on Perl & Python: these two scripting languages are sophisticated; they have the power and capabilities of modern 3rd-gen languages like java and c (though, many of these capabilities are sub-written in C - but who cares). They are "open source" languages with very strong communities – meaning they are the outcome of a highly collaborative effort, fitting to the new model of the internet (yes, Web 2.0 again). Their only disadvantage is that they are "scripting languages" - which makes them "not here, nor there". Not here – they require higher level of investment and they have longer learning curve than bash or csh; not there - they are considered scripting languages so they don't have the seriousness and the "establishment"-backing as java, c and the other "official" languages.
Personally, I used to program billing, rating as well as many infra programs with Perl. What I'm hearing, though, is that Python is ten folds better, faster and cooler than Perl. The ability to have a fast working prototype with Python is - so I'm told - amazing. Also, many startups are now focusing on providing python/perl development and run-time platforms. ActiveGrid is a relatively known one and they just launched their grid lamp application server with python as the 1st supported programming language (Perl is next, java – last – if I'm not wrong).
If web 2 paradigm will catch, I don't see how Python and Perl could possibly left aside. On the contrary - these languages are the emblems of this era of community and collaboration. It will take some time until Enterprises will digest the revolution that is happening. Nowadays, Enterprises (and CIOs…) are still looking in apprehension at this new era (with the open-source movement being its socio-economic, consumer-driven flagship), which undermines the old principles of progress & assurance: we let the BIGS advance the technology and we buy (quality?) products from them, as long as they can provide job security ("No CIO was fired because he/she bought something from IBM…"). In the new world, best products are recognized, as well as produced, by the community, i.e. by the techies and the geeks; Traditional sales & marketing efforts are less and less the power behind progress and recognition.
Let us return to our sheep: Java, as well as the rest of the standard-bodies languages, has lesser chance to survive than Perl & Python. There is a lot of "image" (what others will say if…) in the usage of Java and J2EE. But images are trendy and prone to changes (indeed, just like python and perl, but still it's their collaborative/community nature that counts here….)