I reckon I disagree with this:
In the comic, Cueball marvels at the fundamental and complete nature of the language of creation that he sees in his dream, the ultimate low level language, before being told by God that the universe was mostly built using a high level programming language, perl.
But, despite it's age, Lisp is also a high-level language and lispers probably spend more of their time dealing with higher-level abstractions than perlists.
What's causing the narrator's marvel in the comic is that Lisp has a very elegant (almost non-existent) syntax and the language has a very close relationship with the underlying syntactical structure of the program, and that thinking about it does tend to give suitably-minded hackers feelings of awe and reverence, once they grok it. Even Larry Wall, the creator of Perl, will readily concede that Lisp is beautiful.
Perl, on the other hand, has masses of totally unrelated syntactical bits and pieces drawn from almost everywhere (basic syntax from C, a bunch of environment variables from shell or awk, an inline documentation format, inline regular expressions, formats borrowed from Fortran, bolted-on pseudo-OO from god-knows-where, you name it), so the language, is huge, messy, non-orthogonal, and ugly - but it does have the advantage that if you need a small job done, you can usually get it done in perl rather fast, at the cost, perhaps, of maintainability for long-term or large projects.
So the narrator dreams that the entire universe was created using the cleanest, most elegant and beautiful computer language so far discovered, one which allows the user to create software in terms of high-level abstractions if he or she chooses to; but in reality, God tells him it was a quick-dirty hack-job done in the dirtiest, ugliest - but effective nonetheless - language around. 126.96.36.199 (talk) (please sign your comments with ~~~~)
- I think that A) you've missed the point of that statement, and B) If you believe the explanation to be inaccurate or incomplete you are fully encouraged to edit it. Also, Perl is not the dirtiest, ugliest language around. There are innumerable contenders, but I'd say Brainfuck is definitely in the running, and I personally would say that Java is in there too. lcarsos_a (talk) 05:03, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
- Perl isn't a bad language. The regular expressions that it offers are fantastic, and it's at least consistent. Java's a slow messy and vulnerability-ridden language, but I'd have to go with PHP for the most awful, broken and incomplete piece of crap you could possibly use. Literally has no redeeming features outside of momentum and inexplicably widespread support. Davidy22[talk] 05:44, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
- I never said Perl was bad. I need to teach myself Perl. and that Regular Expressions as we know them today came from Perl, is evidence enough that Perl is a wonderful language. And, I'll agree with you that PHP is an ugly, ugly, disgusting piece of trash. As someone who's had to do OO-PHP, just don't, run far away. I did. I ran to Ruby on Rails, and my life, as a web developer, has been heavenly. lcarsos_a (talk) 07:03, 26 January 2013 (UTC)
Lisp, the "ultimate low level language"? Ok, whoever wrote that really does not know what he/she is talknig about.
One of the most valuable characteristics of Lisp is the fact that is can be used in functional paradigm. Perl can also be used that way, but is considered a more hackish language and not as elegant as Lisp. Perl language can solve problems with different methods, and the phrase "ostensibly, yes. Honestly, we hacked most of it together with perl" means that the universe was created with perl, but trying to use Lisp way of programing (probably functional paradigm), instead of actually doing it on Lisp (probably for speed)
Oh, in case is not clear to somebody, Lisp is a HIGH LEVEL LANGUAGE.
Java and php would have to compete for the title of the "the dirtiest, ugliest - but effective nonetheless - language around" 188.8.131.52 18:32, 18 April 2013 (UTC)