Perl and WURFL: There is only one way to do it right

Perl and WURFL: There is only one way to do it right

I read everything: fiction, history, science,

mathematics, biography, travel.

Perl (Martin Lewis Perl)

November 5, 2012, IMPORTANT UPDATE:  Perl Cloud Clients now Available in CPAN too!
I learned Perl in 1994, before Perl 5 was created, while still at the University. It was the reference language for everyone who wanted to do web development before 1996. I loved Perl. It was powerful. You could do in one day what would easily take weeks to do with other languages at the time. And this still applies today to a large extent. The difference today is that a lot of other powerful scripting languages have come about and taken the best from Perl, while avoiding its mistakes (no matter if real or perceived).

I think it is reasonable to state that Perl is the way it is because it boldly dared to go where others had not dared. All other scripting languages capitalized on Perl’s experience in some way.
Of course, I learned the hard way that one is walking on thin ice when discussing Perl in public. Things get religious and the discussion gets heated quickly. Proficient Perl programmers can be super-productive. No doubt about that. On top of that, Perl one-liners have made my day multiple times.
On the other hand, there is truth to the fact that Perl lends itself to be a “write-only language”, particularly if you don’t use it that often and you adopt snippets found on the web that you don’t fully grasp in the first place (but that fix your problem there and then). If you are interested in the discussion about the pros and cons of Perl, StackOverflow has this great post.

WURFL Cloud Client for Perl
The main driver behind the decision to support Perl, is that a fair amount of organizations still use Perl out there. There is no standard standalone WURFL API for Perl. There are a few third-party scripts and modules that read the WURFL file, but, as you may suspect, none of those implements the logic that the standard API from ScientiaMobile implements. And that’s what one really needs to make WURFL express its potential.

From today, Perl developers have access to the latest and greatest WURFL through the Perl Cloud Client, also available from CPAN. As usual, this includes the free offering for hobbyists and small companies. Launching the Perl Cloud Client  makes business sense, but it also feels good for me and Steve. It’s like we paid a tribute to a language that gave us a lot in the past.


Luca Passani
CTO @ScientiaMobile