Well then it does give us a serious topic then: what features, both social and language design, contribute to Perl's popularity with techies at large and unpopularity with PLT wonks?|
I first read the Camel book in 1996, and thought it was one of the most entertaining computer books I had ever read. I had my reservations about the language, but it did seem to fill a niche.
Over the years, I have found that Perl just doesn't work for me in practice. I have tended to use a number of different programming languages, and so I need a language I'm going to use for "quick and dirty" tasks to be easy to "reload in to volatile memory".
As a specific language design feature, "there's more than one way to do it" seems to make it hard for me to get back into the Perl zen when the need arises. I found for many years that writing the simplest Perl script always took me about 10 times longer to write than I expected, since my first instinct on how to proceed never meshed with any of Perl's "ways", and the Camel book, though entertaining, is not that well organized.
On the social side, my major social bias, then and now, was that it seemed to appeal to non-developers the most, people who didn't value a more disciplined approach to programming.
However, I must confess I see some of the same spirit in Python, and in spite of this, many well respected PL experts and developers have an affinity for it.
So what does Python have that Perl doesn't (other than a simpler and more consistent syntax)?