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Re: [MacPerl] Perl in the workplace

On Sat, 12 Jun 1999 21:17:09 -0700, Robert Leach wrote:
>I am currently learning perl so I con't have any complicated questions
>yet, I just wanted to get some general information about platforms.
>I just started a new job, my first programming job.  I was given a Linux
>machine in my cubicle.  There's a bunch of Sun and Solaris workstations
>around, a couple PC's, and a Mac.  My platform of choice is the Mac, but
>apparently no one there even knows anything about the networking
>capabilities of the mac they have.  I showed the guy that works on it
>how to use the chooser to navigate the servers.  He didn't even know
>what it was for.  I'm worried that I will learn all this stuff about the
>job and gain all this knowledge and not be able to do it all on macs. 
>The people at work refer to it as a pretty text editor.

If you can actually use the Chooser to "navigate the servers", then at one
point they must have had more Macs, because Unix machines don't come with
the ability to serve Macs by default. This is not impressive to Unix
admins, since they are the ones that did the work, not Apple. The more
impressive things that MacOS can do are the user interface type things,
not networking. The only thing that might impress Unix admins about MacOS
networking is the Localtalk capability, but you only have one Mac there.

>How do you suppose I can go about learning the stuff on macs?  They have
>told me that if I ever want to work from home, the company will get me a
>machine for just that purpose.  I'd love to have a new high-powered mac
>at home, but I'm going to have to prove to them that I know how to do
>the job on a mac or else I'll have to get a different machine.

Keep in mind that you can dual (or more) boot a Mac. I run LinuxPPC on my
Mac, my wife runs Yellow Dog LInux (a different distribution) on hers.
Both also have MacOS 8.6 installed. But you should also be aware that,
even though Linux != Linux/Intel != RedHat, most commercial software
vendors don't care about this. Things like Acrobat Reader and Real Player,
which are available for "Linux", are actually available only for
Linux/Intel. And Codewarrior has gone so far as to specialize to RedHat.
The commercial databases that will be out this summer for "Linux" will
probably only ru on Intel boxes.

>My job involves perl programming, database work, server & website
>up-keep, html, java, C++, UNIX, and SQL.

In order:

Perl: MacPerl is wonderful, but you should keep in mind that there are
some differences between MacPerl and Unix Perl. You should carefully read
Chris Nandor's perlport.pod (http://pudge.net/ is the site, but I don't
remember the exact path), to be aware of the things you will have to deal

Databases: I know very little about this except to know that there is
database software available for MacOS and for Linux. The free ones on the
Linux side know SQL.

Server upkeep: If this means running an Apache server, you can run Apache
under MacOS only by paying bucks to Tenon.

HTML: I don't know if it's still true that more than half of the content
on the web is done on Macs, but Macs are good tools for such things.
Click-and-drool tools exist, and the text editors have good HTML modes.
But if you're one of those people who think HTML is a layout rather than a
markup language, you'll have the normal amount of trouble with fonts,
graphics, etc., and I probably won't want to look at your site. (I prefer
sites that I can usefully use with lynx.)

Java: I haven't learned Java yet, but I do know from reading the Mac and
Unix web sites that MacOS Java is behind what you can find on Solaris. I'm
not sure what the Java situation is on Linux. Apple is committed to making
MacOS the premier Java platform, so this will improve.

C++: You pay for it on MacOS, unless MrC under MPW does C++. I don't have
any MacOS compilers, but my impression is that Codewarrior is what people
use. On the Unix/Linux side, egcs (soon to fold back into gcc) is the best
free compiler, and depending on chip/platform, it may be the best

Unix: Clearly, you learn Unix by using it. MacOS doesn't help you here,
except that Tenon had a Unix-under-MacOS called MachTen, so you can have
both at once. But you can also run MacOS under Linux with certain Macs (a
program/set of kernel patches called MOL), and there's a commercial
program called SheepShaver coming out that will do the same.

SQL: I know little about it except that I have it for free on the Linux
side (MySQL).

>Can anyone tell me the pros and cons of doing this work on a mac vs.
>Linux/Sun/Solaris/PC machine or tips on what software will enable me to
>even do my work on a mac?

If it were me, I'd rather have a Unix machine to do the things you say you
have to. But I've been using Unix for a year more than MacOS, so I would
have no trouble using Unix.

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Paul J. Schinder

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