[nSLUG] perl and web sites

Daniel MacKay daniel at bonmot.ca
Sun Mar 2 13:34:12 AST 2014

I'm with Robin.

As the Bible says, "Come to terms with your ass, for it bears you."

You can see all the elements of the problem illustrated in the posts by Ben, Jim, Oliver, Norm, George, and lastly by Robin: if you're familiar or comfortable with an environment, if you love an environment, anything is possible.  If you're not comfortable with that environment, starting from scratch and rewriting the whole thing will always seem like less work.

That is to say, this thing that appears to be a rational or at least religious discussion, is really fear of the unknown.

You need to either 1) hire someone who's comfortable in that original environment 2) hire someone who is open minded and self confident enough to be willing to come up to speed, or 3) give your existing employee your confidence and enough time -- and the tools -- to come up to speed in the environment.

Taking over someone else's code, whether it be Rails, MAI Basic Four, LAMP, or, god help us, Dreamweaver, is scary.  You might be asked to make a tiny change, you might be as careful as possible, and you could break something immediately, taking some unknown amount of time to fix, or weeks later you might discover some unpleasant side effect of your changes.

I hear *quite* regularly, often from small business owners that they paid $1500 for a web site a couple of years ago, and the original creator is not available any more, and they want to hire someone to make a few small changes - remove an employee from the "About Us" page, say, or add a new product to the "Our Products" page.  

Universally, every time, they find someone who says, "Oh, that website was developed in Komodo / KoffeeKup / PHPStorm, there's no point trying to make any changes to that. I'll happily rebuild it in Eclipse PHP / Expression Web / Rails for only $3000."

Us asserting the goodness or badness or an environment is nothing but our own insecurity about learning a new thing. From a fundamental point of view, Turing told us that all programming environments are equivalent.

We coders must set aside our ego and fear to be willing to learn enough of a new environment to make changes.  

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