Bruce Momjian, guru of PostgreSQL, has discovered the joys of Perl.
I have converted two of my most complex shell scripts to Perl; as shell scripts, they were slow and hard to maintain. The rewritten Perl scripts are 200-400 lines long (about the same length the original shell scripts) and 15-25 times faster because of the improved algorithms possible in Perl and reduced subprocess creation.
What was surprising to me was how he'd learned, via a book I'd never heard of before, Learning Perl The Hard Way. Has anyone in the Perl Buzz readership read it? Comments?