Java and Perl

If you just wanted a toolkit that was focused on "getting things done", I think it would be hard to find a better one than the combination of Java and Perl. Between the two of them, I think most (at least business oriented) problems could be addressed between them. Both Java and Perl have a huge amount of working already existing code to address almost any issue you could encounter.

Neither of these languages are really "cool" languages any more, and I have previously had a bit of disdain for Java. However, between the two of them, I think one could make a pretty decent stab at an appropriate (and fairly quick) application for almost any normal problem area.

I would probably ultimately supplement them with C for low-level stuff. And I might pull in something like Tcl/Tk for really quick and dirty gui tools, but the core of what one needed to accomplish could be done it most cases by one or the other of Perl or Java.

Further thoughts

Thinking about Perl as a primary scripting language for problem solving may only make sense if one has already come from a Unix background, where Perl basically encapsulates the experience one probably already has from Awk, Sed and Bash.

Without that background, there may be other choices that make more sense. Python is arguably a simpler and cleaner(?) language, and probably easier to learn for someone that doesn’t have a previous Unix background.

However, I don’t think there’s any other scripting language than Perl, that has the level of support for easily integrating already existing code for a problem domain and quickly deploying it.

C++ and Python

It seems to me that the application domains that I would posit Java and Perl for could also mostly be addressed by C++ and Python.

I think that Perl still has an edge on Python for stuff like parsing text files. But Python and C++ may have an edge on creating decent application GUIs over Java or Perl. In addition, C++ is trivially able to handle the low-level problems that require bringing in C in addition to Java and Perl.


I think an interesting name for a service would be PrayPal, some kind of online prayer request thing where you could submit a prayer request and know (trust) that someone was praying for it.

ImageMagick utilities

I’ve been looking at ImageMagick over the past couple days.

Here are the utilities that so far have been useful to me:

  • import – I’ve used this to take screenshots. It’s unfortunate that this doesn’t work without an X server on Windows.
  • convert – used to actually manipulate images: resize, change formats, etc.
  • identify – show information about an image.

I’m having to use identify to obtain the image geometry for a screenshot so that I can calculate the correct offset to crop a small portion of the image for OCR.


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