Saturday, December 27 2008

The universal language

Yes, it’s the Christmas holidays and I’m tinkering with Perl scripts that parse XML files and SQL databases. It was worth it, however, to discover that the circle is now complete: Emacs requires Perl.

Also awk, bash, cpio, ping, and sed, but hey, who doesn’t need those?

[Yes, that list is so basic that it would be surprising if a package didn’t end up pulling one of them in somewhere down the dependency chain, but Emacs is a Lisp interpreter with delusions of godhood, built around text processing; why would it want Perl? Turns out there’s exactly one Perl script in the distribution, packaged up in emacs-common: /usr/bin/grep-changelog]