Perl V/S Python

There is much hype (or truth? ) around the net that Perl is THE language for bioinformatics. Having already learnt and programmed in Python, I somehow feel that the claims made by any programming language are shallow. In my opinion, Python is the most elegant language and most easily applicable one. No matter what problem you need to solve, Python provides an instant solution.

But, as I said that it is generally believed that the bioinformatics problems should be solved in Perl, I decided to learn the language. My first impressions with the language:

1. It is extremely programmer unfriendly (cryptic) language.
2. Anything which can be done in Perl, can be done in Python with more slickness and efficiency.
3. I wonder how Perl programmers read their code? The language is so weird.
4. Python also has a module supporting Bioinformatics problems called BioPython.
5. Learning Perl is like remembering all prime numbers from 1-1000 (there is no pattern).

In a nutshell, DON’T learn Perl. Instead learn Python and get a high!


  1. You should use the language that makes you more productive and in my case it is Perl. I think that there is no such thing as “THE language for bioinformatics”.

  2. Well, you might be true that it is individual preferences about computer languages. But we must agree that a language can be better than some other language.

    And all I am saying that, according to me, Python has more merits than Perl.

  3. @But That’s true I code over 10 years now in Perl and a lot in Python the last years.
    Now I switched to ruby an it’s the best (for me) of the 3 languages.

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