Having it both ways: Larry Wall, Perl and the technology and culture of the early web

Harnum, Alan aharnum at ocadu.ca
Fri Oct 5 12:17:37 UTC 2018

An interesting read: https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/24701475.2018.1495810

“In short, my claim is that Perl’s significance for the 90s web goes beyond the well-documented use of the language in web development. The language’s history illustrates the kinds of material, social, economic and discursive arrangements that enabled an odd form of ‘autonomous’ production within the emerging field of new media. For this history I have drawn on a range of archival sources - various Usenet newsgroups dating from the early 1980s, documentation for past versions of the Perl programming language and related software, Perl reference books, published journalistic interviews with Perl creator Larry Wall and several other key figures in Perl’s history – supplemented by semistructured interviews with Larry Wall, Jon Orwant, and several practitioners who either identified as members of the Perl community or identified Perl as a key technology in their work as web developers in the 1990s.”

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