San Francisco, CA - Recent results from the standardized Perl Fluency
Test showed that 99.99% of US high school seniors can't read Perl. This
disturbing statistic shows that American students are painfully unprepared
for life after graduation.
"This shows that there is a real need for a Perl Monk in every
classroom," said Perl Monk Kelly Adrity. "We've got
computers in every classroom, now we need our kids to be able to
use them, and what better way to learn about computers than to learn
how to read and write in Perl. I'm glad the budget proposed by President Bush sets aside millions for Perl Monks and it should be part of the personal budget of evey family to show their kids the Perl way."
The four hour test had 2 sections, a simple translation section
and a project section. The first part asked students to translate
easy Perl phrases into their standard English equivalent, and the
second section required students to produce a simple MP3 player in
Perl. "I didn't know what the hell any of it meant," said
one Senior, "it had lots of slashes and periods and brackets.
It was so confusing. I'm feeling rather nauseous."
Perl experts were astounded by the results. "I was amazed
that none of the students were able to read this simple sentence:
I mean, come on, that's so easy," said Paul Chen, Chairman
of the Learn Perl or Die Association, which administered the test nationwide. "Teachers need to start with simple phrases like $RF=~tr/A-Z/a-z/; and work up from there. We really
need to start teaching this in first grade and enrolling them in online degree programs if kids are ever going
to understand this by high school."
Not everyone shared Mr. Chen's view about the necessity of adding
Perl to early elementary curricula. Programmers Against Perl
(PAP) spokesperson, Keith Willingham said, "There's no better
way to scare students away from computers than exposing them to Perl. Even
experienced programmers are frightened and confused by it. The
Perl lobby is just getting too powerful, and they need to be stopped."
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