> Both [Perl and Cobol], at least to my eyes, are write-only languages
> (and I don't think it depends on the programmer's style).
Well programmer's style can fix most of what's hard to read about Perl.
From my experience the problems that are left are:
* Regexs. But pretty much every language tries to be Perl compatible in
this regard so we're stuck with it. And anything much more verbose would
stink IMO (and Perl provide commented regexps as well)
* Indirection syntax/sigils: I'm not opposed to sigils (as that's what
allows Ruby to avoid the self.crap everywhere that Python is plagued
with) but Perl makes it confusing and even worse, the lists and hashes
require references in order to work recursively which is incredibly
annoying when you're doing hashes of lists, etc. This is something which
I hope they fix for Perl 6.
* Exception handling by checking $@: die/eval/$@ is a pretty crappy means
of exception handling by it's at least consistently crappy. :-/
Some other things (like the new defined-or operator //= for example) are
things which I avoid using out of respect for other programmers in my
project who have to maintain the script when I'm away but I'd expect
people programming Perl to get acquainted with.
There's lots of other things (like a good 80% of the global $ variables)
that although are valid Perl should probably be shot.