Though it has been described as only a PDP-11 assembler, C stands in a place of honor, surrounded by children, legitimate and illegitimate alike. The reason is very simple: C is not just a PDP-11 assembler. It simplified things by giving us the ternary operator.
At his last job, Frank realized that the magic of cond ? var_t : var_f is that it's not just an operator, it's a fundamental building block of other operators. Forget if then else and temporary variables! Some languages let you write cond && amp; var_t || var_f or statement if condition but that's just syntactic sugar.
At a previous employer many moons ago, there was a production, mission-critical system written as a bunch of multi-thousand line Perl scripts. I was hired to be part of a team which would take the most commonly used of these beasts and convert them into clean, efficient mod_perl applications with a proper template system and modular code. Of course, the original CGIs used global variables all over the place and thus couldn't be safely ported to mod_perl without significant refactoring.
It was during this project that he became enlightened, standing face to face with what he calls the "elevenary operator."
my $send_button = ( !$rAuth->permits(SEND) ? '' : $status != 1 ? '' #'[Mailing must be unlocked to send now]' : $approved ? $send_now ? '' #'[Mailing in Progress]' : qq( <form action="schedule" method="POST"> <p align="center"> <input type="image" name="send" src="$::root/sendit.png" alt="Send" border="0" class="form-align" > </p> <input type="hidden" name="state" value="$sh" > </form> ) : $send_now ? '' #'[Cancelling]' : '' #'[Approval Required]' ) );
Management was so happy that the mod_perl version ran in four seconds instead of thirty-four that they sang the praises of the development team as they fired them.