The article:

Back in the 90’s, a lot of people were wearing Converse shoes and writing CGI scripts in Perl. Then PHP came along and, as much as some people like to rag on it, it made making dynamic web pages much easier.

So, what does "wearing Converse shoes" means here? Is "Converse shoes" just a popular element in the 90’s?

  • 2
    Are you aware that Converse is a brand? Does that answer your question?
    – Em.
    Apr 25, 2018 at 3:16
  • @Max I know it's a brand, but why mentioned a brand in a technical article?
    – Sayakiss
    Apr 25, 2018 at 3:17
  • Because it was a characteristic of the clothing style of the '90s coders.
    – Robusto
    Apr 25, 2018 at 3:19
  • 4
    And it's just a way of creating a picture of the entire time: "back in the 90s, a lot of people were wearing Converse shoes and writing CGI scripts in Perl" gives the implication that just like we don't wear Converse very much anymore, we don't write CGI scripts in Perl anymore.
    – stangdon
    Apr 25, 2018 at 4:28
  • 1
    Converse shoes are cited as an outmoded style. This is not "technical" writing, BTW. The verb rag on is slang. It is very common for the authors of such books to use a very informal style in the belief that it makes the subject matter more palatable and less daunting.
    – TimR
    Apr 25, 2018 at 11:55

2 Answers 2


Converse is a brand of shoes (official website): https://www.converse.com/shop/shoes

From the context, I guess they were popular in the 1990s. I wouldn't know, I don't particularly follow fashion trends in shoes, but the writer of that quote apparently thinks so. So he's just trying to say that certainly things were fashionable in the 1990s, like wearing Converse shoes and writing CGI scripts in Perl. The two have nothing to do with each other, except that both were popular in the 1990s. The writer is just trying to be amusing by talking about programming languages and fashion trends together. He refers to a programming language like it was in the same category as a fashion trend. The point would have been the same if he had talked about a popular TV show of the time, or a popular rock band, etc.


This is just a way of setting the scene, talking about what things were like in the 90s. It's contextualising in a way that helps people build up a mental picture. There is no other particular value to it - just talking about context that helps further the idea that things were different back then.

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