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Perl 6, Early, With Rakudo Star

timothy posted more than 3 years ago | from the if-you-call-that-early dept.

Perl 220

Perl 6 may have been "finally coming within reach" in 2004, but now it's even closer. Reader rnddim writes "The Perl 6 implementation Rakudo Star has been released today for 'early adopters.' This release of Rakudo is different from the normal monthly compiler releases in that it is bundled with a draft of a Perl 6 book, and several modules. It's not complete, and it's not as fast as it should be, but Rakudo in its current state is proving to be usable and useful. Rakudo Star releases will come monthly or as major features or bugfixes are made. It is available for download at github.com."

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220 comments

Heh (5, Funny)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076378)

Calling anything whatsoever that involves Perl 6 'early' is the funniest thing I've seen in weeks.

Re:Heh (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33076508)

Exactly. Every lineage has its peak and perl5 was it. It's just depressing that so many smart, capable people waste their time with this intellectual masturbation that is perl6; it's the beginning of the end for perl.

Re:Heh (2, Funny)

winkydink (650484) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076538)

Wow. SC2, now Perl 6. Can Duke Nukem Forever be far behind?

Re:Heh (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076836)

Not more than another decade or so behind, I'd imagine.

Re:Heh (5, Funny)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077080)

Can Duke Nukem Forever be far behind?

This actually pushes out their launch date as they have to update all their Perl 5 code.

Re:Heh (1)

Neil Blender (555885) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076562)

Heh, I was worried about its utter absurdity in 2001.

Re:I've had the book since 2004 (1)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076838)

Is it this book [bahut.alma.ch] which is included?

github is a trap (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33076404)

github is not FREE. Do not use it my fellow GNU hippies. Use savannah if you value your FREEdom.

Re:github is a trap (1)

Sir_Lewk (967686) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076570)

Github most certainly has free accounts. What paid accounts gets you is the ability to make private repos. Why would anyone interested in Freedom need that?

Great part of Git is that it's distributed. Even if github was a trap, you could escape with exactly zero effort.

Re:github is a trap (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33076600)

The freedom to not make your changes public is extremely important. That's why the BSD and MIT licenses offer a far greater degree of freedom than the GPL and its ilk.

Re:github is a trap (4, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076684)

The GPL does not require you to make your changes public, stop spreading the FUD. You are free to keep your changes private, just as much as you are free to do so with the BSD and MIT licenses. The only difference is that the GPL requires you to make the source code available to everyone you give the program to under the same license. You are not required to distribute your program to anyone, you are only required to follow certain rules if you do distribute your program.

Re:github is a trap (0, Troll)

Brent Taylor (1372435) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077020)

Taking into account most code is written with the intent of releasing an application to the general population, the previous AC has a point. The freedom to not make your changes public is in fact important.

Don't get me wrong, there's nothing wrong with the GPL. It's just not for everything. The GPL does in fact require to make your changes public, if you release the application publicly. This isn't a problem with the license mind you. If this is what the original author of the code intended, then the license is working just fine.

I personally find this argument of which license is most "free" (libre or beer) to be an idiotic one. As the author of code, don't pick a license simply because it's most "free". Pick a license based strictly on what you want the end user to be able to do with both the code and binary. End of discussion.

Re:github is a trap (3, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077276)

most code is written with the intent of releasing

Not true.

Re:github is a trap (1)

Brent Taylor (1372435) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077360)

Care to elaborate?

Re:github is a trap (1)

Thinboy00 (1190815) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077528)

All forms of server side scripting, SaaS, just about everything written in SQL, most shell scripts, little glue programs (i.e. things you might write in Perl), etc.

Re:github is a trap (3, Funny)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077562)

Sure. GP is right, and you're wrong.

Re:github is a trap (5, Informative)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077802)

Care to elaborate?

One would think the meaning is obvious, but I'll spell it out: the vast, vast majority of code is developed to be used in-house. A tiny, miniscule fraction of code "is written with the intent of releasing an application to the general population."

And what does that have to do with Github? (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#33078114)

Generally, the reason I'd post something to somewhere like Github is precisely because I want the public to see it. If you want a private version, it's trivial to create a private branch and never push it to Github, or even push it to somewhere else.

This isn't like Facebook. Leave Github, and you may lose some of the additional tools (like issue tracking, wikis, etc), but you don't lose the code at all -- if you have even a single checkout of your code, you have the entire version history.

Oh, and Github doesn't insist on the GPL, as far as I know.

Re:github is a trap (1)

grumbel (592662) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077252)

The important part with hosting services is that they have a good working data export, not that they run Open Source. In fact many Open Source based hosting solution have a rather incomplete data export, giving you lock-in even so it is all Open Source. No idea what Github allows you to export, but at least the core git repositories are trivial to move to a different host.

A decade too late. (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33076410)

If this had come out in 2001 or 2002, shortly after Larry's original Perl 6 announcement in 2000, then it might be useful. But 2010 is far too late.

Perl 6's ship has sailed. Perl 5, which was already very well established, has had enough difficulty fending off PHP, Python and Ruby. Perl 6 has no hope in hell. The benefits it brings are minimal, and surely not enough to drag anyone away from Perl 5, PHP, Python and Ruby, among the many other languages it's competing against.

Perl 6 is a stillborn fetus, left lying on the ground for a decade, getting all smelly and rotten.

Re:A decade too late. (5, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076636)

But 2010 is far too late.

Why? Even if some sort of statute of limitations prevents you from learning new things, the rest of the world suffers no such malady.

(That's setting aside the fact that a Perl 6 released in 2001 would not have included amazing features such as roles, grammars, constraints, multidispatch, and autothreading hyperoperators. "Minimal benefits" indeed!)

"Amazing" features offered by Haskell years ago. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33076936)

You really need to brush up on what other languages are offering if you think those "features" are "amazing".

Perl 6's "roles" are merely interfaces, which even Java has had since the very beginning. They're significantly less powerful than Haskell's typeclasses.

"Grammars" is very similar to the pattern matching you see in languages like Haskell, SML and even Scala.

Perl 6's "constraints" are significantly less powerful and less flexible than the pattern guards of Haskell.

"Multidispatch" has been offered by Common Lisp's CLOS system for many, many years now. Haskell's polymorphism is far more flexible than Perl 6's multidispatch support.

"Autothreading hyperoperator"-like functionality has been offered by the GHC Haskell compiler for a long time now. Hell, we could even do the same years ago with collection classes written in C++, where we'd override certain operators to spawn threads and process different parts of the collection simultaneously.

Just about every "benefit" of Perl 6 is something that Haskell alone has offered in a usable form for years, if not decades.

Re:"Amazing" features offered by Haskell years ago (5, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077032)

Perl 6's "roles" are merely interfaces....

Nonsense.

They're significantly less powerful than Haskell's typeclasses.

They're significantly different from Haskell's typeclasses, Haskell being a language which tends to avoid the OO paradigm.

"Grammars" is very similar to the pattern matching you see in languages like Haskell, SML and even Scala.

I've never used SML or Scala. Can you modify the grammar of the language in place?

Perl 6's "constraints" are significantly less powerful and less flexible than the pattern guards of Haskell.

Does Haskell offer parametric pattern guards?

"Multidispatch" has been offered by Common Lisp's CLOS system for many, many years now.

Indeed it has, and no one familiar with languages would claim otherwise.

... where we'd override certain operators...

That process sounds much more manual than Perl 6 hyperoperators.

Just about every "benefit" of Perl 6 is something that Haskell alone has offered in a usable form for years, if not decades.

Even if that were true, so what? (Mature poets steal.) My point was that a hypothetical Perl 6 released in 2001 wouldn't have had those features.

Re:A decade too late. (5, Insightful)

afabbro (33948) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076950)

But 2010 is far too late.

Why? Even if some sort of statute of limitations prevents you from learning new things, the rest of the world suffers no such malady.

(That's setting aside the fact that a Perl 6 released in 2001 would not have included amazing features such as roles, grammars, constraints, multidispatch, and autothreading hyperoperators. "Minimal benefits" indeed!)

Minimal to perl's real audience: sysadmins.

I would wager that 80%+ of perl coders are Unix/Linux sysadmins. That's certainly where I've seen the language most widely used. By the time something is big enough to be a real development project - or it comes from a natural "a developer writes this" angle - people are usually working in python or ruby.

Time was when perl was a web development language. Slashdot - created in 1998 - is an example. But few people start a new web project in perl. (Yes, I'm sure you're jumping in now to paste URLs....I said few people, compared to php, python, java, ruby, etc.). Desktop GUI programming in perl? Can be done but rarely is/was. Glue code? Sure...tying together things and using DBI, etc. But mostly perl is used for system things, not application things.

I love perl. But it has never outgrown its roots as a log-processing utility. Yes, sure, you can do all kinds of amazing things with it - talk to DBs, write GUIs, handle web CGI, OOP, etc. But few people do that. HTML::Mason (perl's answer to php)? Sure, you can find some older sites where it's rooted in their ecosystem (e.g., Amazon), but not many people are firing up new HTML::Mason projects. How many books were published for HTML::Mason? One. CakePHP has at least four and Ruby on Rails has God knows how many, which gives you an idea of mindshare, and those are very new frameworks. Heck, even symfony and CodeIgniter have books. Not that I'm endorsing them, but how many new perl books have been published? Where are the great perl-based frameworks? Perl is a systems utility language. Not many new books are published on bash or awk these days, either.

BTW, what languages can you program in for the Google App Engine? Java and Python, not Java and perl. Who did Google hire? Guido, not Larry. Next language to be added to GAE? Probably Go or maybe php. Perl is not on the radar.

Again, I love perl. Used it since 3.x-something. Coincidentally, Damian Conway's Object Oriented Perl is sitting two feet from my monitor as I type this. But who really does large OOP projects in perl? There's a book on php design patterns, for pity's sake, but no one has publishedone on perl. There is a wiki, but to me that speak volumes (no pun intended) about where the developer mindset is.

You can say that's unfair, or short-sighted, or just crowd fashion. Fair enough. But people vote with their eyeballs.

So no, I don't think most people care about perl6. Most people who use perl don't do more than open a file, run some regex, and maybe make a DB connection.

Re:A decade too late. (5, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077092)

You can say that's unfair, or short-sighted, or just crowd fashion.

I'll do you one better: it's hearsay supported by anecdotal evidence. The existence of one Mason book versus a hundred PHP/MySQL books is evidence of... publishers. Larry's not working at Google is evidence of... he turned them down. Did you know that the top Perl books sold still outpace the top Ruby and Rails books sold?

You're welcome to argue that your perceptions and feelings add up to evidence of something, but "Languages which hipsters with ironic facial hair hack in coffee shops in San Francisco" is a very small data point, even if you could measure it accurately.

Re:A decade too late. (1)

Nethead (1563) | more than 3 years ago | (#33078080)

I've still got the t-shirt that ORA gave out at LISA '96, signed by Larry, Tom, and Randal when the first camel book came out. I recall they gave out free ice cream that night too.

But I have to agree, all my perling has been to muck with router and server stuff.

Re:A decade too late. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33078230)

I've used Perl since about 1989, and I can say whole-heartedly: it's a piece of sh*t compared to Python and Ruby. Perl's biggest claim to fame was that it was better than awk+shell, which is really a low standard.

Good riddance.

Re:A decade too late. (0, Troll)

outZider (165286) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077414)

Minimal to perl's real audience: sysadmins.

We should probably continue this.

PHP's real audience: 14 year old kids
Python's real audience: Basement dwelling jobless hacks
Ruby's real audience: No one, anymore

You: Troll.

Re:A decade too late. (1)

lena_10326 (1100441) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077596)

Sure, you can find some older sites where it's rooted in their ecosystem (e.g., Amazon),

FYI: Your information about Amazon is old. Mason is disliked by most current Amazon SDEs and generally considered legacy crap. Calling it part of Amazon's ecosystem is just not accurate anymore. Maybe in year 2000, but not today. Sure there might be a couple teams left supporting mason but it's often some obscure admin tool used no one wants to touch. Clearly the vast majority of new Amazon dev work is in Java. A bunch of teams still crank out new Perl code but it's mostly infrastructure stuff without Mason. There is a bunch of C++ code but it's being slowly whittled away with Java replacements. A few a small projects are in Ruby/PHP/Python but those are minuscule.

Re:A decade too late. (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33078212)

I like HTML::Mason, but it is very very far from the forefront of perl web development. There are many other mature, active and full-featured projects out there in just that niche. Talking about HTML::Mason shows a very obvious lack of knowledge on what is actually happening in the perl ecosystem.

Also, do you really think that a dev community with an 80% 'sysadmin' bias would actually invest the time and effort in perl6?

Re:A decade too late. (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076976)

Why?

Because a significant factor in Perl's success in the 90s was the absence of competitors that were similarly powerful and accessible. Nowadays Perl 6 has to compete for community-share with PHP, Python, and Ruby. Will Perl 6 be good enough, and come with enough supporting software like web frameworks, to steal mindshare back from those communities?

Re:A decade too late. (2, Informative)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077140)

Will Perl 6 be good enough, and come with enough supporting software like web frameworks, to steal mindshare back from those communities?

What suggests that any new language or version of a language has to "steal" attention from any other existing language to succeed?

Re:A decade too late. (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077342)

If I'm programming in Python, then I'm not programming in Perl.

In the 90s, programming on the web meant programming in Perl; in the Unix world, it meant either Perl or SH (assuming you weren't going straight to C).

The problem for Perl 6 is that it has competitors now that are of arguably the same quality, if not better for various arguable reasons, and that IT professionals have an embarrassingly large array of choices in technologies to use, so much so that they consciously limit what they learn to keep it manageable. I haven't bothered with Ruby because my head's already full of languages and platforms and libraries and frameworks. I have no problem with Ruby (or Perl, for that matter). I just don't have the bandwidth. At this point, choosing to go back to Perl would mean abandoning something else that's taking up brainspace. If Perl 6 doesn't offer a big advantage to me over PHP or Python (and their supporting cast of software), then I have no reason to look at it.

If Perl 6 doesn't steal back some mindshare, it will become a niche language where it was once the King.

Re:A decade too late. (2, Informative)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077390)

If I'm programming in Python, then I'm not programming in Perl.

There are six and a half billion people in the world programming in neither. Now I suffer no illusion that all of them will become programmers, but it's no long bet to believe that more of them will become programmers. I care about that helping them solve their problems far more than about getting the mayfly attention of people who flit between the latest releases of dozens of languages, because the latter will move on to Haskell Prime or Java 7 or Factor soon enough anyway.

Re:A decade too late. (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077584)

Growing the community with new members, rather than stealing community from others, is a viable strategy. But I don't see Perl winning there against PHP.

The reason PHP is where it is today is because it was easy for web hosting companies to offer it, and it was easier to make PHP pages than to make Perl CGI scripts. It became the entry level web programming language, and that's how and why it caught on and flourished despite being manifestly worse than Perl and Python. And what holds back Python and Ruby is that they're not easily offered in shared hosting environments. How is Perl 6 going to compete there?

Re:A decade too late. (4, Informative)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077630)

How is Perl 6 going to compete there?

I don't know. My interest lies in doing other things with Perl 6. I'd like to see a minimal hosting environment for Perl 6 applications based on something like Parrot bytecode, but we're not quite to the point where we can bundle an entire application, run it in its own memory space, and offer sandboxing and other limits.

(I agree completely about PHP's advantages in the cheap shared hosting world.)

Re:A decade too late. (1)

oldhack (1037484) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077696)

"... people who flit between the latest releases of dozens of languages ..."

Perl 6 is one among those dozens. Well, it might be one day if they ever manage a stable and reasonably complete release.

Re:A decade too late. (1)

osu-neko (2604) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077884)

If I'm programming in Python, then I'm not programming in Perl.

This is either false, or trivially true but utterly irrelevant, depending on what you meant.

I program in PHP, Python, and Perl, among other things. Granted, I don't do them literally at the same time, but I also don't drive and code at the same time -- that doesn't mean automobiles are a roadblock to Perl 6 adoption. If the new Perl does nifty stuff, I'll use it. If there are coders out there who pick one language and never use anything else, treat them the same way you'd treat a mechanic who refuses to use anything other than his favorite hammer to fix your car, regardless of the problem needing fixing.

Re:A decade too late. (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#33078198)

You missed the point I made a couple lines later. As an IT guy, I have a bunch of choices of languages, frameworks, platforms, whatever. I have no choice but to pick and choose what I spend my limited brainpower on, and choosing X means not choosing Y. Choosing A, B, C, and D means getting familiar with them all, but master of none; choosing only A and B means mastery of one or both.

Along comes Perl 6, a language whose predecessor I last used 10 years ago, after I've made my professional repertoire heavily dependent on PHP/Drupal, Python/Django, and ASP.NET/C#. If I try to return to Perl in its new and unproven iteration, that means less attention/use for some part of my existing skills.

This is the problem Perl has now. In the 90s, it was the de facto standard scripting language. Now it's competing with a bunch of other languages (with their own software ecosystems) that are arguably comparable, if not better in certain ways. What does Perl 6 offer me that others don't, that justifies budgeting some of my time and mental space towards it? So far I haven't seen anything compelling enough to switch for.

Re:A decade too late. (1)

SanityInAnarchy (655584) | more than 3 years ago | (#33078240)

Will Perl 6 be good enough, and come with enough supporting software like web frameworks, to steal mindshare back from those communities?

That depends. Do you want it to be?

Ruby was around for quite awhile before Rails. Rails put it on the map, in a world that already had PHP, Python, Perl, Java, .NET... and Ruby, of course.

Now, at the moment, I don't particularly care about Perl6 -- it's on my radar as "interesting", but not really where I want it to be, yet. The same is true of Parrot, and it continues to surprise me that no one cares much about it -- implementations like Cadinal (Ruby on Parrot) seem to have died. Still, a killer app/framework could change my mind.

Re:A decade too late. (3, Insightful)

abulafia (7826) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077920)

But 2010 is far too late.

Why? Even if some sort of statute of limitations prevents you from learning new things, the rest of the world suffers no such malady.

The main reason isn't technical. Mindshare matters. Programmers are as fashion-conscious as any group of teens, and, for various good and not-so-good reasons, are far more herd-like. Sad to say, I think if they changed the name it would have a better chance of getting a chance. As is, people are playing with a new batch of languages, young programmers will mostly only run into Perl when they brush against system administration or legacy systems, and the name typically elicits a (frequently uninformed) "Yuck!" from a lot of people.

All of which I find sad - I love Perl. I still write most of my personal stuff in it, because it scales so insanely well from one-liners to complex apps. And it was a great, if only partial, counterpoint to the bondage-and-discipline bullshit Java got way too many people used to. But so i goes.

Can they... (1)

Ancient_Hacker (751168) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076412)

Can they bundle it with a copy of ( insert your favorite vaporware here )..???

Re:Can they... (1)

Cro Magnon (467622) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076568)

Well, I am rewriting Duke Nukem Forever in Perl 6, so I can port it to the Hurd.

and yet? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33076414)

Linux is still for fags.

Let me be the first to say... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33076416)

Let me be the first to say "congratulations!" to the Rakudo team. This is great news and an important milestone.

Let me be the first to congratulate (4, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33076450)

$$][/^&]l/:^$& :&}::*'%'''^';^;

(To prove my point, the Perl that powers Slashdot told me I hit the junk filter. The ironing is delicious.)

Re:Let me be the first to congratulate (1)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076520)

And people wonder why they show ridiculous looking code that consists of special characters arranged in weird ways in movies...

Re:Let me be the first to congratulate (1)

siddesu (698447) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076726)

well, it _is_ junk, at least from the point of view of the interpreter.

Re:Let me be the first to congratulate (4, Funny)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076864)

Personally, I found that the ironing left my tongue without any functional taste buds.

Welcome Rakudo Star (5, Informative)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076474)

The Welcome Rakudo Star [perl.com] post on the new Perl.com explains some of the motivations for the Star releases and why this is such a big milestone for all of Perl.

Does anyone care? (3, Insightful)

h890231398021 (948231) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076504)

Seriously. What if a complete, bug-free Perl 6 implementation were released today (as opposed to the "early" version described in TFA)? Would anyone convert existing perl 5 scripts to perl 6? Would anyone write new scripts in perl 6 as opposed to Python or Ruby or Perl 5? Really, would anyone except the most diehard Perl addicts even notice or care about Perl 6?

Re:Does anyone care? (4, Informative)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076556)

Considering that Python 3 scripts are being written, I see no reason to doubt that Perl 6 scripts will be written too. Perl may not be trendy anymore, but I am sure that there are still people writing new applications in Perl.

Re:Does anyone care? (4, Insightful)

Waffle Iron (339739) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076706)

Considering that Python 3 scripts are being written, I see no reason to doubt that Perl 6 scripts will be written too.

Well, Python 3 is pretty much just the same old Python with some nifty new features added and a couple of long-deprecated "mistakes" removed. Perl6, OTOH, is almost a completely different language from Perl5. People are going to have a bit of a learning curve if they're planning on transitioning to this new version.

Re:Does anyone care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33077520)

Is indentation-based scoping one of the fixed mistakes?

(making sure anon checkbox is on)

Re:Does anyone care? (3, Interesting)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077660)

Perl6, OTOH, is almost a completely different language from Perl5

So you've never known anyone to learn and work in two similar languages? Personally, perl 5 is my staple tool for developing data and text processing applications at work. However, I also do a lot of hacking in Python and sh (including heavy use of sed, awk, and grep) because, well, they are sometimes more convenient to work in for different things. Just because they are similar, but different, doesn't mean I can't or shouldn't bother learning them all.

When it comes to perl 6, I realize that it is basically a different language than perl 5. That said, I will continue to program and maintain my work in perl 5 where it makes sense to do so. However, the driving reason that I use perl 5 as my primary language is the general philosophy displayed by the language. The overall quirkiness and linguistics-centric nature of the language make it both enjoyable and interesting to work in, for me. I am wagering that the designers of perl 6 tried to keep some of the perl 5 cultural and philosophical elements of the language when writing the new language (at least it sounds like they did based on what I've read so far). That said, I intend to start learning perl 6 slowly, and trying out some new stuff with them just like when I picked up perl 5 the first time. If I like it and find a use for it, I will keep learning both perl 5 and perl 6. If, however, I decide that it is clunky, does not get done what I need it to get done, and is an all around pain in the ass to work with, I will probably just stick with perl 5.

So the moral of the story is: Yes, it is new and different. That doesn't mean it's bad. It might be totally awesome like Perl 5 was (for me). So Perl 5 coders may as well try it out and see what they think.

Re:Does anyone care? (5, Interesting)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077694)

I am wagering that the designers of perl 6 tried to keep some of the perl 5 cultural and philosophical elements of the language when writing the new language (at least it sounds like they did based on what I've read so far).

The first time I wrote any serious code in Perl 6 (five years ago), I had to look up a few pieces of unfamiliar syntax, but the whole experience felt very comfortable. Perl 5 and Perl 6 share the same essence, the same perlishness.

Re:Does anyone care? (4, Interesting)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076558)

More computers are available in the hands of more people today than at any other time in recorded human history. More novice programmers exist now than at any other time in recorded human history. What worry about sheep stealing from other languages (as if programmers or novices can only ever use or learn a single language at a time) when hundreds of millions of people could write useful programs?

Re:Does anyone care? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076882)

More computers are available in the hands of more people today than at any other time in recorded human history. More novice programmers exist now than at any other time in recorded human history. What worry about sheep stealing from other languages (as if programmers or novices can only ever use or learn a single language at a time) when hundreds of millions of people could write useful programs?

In Perl? L O L.

Re:Does anyone care? (5, Funny)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076946)

L O L

A subtle but scathing point! I apologize and amend my comment: hundreds of millions of literate people could write useful programs.

Re:Does anyone care? (2, Funny)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077450)

In Perl? L O L.

Re:Does anyone care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33078164)

More computers are available in the hands of more people today than at any other time in recorded human history.

What? Really? Are you SURE about that?

And after such a moronic BGO delivered with such breathless drama, you still got modded up?

Re:Does anyone care? (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33078202)

Are you SURE about that?

Depending on who built the pyramids and how you interpret that strange passage in the Book of the Dead, yes. I realize that interpreting reports such as those from Gartner which suggest that the billion-plus personal computers in use now will become two-billion by 2014 requires similar skills, but those are the best numbers I've seen. (I've seen other suggestions that the number of personal computers available has averaged 12% annual growth over the past few years.) Do you have other statistics?

Re:Does anyone care? (0)

John Betonschaar (178617) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076630)

I wondering the same thing. I can imagine there's still loads of perl 5 around that is actively maintained and extended, and in some ways I can even understand some people still like perl because they can get stuff done fast. But who in their right mind would invest time an effort learning and using perl 6 nowadays, now that there are a zillion alternatives that are much more mature and much less crippled by the perl heritage that 6 will probably have to carry around?

Disclaimer: I absolutely hate everything about perl anyway and have never understood why anyone would ever like it. So I'm probably not the most objective person to judge perl 6 ;-)

Re:Does anyone care? (5, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076696)

I absolutely hate everything about perl anyway and have never understood why anyone would ever like it.

It's flexible, powerful, and easy to extend. 84,296 modules are freely available from the CPAN (at least when I checked; the upload rate is staggering). It has an immense culture of quality and testing. It's amazingly portable. It scales from the freshest novice writing baby Perl to large-scale applications which must not fail, written by experienced professionals. It's malleable; you can program in a compiler-checked subset of the language or express yourself in the most clear or (if you don't care about maintainability) the most expressive, creative way possible.

It has amazing libraries for network access and databases. It sets the standard for text processing. It's been an integral part of usable Unix installations for years. You can find it just about everywhere, and you can do just about anything with it.

Re:Does anyone care? (2, Interesting)

rduke15 (721841) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077038)

No mod points, so all I can say is that I totally agree. I suppose the people who hate Perl are the same sort of people who this quote refers to:

many Computer Scientists have come out in opposition to the Art of Programming. In trying to make programming predictable, they've mostly succeeded in making it boring [linuxjournal.com] . And in so doing, they've lost sight of the idea that programming is a human pursuit. They've designed languages intended more to keep the computer happy than the programmer.

For anyone who doesn't know Perl and wonders what other people like so much about it, I think the interview linked to above is worth reading.

Re:Does anyone care? (2, Informative)

Raenex (947668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077526)

[L. Wall]: They've designed languages intended more to keep the computer happy than the programmer.

The problem is that programming in Perl quite often is not a happy experience for the programmer. Too much magic. Too much line noise. I do admit, though, that there's a quite useful subset of Perl that is fun to program in -- for scripts, anyways. Anything larger that benefits from data structures gets to be a mess, fast.

Re:Does anyone care? (1)

ddvlad (862846) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077222)

It's flexible, powerful, and easy to extend. 84,296 modules are freely available from the CPAN (at least when I checked; the upload rate is staggering). It has an immense culture of quality and testing. It's amazingly portable. It scales from the freshest novice writing baby Perl to large-scale applications which must not fail, written by experienced professionals. It's malleable; you can program in a compiler-checked subset of the language or express yourself in the most clear or (if you don't care about maintainability) the most expressive, creative way possible.

It has amazing libraries for network access and databases. It sets the standard for text processing. It's been an integral part of usable Unix installations for years. You can find it just about everywhere, and you can do just about anything with it.

Hey, what the hell, man? Wasn't, like, everyone bashing Perl? Just kidding, of course. My limited experience with Perl is "Wow, seriously? That easy?" after hours of gazing at code and docs.

Re:Does anyone care? (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077242)

Without disputing anything you say, how is this different from PHP, Python, or Ruby? Is there a reasonable chance that Perl 6 will regain the ground it lost to those competitors when it languished under Larry Wall's negligent stewardship?

Re:Does anyone care? (5, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077304)

Only Python comes close to having anything resembling Perl's level of testing. (Ruby's improved a lot thanks to Rubinius, but to my knowledge the latest stable releases don't include test suites.) PHP's testing was abysmal, last I checked.

None of those languages have anything like the CPAN, despite saying for years "We should build something like the CPAN."

None of those languages are as malleable as Perl 5; see MooseX::Declare [cpan.org] for example, or even Moose [perl.org] .

PHP is still easier to deploy for web programs than Perl. Python has an advantage with GAE, and I understand Ruby has something called Heroku.

... when it languished under Larry Wall's negligent stewardship?

Healthy communities flourish from the healthy interactions between and cooperation of many individuals. If you thought Larry's job was to make sure that everyone is happy and doing exactly what he thinks they should do, you've never understood Larry or the Perl community.

Re:Does anyone care? (1)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077530)

None of those languages have anything like the CPAN

CPAN is overrated. Those 85,000 modules contain duplicates, inconsistent coding standards and interfaces, and cover a wide variety of things I just don't care about. And the last time I looked at CPAN for something, in 2000, it was pure frustration to me.

What I have in PHP (which I'll happily stipulate is a kidney stone of a language) is Drupal, which offers, for web stuff, a relatively clean and complete framework that I can use for 90% of what I want to do. In other words, the stuff that you get with PHP like Drupal is real-world stuff that I can make money working with and actually covers the largest amount of common use-cases.

None of those languages are as malleable as Perl 5

Malleability is overrated. I don't view every programming task as an opportunity to discover a new and unique way to accomplish something. I'd say Python actually wins in this regard: there's usually a right way to do something, which means that there's a body of stable practice from which you can diverge if you want to, but don't have to. You've got guidance. However, if pure flexibility is your thing, you've got Ruby.

If you thought Larry's job was to make sure that everyone is happy and doing exactly what he thinks they should do, you've never understood Larry or the Perl community.

I thought Larry's job was to provide a certain amount of leadership and direction that kept the community reasonably focussed on releasing something useful, rather than take a 10 year sabbatical discussing something that wins vaporware awards.

Re:Does anyone care? (1)

ignavusinfo (883331) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077544)

None of those languages have anything like the CPAN, despite saying for years "We should build something like the CPAN."

If this were the only true assertion you made (and it's not) it's reason enough to seriously consider Perl. I'd love to use Ruby more (it's a fun language, I like the OO, distributed and multithreaded programs are easy to write) but the libraries are lacking (as is easy library management).

Makes you figure there's a reason (La)TeX is still popular too, huh?

Re:Does anyone care? (2, Insightful)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077594)

Makes you figure there's a reason (La)TeX is still popular too, huh?

I see it this way: you get deployment right, you get ease of getting your first task done right, or you get libraries right. If you don't get any of those right, you get to work on screencasts.

Re:Does anyone care? (0)

Blakey Rat (99501) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077334)

The only app I use on a regular basis written in Perl is... Slashdot. And it's a gigantic piece of buggy crap. Not a very good ambassador you have there. :)

Re:Does anyone care? (1)

Junta (36770) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077908)

If I have even a pretty sophisticated script written for perl 5.6, it will almost certainly work exactly the same in perl 5.10, even if I make use of CPAN sourced content. If I write a complex script for python 2.3, python 2.7 is likely to break it. As a community/implementation, python has a goal of providing what they feel the best experience at the time is, even if it means script authors have to pay a significant maintenance price to keep up. In Perl, the development is a lot more conservative, being very careful to avoid changing existing behavior even if it means an interface that was designed poorly in the first place gets the intuitive name/functions and the better implementation has to settle for a slightly odd naming convention to coexist without breaking scripts in the while.

Python might have matured by now (haven't kept track), but back in the day, Perl::DBI provided an *extremely* consistent DB abstraction, whereas the python database access varied greatly from one DB to another.

At the end of the day, any language can be used to do whatever generally, it's mostly a matter of taste and deciding which communities most closely aligns with the tradeoffs you think best.

Re:Does anyone care? (3, Insightful)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076968)

Would anyone write new scripts in perl 6 as opposed to Python or Ruby or Perl 5?

Yes. Look, I mostly prefer Ruby out of the trio of Ruby/Python/Perl, with Python a close second, but Perl obviously has an active community and there are obviously quite a lot of people interested in Perl 6.

Yeah, in some ways its a big change from Perl 5 and there is going to be some time for people to hop on board (just as with Python 2.x to Python 3 and Ruby 1.8.x to Ruby 1.9.x) and sure, some people might prefer Python or Ruby to Perl (just as some people prefer Python or Perl to Ruby, and some people prefer Ruby or Perl to Python.)

Why do people insist on thinking that if they don't prefer something, no one else in the world is interested in it?

perl is community (2, Insightful)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077954)

Would anyone convert existing perl 5 scripts to perl 6? Would anyone write new scripts in perl 6 as opposed to Python or Ruby or Perl 5? Really, would anyone except the most diehard Perl addicts even notice or care about Perl 6?

Yeah, I can't wait. I like programming in perl and ruby but not python. It doesn't mesh with me. But perl5's object system is a pain in the ass. perl6 takes what I love about java and ruby and expresses it like perl. :my hero:

perl is fast as hell and light on memory. Python tends to eat memory an ruby tends to be slow.

But most important to me is the perl community. Not just the perlmonks nerds, the guys who do release planning, application design, Q/A, test metrics, run CPAN, module maintainers. They do lots of things right.

Ruby is nearly there with GEM's, but darned if getting Rails working isn't an exacting science of matching old GEM versions. Security patch in the latest one? TFB.

Python has some great libraries and frameworks, but CPAN is much more comprehensive.

Which leads to the best part of perl6 - its parrot vm. The perl6 VM has implementations for python and ruby. I'm sure they're not complete or fully optimized yet, but the potential exists. Ruby stuff can run fast, python stuff can run light. And most importantly, we can all share a library - write the module in your language of choice and everybody who's using a parrot language can use it.

perl6 is still the future of high-level open source languages. Whether you like perl or not you should like perl6 because it's what open source is all about.

Perl is COBOL (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33076552)

Perl is COBOL. If you can deal with it without getting sick, there's some steady jobs out there. That's it. Stick a fork in it. It's done.

Huge! (5, Funny)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076610)

This is going to be huge! Every application that comes out for the next 10 years will use this I predict.

Just an FYI: I eat paint chips.

What is that "Perl" you speak of? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33076612)

I'll save you the trip to Google/Wikipedia: Perl was an important language back in the dot-com frenzy. It is a script language which is known for making programmers produce highly effective but unreadable and thus unmaintainable code. It's success largely stemmed from an implementation of regular expressions. The Perl regex syntax has since been adopted by countless tools and languages. Perl is like 8-bit computer emulators: Important for preserving the heritage, but you wouldn't start anything new with it.

Re:What is that "Perl" you speak of? (2, Informative)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076718)

... but you wouldn't start anything new with it.

My business does just fine starting new things in Perl, and I'm by no means alone in that.

Re:What is that "Perl" you speak of? (1)

steelfood (895457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077370)

Maintaining them, on the other hand, is orthogonally related.

Re:What is that "Perl" you speak of? (4, Interesting)

betterunixthanunix (980855) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076746)

Perl is still a great language for processing text, and plenty of people are still writing new Perl programs. The main reason Perl is not trendy anymore is that its strength, text processing, is not as relevant to the trendy programming styles use in webdev these days. Perl's syntax is weird and lends itself to unreadable code, sure, but I have seen horrible code in a lot of other languages and programming models.

There are still plenty of text processing tasks to be done, and Perl is still strong for those tasks.

Re:What is that "Perl" you speak of? (3, Interesting)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076832)

It's success largely stemmed from an implementation of regular expressions.

And the absence of comparably useful alternatives, something that's no longer the case.

I would be interested in seeing a competitive analysis between Perl 6, Python, Ruby, and PHP for performance and features. My suspicion is that Perl 6, even if it delivers everything it promises, will still fall behind the others, or not be significantly ahead enough to tempt large scale switching from them back to Perl.

Re:What is that "Perl" you speak of? (2, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077206)

I don't know, there are always drawbacks. Python is too inflexible. PHP is inconsistent, opens you up to security flaws, and isn't very good for large projects. Ruby is great but only has a small community backing it and has scaleability issues. J2EE is infinitely scaleable but has a gigantic learning curve, the number of large subsections seem infinite as well. Some people are going to disagree with parts of the flamebait I just spewed, but each of those languages have that reputation, even if it's not 100% earned, and there is definitely room for improvement and innovation in the web-programming world. So it is possible that a new, interesting language and framework could come to the fore in the web programming world.

One thing is for sure, Perl 6 is going to have a dedicated community set to building up and promoting a web framework to go along with the language. Whether the language becomes commonplace on the web or not depends on how well the framework is written, how good the language actually is, and (as you mentioned) if performance is adequate.

News Forecasting (1)

BJ_Covert_Action (1499847) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076662)

So does this mean tomorrow's headlines be about:

A) A total stock market crash?
B) The unintentional creation of a true, maniacal AI?
C) The Singularity?
D) The decoding and translation of the Voynich manuscript?
E) A /b/ tard winning the Nobel Prize?
F) All of the above?

Re:News Forecasting (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33076788)

E) A /b/ tard winning the Nobel Prize?

Already happened [wikipedia.org] . But in all fairness it was retards who gave it out as well.

Re:News Forecasting (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33077072)

hahaha! In all fairness, teaching a nigger how to read is pretty impressive. Maybe someday, niggers will learn to speak English without a teleprompter.

I must have been misinformed. (3, Funny)

pushing-robot (1037830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076792)

I'd heard that Visual C# killed Rakudo Star.

Re:I must have been misinformed. (1)

uslurper (459546) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077578)

I'd heard that Visual C# killed Rakudo Star.

/facepalm

Perl 6 introduction? (1)

moonbender (547943) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076852)

Anybody know of a well-written, up-to-date Perl 6 introduction? That is, an introduction to the Perl 6 feature, not a programming tutorial. There are many resources about Perl 6, it's difficult to know which one is worth reading and which is outdated. Even if it doesn't take off, it seems that Perl 6 brings enough new and interesting concepts to the table that it's worth reading about.

Re:Perl 6 introduction? (4, Informative)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076920)

Rakudo Star includes a PDF of the Perl 6 introduction book [github.com] ; the print version should come out late next month. Moritz Lenz's Perl 5 to 6 [perlgeek.de] article series is always informative and useful. The official Perl 6 site's documentation page [perl6.org] links to current and accurate documentation.

Why all the Perl-bashing? (5, Insightful)

acid06 (917409) | more than 3 years ago | (#33076966)

It seems like the current way to be hip in developer circles is to make fun of Perl.

I really want to understand this phenomenon as I doubt most of these people bashing Perl have never even seen any Perl code written in the last 4 years. Hell, I could bet that a lot of people have never seen any *real* Perl code at all.

Perl 5 is a modern language which has the features of other currently more trendy dynamic languages and more. We have modern [mojolicious.org] web [perldancer.org] frameworks [catalystframework.org] . We have robust database bindings [perl.org] and state-of-the-art ORM libraries [cpan.org] . We have have a well-tested modern object-system [cpan.org] with optional declarative syntax [cpan.org] . Perl is used by several high profile sites which, at this point, everyone already knows (BBC, DuckDuckGo, Slashdot, etc).

Perl 6 is a different language but shares a lot of the common minds behind all these awesome Perl 5 tools. However, even if you don't like Perl 5 for whatever reason keep in mind that Rakudo Star is a completely different thing (as a matter of fact, the name "Perl 6" should probably be dropped in favor of Rakudo - to avoid all this cargo-cult).

Re:Why all the Perl-bashing? (1)

PerfectionLost (1004287) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077152)

It seems like the current way to be hip in developer circles is to make fun of Perl.

Yea seriously. This is taking away from solid time we could spend bashing COBOL.

Re:Why all the Perl-bashing? (4, Interesting)

jjohnson (62583) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077212)

It's not hip to bash Perl these days, it's actually a sign of old-fogeyism.

There's a lot of pent-up irritation with Perl. It comes from the fact that a large number of us started with Perl, and watched it languish as competitors like PHP and Python and then Ruby ate its community. Then Perl 6 was announced, and Perl loyalism was given a shot in the arm--whee, Perl will evolve and take back its rightful place as king of scripting languages! Then it languished again for more than a decade while the famously squirrelly Larry Wall gave talks on religion and postmodernism in programming. Perl won't die; Perl 6 will find a community. But Perl as king of scripting languages, as the indispensable tool in your toolbox, as the mark of the geek, is a dead letter now, and to anyone who invested a lot in mastering it, that stings a bit.

Re:Why all the Perl-bashing? (4, Insightful)

mystik (38627) | more than 3 years ago | (#33078144)

Perl did languish for a while.

Perl6 gave the language dabblers an opportunity to experiment with new ideas and concepts. Take the best of perl5, but not be afraid to be wildly incompatible, and see where it goes.

However, while all the cool kids were doing stuff in perl6, the perl5 folks realized they could do really cool things in perl5 too, right now. Perl5 now has Moose, Plack (Stolen from Ruby's Rack), new web frameworks to match and even better those of ruby, python, and even PHP. Perl5's maintainers started to actually chase down long standing bugs, and actually kill off the things that have been giving deprecation warnings in perl5. There's even a Perl Foundation grant out for someone doing full-time perl5 bug triage + fixing. (And if you've seen Perl5's source, you'll know that's no small feat)

My company's work in perl5 pays my bills. Perl5 is not going anywhere anytime soon, so I'm confident we can continue to move forward with it. Perl6, now that it's becoming more and more usable will inspire the imagination of developers, and continue to evolve, and the perl5 folks will continue to cherry pick the nifty features they can backport into perl5.

It's a very exciting future for perl all around, and I'm happy to be on board.

Re:Why all the Perl-bashing? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33077258)

Perl is used by several high profile sites [...] Slashdot

...and you don't see what the Perl-bashing is about? A site with plenty long-lived and highly visible bugs is on the short list of well known back ends written in Perl. If that doesn't scream "unmaintainable," then what does?

Re:Why all the Perl-bashing? (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077322)

If that doesn't scream "unmaintainable," then what does?

Given Rob Malda's well known attention to detail and demands for perfection, I'm not sure the choice of implementation language is the biggest target.

Re:Why all the Perl-bashing? (1)

hercubus (755805) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077418)

It seems like the current way to be hip in developer circles is to make fun of Perl.

You have to remember that most developers are, on the inside, insecure teenage girlie-men living in someone's basement.

The Java kiddies (circa 1999) would say things like -- "What, like C++? That is so five minutes ago. God, you are so, like, old!" And I believed them at the time.

And before the Java kiddies there were the UNIX kiddies knocking Fortran and COBOL, and before that assembler programmers made fun of the old guys that didn't code algorithms, they _built_ algorithms out of tubes and wires.

Every new generation makes fun of the previous. It's not unique to development, we just have really short generations. Today's cutting edge will be out of date in five years, laughable in ten years. Or cut those numbers in half - whatever.

So it goes. Carry on you young whipper-snappers, have fun with your VMs and GCs and DSLs. Get all XP and Agile and whatever-the-hell with your not-so-bad-selves, just remember to use SOAP and don't play with your WSDLs (I'm looking at you, Kumar).

I'm going back to my PL/SQL, coding transactions the way real men should, tightly coupled to the database. try{catch} this you punks, you ASP-holes! Hah!

New perl user (2, Interesting)

slaxative (1867220) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077186)

This puts a lot of new users to perl in a bad situation. Start learning Perl 5 syntax or jump to the possibly already sinking ship, Perl 6. Hopefully my camel book will be sufficient to learn both from a basic level.

Re:New perl user (1)

chromatic (9471) | more than 3 years ago | (#33077226)

If you want to explore a new language and don't mind getting your hands dirty (and for the next several releases, reporting a few bugs), Perl 6 can be great fun.

If you have a project in mind you want to deliver as soon as possible, Perl 5 is a powerful, capable language especially if you take advantage of the CPAN.

Hopefully my camel book will be sufficient to learn both from a basic level.

The most recent Camel is ten years old. Rakudo Star comes with a book on Perl 6. You can also read my Modern Perl draft book [modernperlbooks.com] for an introduction to the current versions of Perl 5.

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