perl6, really?

I have been waiting for perl6 for over 15 years since it was first conceived. Recently, I have had an urge to get back to hands’ on coding and, having seen the latest Rakudo* release of perl6 felt that it is now sufficiently mature for my nefarious purposes.

No doubt I am not the only person to have been frustrated by the slow progress of perl6, and certainly many have dropped by the wayside. Perhaps going to the siren call of Python(2 or 3), Ruby, Swift or Go. And now it is finally here, the community is obviously worried that no one will adopt the fruits of their work.

Here ‘zoffix’ makes a desperate plea to change the name from ‘perl6’ to ‘rakudo’ to reboot the brand….

My rebuttal to this concept is reproduced here.

I’m a slow thinking guy who has had two careers:- perl5 dev and marketing manager. I have been wrestling with Zoffix’ proposed change and it is certainly a well construed argument made with feeling. Here’s my line:

  • NO_ONE cares about the community
  • WHAT_THEY_NEED is UniCode & Rats
  • WHAT_THEY_LIKE is poetry (not golfing, but an expressive professional medium not desecrated by ‘public void’ line noise)
  • WHAT_THEY_KNOW is CPAN, DWIM and REGEX (the easy is easy and the hard is possible)
  • WHAT_THEY_WANT is Grammar, Functional, OO, Declarative, Concurrency, Dynamic Type … oh and Procedural done v clean
  • WHAT_THEY_HAVE is Ruby, Python, C#, Go, Perl5, ECMAScript, Java — demand for p6 is pent up.

So, I detect some natural frustration within and without the community. Keep the faith. We have a new audience, they value truth and beauty, and a story of battling the odds. They need this TECHNOLOGY. It is [perl6 | rakudo] – who cares. It may have to start in academia, it may have to start in the p5 stalwarts. It will ignite. Finish the journey. Do not deny your heritage.

So, yes, I think that perl6 is awesome (whatever it’s called). And I believe that it will be an interesting personal journey to come to grips with the ultimate programming power tool and to deliver something interesting on the way. As a user and sometime low level contributor perhaps.