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Perl Programming

What is Perl 6? 343

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the it-all-started-with-a-camel dept.
chromatic writes "Perl.com has a new article entitled What is Perl 6?. It analyzes the changes to the language in light of the good and bad points of Perl 5 and provides new information about the current state of the project: Perl 6 exists, you can write code in it today, and it's more consistent and easier to use than Perl 5."
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What is Perl 6?

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  • What is Perl 6? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by eldavojohn (898314) *
    What is Perl 6?
    Probably a pretty good sign I should get off my ass and spend some time learning the language if I don't want to become obsolete to my employer.

    Yeah, I know I'm late to get on this but ... well ... my personal needs and job have never forced me to use it.
    • Re:What is Perl 6? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Perey (818567) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @02:44AM (#14488555)
      That's the thing, though. PHP is the big name (from management's perspective), at least in the P category of LAMP, right now. Not that Perl's gone away by any stretch of the imagination, but the existing Perl shops are happy to keep on doing what they're doing, while the PHP advocates crow about how many new jobs are being done in their language.

      So is Perl 6 going to bring about a Perl revival, or is it (as I suspect) going to fall flat when faced with Perl 5's quietly entrenched support and PHP's proclaimed grip on new uptakers? TFA mentions the reasons for cutting backwards compatibility (or at least reducing its priority) far too often for me to be optimistic there.

      I think Perl 6 will catch on, eventually... but it's going to be more of an alternative language, not an upgrade, to Perl 5 for a long time yet.
    • Probably a pretty good sign I should get off my ass and spend some time learning the language if I don't want to become obsolete to my employer.

      I'm sure if your employer starts needing perl solutions, they'll buy you a book. It's not that hard to pick up if you come from a programming background. I once got tasked to modify a perl script, and was able to learn enough perl to get the job done within an afternoon. Been a fan of it ever since!
    • Err? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by LordMyren (15499)
      Normally you wait until a language is actually released before learning it. Traditionally, you let a couple early adopters build something with it first too. Most smart organizations wait to make sure the langauge actually is somewhat stable before buying into the list of benefits. They wait for books to be released.

      Perl6 is not really here yet. Read the last page. Author doesnt come out and state it directly, but the current best implementation runs on Haskell.

      I dunno, somehow I dont think the take-aw
    • Re:What is Perl 6? (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Colonel Panic (15235)
      Probably a pretty good sign I should get off my ass and spend some time learning the language if I don't want to become obsolete to my employer.

      I suspect your manager (if s/he is a typical manager) hasn't even heard of Perl 6.

      Perl 6 is still vapor at this point. It's probably still a year or two away (and may be perpetually, unfortuneately). Yes, there are cool ideas there and you might want to be familiar with some of the highlevel concepts. But if you really want to study some new languages that will
      • Re:What is Perl 6? (Score:3, Informative)

        by CRCulver (715279)

        If you want to learn something on the leading edge you might even want to consider learning Io No books for Io as yet, but it seems to be be generating buzz among the early adopters (the sort of folks who were using Ruby five years ago).

        I've heard of Io before, but I find it hard to take a language seriously if it has its own UI toolkit [iolanguage.com]. That for me implies a lack of abstraction, a philosophy of micromanagement, and--since there's already plenty of existing UI toolkits for which its a cinch to write bind

  • by caffeinemessiah (918089) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @02:37AM (#14488527) Journal

    You can never be told what Perl is.
    You just have to see it for yourself.

    sorry, i just had to.

    • by value_added (719364) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @04:47AM (#14488914)
      You can never be told what Perl is.
      You just have to see it for yourself.


      Is this [thiesen.org] what you saw?
      • That's almost right, except that it doesn't quite capture the depth of wierdness. Lets label that beastie a "knuffle". The picture shows one regular sized knuffle, and a casual glance shows perl 6 looking rather like that. In truth though it's more like a fractal aggregation of nano-knuffles which can be morphed into more or less anything else. In fact, apart from the initial morphing commands that initiate the change (lets, say, the antlers), it needn't look anything like a knuffle at all. So perhaps you s
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @02:40AM (#14488536)
    Baby don't hurt me,
    Don't hurt me
    No more
  • Well that will teach me to RTFA. One of things that got me interested in programming, and perl specifically, was the magnificent writing in the Camel and Llama books. It made it seem fun, relaxed and reduced the shock of the sometimes difficult syntax of the language. Hopefully this deadly boring article is not a sign of what Perl 6 documentation will be like.
  • by BadAnalogyGuy (945258) <BadAnalogyGuy@gmail.com> on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @02:45AM (#14488560)
    I never really understood Data Structures until I learned Perl. I was consistently and thoroughly confused in my DS class. The language used there was C++. There was simply too much baggage in the language that obfuscated the very points we were being taught. If you can't get past the template syntax, how in the world are you going to be able to understand the data structure concepts?

    Then I met Perl (5.003). What a difference it made! The data structures were built in, and on top of that, it was EASY to nest structures to build complex data types. It was like having a semester of Data Structures immediately made clear.

    Then I found myself back with C++ again. First I wrote my own List classes. However I soon realized that STL made available exactly the types of data structures that Perl has. Maps, Lists, Vectors. And since I understood what I was doing in Perl, it was so much easier to catch on with C++.

    Perl taught me C++. Who would have thought?
    • by patio11 (857072) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @03:02AM (#14488622)
      Perl taught me C++

      Somewhere, a maintenance programmer just slit his wrists.

    • Perl seems to be every Unix hacker's favourite, most hated, language. It fills the huge void between Bash and C.
    • Perl is a REALLY sweet language. The only thing that i don't like about it is its poor OOP support - i always preffer to code the "old fashion" way (to the point i even dislike objects), but right now i'm working on a proyect sposored by my university, and trying to model a large network using object-oriented code is quirky on Perl, to say the least.

      Other than that, i really like it. It's easy to write, runs really fast for interpreted code, and and it's extensible as hell (CPAN [cpan.org]). Great for s
      • Poor OOP support is an understatement. Classes are really just blessed hashes in Perl 5. You can't do encapsulation (without special modules, anyway) and even inheritance looks like it was just tacked on. (@isa?)

        I'm very glad that Perl 6 will have better thought out OOP support. It would have made a recent 7,500 line project I worked on much smaller, easier, and more stable.

        You're correct, though; it's a very useful language outside of the poor OOP.
    • I hope you're sitting down since this might come as a shock but ... theres
      more to C++ than the STL! Yes , I know , its amazing isn't it that a language
      thats only been around 20 years and is based on C which has been around for
      over 30 is more complex than this , but, well son , its true. Until you
      understand not just all the cool trendy OO and generic side but also understand
      pointer arithmetic, indirection , word boundary alignment issues and 101 other
      low level topics inherited from C then you DO NOT "know" C
  • by Rob_Ogilvie (872621) <rob@axpr.net> on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @02:48AM (#14488571) Homepage
    I can't define it, but I know it when I see it.
  • by ChrisDolan (24101) <chris+slashdotNO@SPAMchrisdolan.net> on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @02:49AM (#14488580) Homepage
    What makes Perl strong, in my opinion, is the community's interest in maintaining a large and well-tested library of useful code in CPAN. Without CPAN, it's not clear that Perl would be as alive and healthy as it is today.

    What Perl 6 offers is a rejuvenation of the language. Perl 5 still works great (better than ever due to new efforts to stamp out even the most obscure bugs) but this new revision is attracting some *really* smart people who are bringing interesting new ideas to the language. Audrey Tang and Luke Palmer come to mind right away.

    My greatest hope, however, is not that a revitalized Perl will squash the other dynamic languages (Python, Ruby, PHP, ECMAScript, etc) but will instead bring them into a state of interoperability. I really, really want Parrot to succeed so well that the other languages decide to target it as a backend so I can trivially call Python or C libraries from Perl and vice versa.
    • My greatest hope, however, is not that a revitalized Perl will squash the other dynamic languages (Python, Ruby, PHP, ECMAScript, etc) but will instead bring them into a state of interoperability. I really, really want Parrot to succeed so well that the other languages decide to target it as a backend so I can trivially call Python or C libraries from Perl and vice versa.

      I'm really looking forward to Parrot as well. It has the potential to unify Perl, Python, and Ruby in a very nice way - the languages all
      • Interoperbility is a great idea. I'm not sure if I buy unification though. Parrot might make a wonderful VM, but I simply cannot imagine it'll be able to stand alone. dotnet's virtual machine is fine, but it was clearly limited in scope and for all they the alternative dotnet languages just cannot overcome many of the static (v. dynamic) language limits built into the VM. Everything I read about parrot seems to indicate that it'll be a hundred times more dynamic, but I just cant picture anyone making a
  • I used Perl in a Programming Language Concepts course. You can do some neat stuff with it, but it isn't really the easiest thing to understand (at least not with maybe a week or two of going over it). My professor likened it to duct tape. It is a quick fix, that others aren't supposed to see. It works, but isn't pretty, and isn't something you should expect to build a whole program (so to speak for a scripting language) with....
  • One thing that perl is good for that I hope it continues to be good for in the future in command line scripting.
  • by Inoshiro (71693) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @03:00AM (#14488618) Homepage
    My compilers professor has nothing but bad things to say about a language whose syntax is inelegant and tricky. After all, if a language is inelegant, it will be hard to read and understand, as well as hard to create a proper grammar for, or parse.

    "(Perl 5 overloaded curly braces in six different ways. If you can list four, you're doing well.)" ! Java has something like 22 levels of precedence. Most people will use the bare minimum of that, lest they tread upon a dragon's tail.

    And, one of my favourite points: "Why is the method call operator two characters (one shifted), not a single dot? "

    Perl 6 means a simpler, better parser, while keeping all the language strengths. This means it won't be such a bitch to deal with mod_perl's weird gleeps once it's Perl 6. This means smaller process overhead. This means quicker development of web applications that are cool (although I must admit, Ruby on Rails is also pretty neat looking).

    The new regex syntax alone is reason to switch!
    • And, one of my favourite points: "Why is the method call operator two characters (one shifted), not a single dot? "
      Because concatenation was already a single dot before method calls were introduced (in perl5).
      • "Because concatenation was already a single dot"

        And wasn't that well thought out. Who needs "+" for concat like most
        other scripting languages when you can use a "." instead. Doh.
        • by Anonymous Coward
          I like the use of "." for concatenation

          "+" as an operator sugguests that the order of the items being operated on has no effect on the answer...

          eg. 2 + 3 == 3 + 2

          but
          "two" + "three" != "three" + "two"

        • by TheLink (130905) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @11:34AM (#14490519) Journal
          Because in Perl
          "1"."2" eq "12"
            and
          1 + 2 == 3

          If a loosely typed language is using + for concatenation, it's poorly designed (you'd end up typing more to specify what you want done).

          You need to know that the concatenation of two variables is not the same as adding them together.

          Slightly relieved that Perl 6 switched from using underscore to tilde for concat - underscore is overloaded with so many other tasks already. Unfortunately ~ still requires shift to be pressed on my keyboards, but I guess they are running out of symbols, and at least I think ~ won't require you to keep putting spaces around it to disambiguate it from other meanings.
  • by dazlari (711032) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @03:12AM (#14488655) Homepage
    A.Two Kiwi oysters going at it.
  • ..now that we got Ruby.
  • by reidman (563291) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @03:13AM (#14488658) Homepage

    From TFA:

    Not everyone who starts learning Perl for whipituptitude needs manipulexity right away, if ever, but having a tool that supports both is amazingly useful.

    Whipituptitude?!

    That is awesome. Made up words a--

    Whats this? Manipulexity?

    How much awesome can you cram into a single sentence?
  • by rsidd (6328) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @03:14AM (#14488664)
    Three years ago, I could program in C, but had never used a scripting language (except bash, for very basic stuff). I needed to do some non-trivial manipulation of text files and figured that this was a good time to learn. Since others in the group were using perl, I tried perl.

    I knew what I wanted to do, but needed to learn the language. I struggled with the awful syntax for three days. The breaking point came when I wanted a list of lists and realised that Perl "flattens" nested lists. How do you write nested lists such as [[1,2],[3,4],5,[6,7,8]]? In Python, it's trivial (that's how you'd write it), but in perl, nobody I talked to could give me an answer. It flattens it, unasked, to [1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8] and, try as I might, I can't see the point. (It turns out it's possible to have nested lists, but it's yet another example of perl's horrendous syntax).

    Finally, I decided to give python a try. I spent an hour reading the python tutorial, and in another three hours, I had reimplemented everything I'd done in the last three days in perl, and an hour after that I'd finished the job. Python syntax was, and still is, the cleanest I've ever seen. It's an amazing language. And it changed the way I think about programming: it gave me an appreciation of functional methods (I now use ocaml [inria.fr] a lot) and also changed the way I write C (vastly for the better).

    That was it. No more perl for me.
    • use Data::Dumper 'Dumper';
      my $LoL = [[1,2],[3,4],5,[6,7,8]];
      print Dumper $LoL;
      Errr??
      • Yes, that's really intuitive, thanks. Especially when every perl doc I see around tells me to use curved parentheses for lists, and @ prefixes for variables that refer to them, and I have no clue what data structure you've used above.

        My point was that I didn't need to wrap my head around such mindless syntax issues for python. (Or indeed for any language I've learned since: OCaml, a bit of Haskell and Lisp).
        • by cliveholloway (132299) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @03:59AM (#14488779) Homepage Journal

          Oh please.

          "Especially when every perl doc I see around tells me to use curved parentheses for lists, and @ prefixes for variables that refer to them..."

          How hard did you look, really? If you go to Google and type in perl list of lists, the FIRST link takes you here [perl.com].

          And within 1/2 a page, you see this:

          # assign to our array a list of list references
          @LoL = (
          [ "fred", "barney" ],
          [ "george", "jane", "elroy" ],
          [ "homer", "marge", "bart" ],
          );

          print $LoL[2][2];
          bart

          Damn anti-Perl trolls :-)

        • Yes, that's really intuitive, thanks. Especially when every perl doc I see around tells me to use curved parentheses for lists, and @ prefixes for variables that refer to them, and I have no clue what data structure you've used above.

          You're right; you do need curved parens for real lists. It may be helpful to think of the @ mark as referring to multiple values, rather than to a list specifically. It's also used for list and hash slices, like this: @list[1,3,5] and @names{'tom', 'dick', 'harry'} (Both
          • Dang it, copy-and-paste missed a couple of sentences at the end. Here they are, in context:

            It turns out Perl is *still* clever enough to figure out that $list[0] is a reference, and will automatically dereference it for you. No -> required. The beauty of this automatic dereferencing is that it allows Perl to DWIM (Do What I Mean): Perl is perfectly content to let you pretend that a 'list of *references* to lists' is actually just a 'list of lists'. The downside of the automatic dereferencing is th
    • You might know this already, but the lisp family of languages have very, very simple syntax. You'd never have this problem with them. Operators are prefix -- not infix.

      Everything is parenthesized fully.

      '((1 2) (3 4) 5 (6 7 8)) would be your list of lists.
  • Perl 6 is (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ulrich Hobelmann (861309) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @03:17AM (#14488670) Journal
    yet another Virtual Machine nobody needs, that's supposed to be well at executing lots of different languages, but probably won't really.

    It's a new language built by rewriting an ugly, old hack, that only fans of the old version will probably ever use. Everybody who didn't like Perl already moved on.
    • Re:Perl 6 is (Score:3, Interesting)

      by TheP0et (862727)

      Not just another virtual machine nobody needs. Perl6 is also a consequent implentation of language development paradigms. Java started some of it with its so called "platform independent" VM. Microsoft jumped on that train with DotNet and its intermediate language for the CRL. Perl6 bundles those ideas together, gets rid of hierarchy constraints inherited from the old OO drafts, and adds complete costumizability to syntax and grammar while trying to keep the number of built-in functions as small as possible

  • 10 Years Overdue (Score:4, Insightful)

    by dorpus (636554) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @03:19AM (#14488677)
    People in the mid-1990s spoke of "overnight obsolescence", that Perl 6 would replace everything in a few weeks, and that you had better learn a new programming language every month. Over 10 years later, perl 6 is still in beta mode.
    • Re:10 Years Overdue (Score:5, Informative)

      by chromatic (9471) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @03:26AM (#14488692) Homepage
      Over 10 years later, perl 6 is still in beta mode.

      Did you read the same article I wrote or is your post from the mysterious future? Larry announced Perl 6 in the summer of 2000.

      • Re:10 Years Overdue (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Sentry21 (8183)
        His post makes reference to how Perl 5 was released in 1994, and people were expecting Perl 6 to obsolete everything 'overnight'. 'Perl 5 is great, welcome to 1994, but Perl 6 is going to be out soon, and in order to stay up to date in this fast-paced world of technology, you'll need to learn Perl 6 before you're done learning Perl 5' sort of thing.

        The 10 years the OP is referring to is the 10 (now 11, nearing 12) years since the release of Perl 5, without any major updates to the language (other than a san
  • by Tei (520358) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @03:25AM (#14488691) Journal
    Hello.

    We need 5 years experience Perl 6 programmers for 3D game. Reference: P6DNF.
  • PDL (Score:5, Interesting)

    by LordMyren (15499) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @03:45AM (#14488744) Homepage
    The article talks about some of the defining features for perl. Well, one of the defining features in my perl experience has been Perl Data Language [perl.org], pdl. PDL _is_ whipitupitude. Its a wonderful wonderful matrix library. And it comes with the best perl shell I know.

    I had to break down a equation into a sequence of linear equations. So I hacked up some PDL in like 2 hours to do that. Couldn't have been easier, even though I'd never used PDL or its perldl perl shell; I just started typing in the interactive shell until it worked as expected and until I knew what I was doing. Then I needed the results in interger, so I rounded everything down, built a permuter and sorted the permuted results for each individual segment. That took three hours, but only because I kept botching the matrix multiplication. Even with huge datasets, generating hundreds of thousands of linear equations, each spanning dozens of datapoints, permuting the linear equations, sorting them and selecting the optimal, PDL would run it all my slow arse 800mhz crusoe laptop in seconds. Matlab couldnt touch it.

    Thats the other really truly thing about PDL; the performance. If someone else would chime in and do it better justice, but my crude understanding is that it generates some kind of extremely optimized machine code on first use and runs whatever equations you've thrown at it like silk from that point on.

    Little late and a little off topic, but PDL really is just a masterpiece of perl hackability. The PDL perl shell is truly spectacular; get some symbolic integrators and differential equation solving packages in there and I wouldn't need to break open Mathematica or Matlab ever again. Ok, long way away, pdl is really just about matricies, but it is really really sweet, and its shell is good for anyone who just wants to try something out really quickly in fully interactive perl.

    That being said, I really cant wait to see where the perl6 VM is going.

    G'night!
    Myren
    • by imroy (755)
      If someone else would chime in and do it better justice, but my crude understanding is that it generates some kind of extremely optimized machine code on first use and runs whatever equations you've thrown at it like silk from that point on.

      My understanding is that it's written in Fortran. Which mean's it not as flexible as pure Perl code, but runs so much faster. Perl is pretty dog slow at arithmetic.

  • Perl 6 ~= LISP (Score:3, Interesting)

    by paulthomas (685756) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @03:53AM (#14488768) Journal
    The article mentions blocks being closures and the fact that Perl 6 -- much like the new regex system -- is itself really a programmable grammar. It sounds like we now have real macros.

    The question is: is Perl becoming a LISP implementation?
    • Perl 5 has closures, although it's not obvious. They're useful when you have a function that takes a callback, and you want to pass some data along with the callback function.
  • PUGS (Score:4, Informative)

    by putko (753330) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @03:56AM (#14488774) Homepage Journal
    Here http://www.pugscode.org/ [pugscode.org] is something on the PUGS project, which is making an implementation of Perl 6 in Haskell, conformant to the spec.

    Apparently they are having a lot of fun.
  • by Pausanias (681077) <pausaniasx.gmail@com> on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @03:56AM (#14488775)
    I do scientific computing (astronomy). I never met the task that was too cumbersome to write in C, while at the same time too complex to write in awk.

    I keep waiting for a task where it would make sense for me to learn perl... it's never come along.
  • by starX (306011) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @04:11AM (#14488802) Homepage
    If the release of Perl 5 was any indication, Perl 6 is the single magic bullet that will kill all of my (Perl) code.

    Perl 6 may be more akin to a divine programming language, which makes the implimentation of complex data structures simple and sublime. Then again, it could all be a nasty trick to lead us away from the true path of enlightenment.

    Perl 6 is not .NET.

    Perl 6 is not controlled by any major corporation; I haven't decided whether this is advantageous or not yet.

    If I were to have a child, would it be written in Perl 6?

    Can Perl 6 be used to unlock the secret mysteries of the Bible code to reveal the end times?

    Is Perl 6 really being developed by the descendants of Jesus Christ? Is the Pope trying to cover it up? Does the Pope know what Perl is? If so, is using Perl 5 a sin? How about Perl 6?

    I bought a preview book on Perl 6 a few years ago. Is it still useful? Can I have my money back?

    If Ruby was an upgrade to Perl, and Perl 6 is a an upgrade to Perl and Ruby, will Ruby need to changes their name in such a way as to play off of Ruby Tuesdays?

    If I enter the Perl 6, can I change my mind later?

    If Perl 6 is brillian, but no one uses it, is it still brilliant? What if it's awful and everyone uses it?

    So very tired....
  • What is the best book to learn Perl starting from Perl 6? I notice that the latest (3rd) edition of O'Reilly's Programming Perl [amazon.com] is from over five years ago, and the latest (4th) edition of Learning Perl [amazon.com] seems to still be about Perl 5.
  • by Colonel Panic (15235) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @04:47AM (#14488921)
    Ok, Perl6 does indeed look cool. Lots of interesting things there. Sure, you can apparently write Perl6 code today and run it on PUGS (a Haskell implementation of Perl 6; that's gotta be speedy, eh?). But as is mentioned in the article, Perl6 was announced at OSCON 2000; that's 5.5 years ago. It's now become the posterchild for vaporware in the open source world, hence this article to keep the faithful hopeful (and to keep'em from sneaking off to Ruby, Python or even Io). Really, it just looks like the purpose of the article is to say "yes, we're still here working on Perl 6. We're working hard, we really are. Please, don't lose hope. This is hard work. It'll be here one day and it'll be great", while a lot of Perl folks who yearned for something better have already moved on to Ruby or Python.

    I really hope that Perl 6 arrives one day. I'm pretty deep into using Ruby these days having left Perl 5 behind long ago (the part of the article about what's wrong with Perl 5 was really superfluous; maybe it was intended to convince the remainingn Perl folks who are happy with 5 to check out 6), but I'll give Perl 6 a look when it arrives. The grammar support alone looks pretty awesome; it'd be great to have a viable lex/yacc alternative. In the meantime I want to learn some languages that have a bit more immediate promise like Io [iolanguage.com]. It seems that maybe the plans for Perl 6 were just too ambitious. Yes, it's great to start with a clean slate and try to revolutionize, but often it's evolution that wins out.
    • PUGS (a Haskell implementation of Perl 6; that's gotta be speedy, eh?)

      I keep seeing statements like this, but I don't understand them. A Haskell implementation of a Perl interpreter is no different than a C implementation, which is what Perl 5 uses. The interpreter has to be written in something. Why not choose a high level language that will allow high productivity?

      My guess is that you, and the others who make these remarks, don't know anything about Haskell and think it is Yet Another Scripting Language.
  • by VGPowerlord (621254) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @05:02AM (#14488960)
    QFE: "Perl 5 isn't perfect, though, and some of its flaws are more apparent the closer Perl 6 comes to completion." Bolded for emphasis.

    In other words, the spec still isn't nailed down. I may have only been been loosely following Perl 6's progress, but having seen the concatention operator change from . to ~ to _ during Perl 6's development, I'll wait until the final spec comes out, thanks.

  • Just checked my new, freshly installed, CentOS 4.2 X86/64 Opteron server to see what flavor of PERL it's running - and....

    perl 5.8.

    Come on now, how long as Perl 6 been in beta? According to this page, [perl.org] it's been an ongoing effort for at least 3 years, and the oldest link on that page talks about how long it's been since a Perl 6 update!

    It's like waiting for the next release of Debian - don't hold your breath, don't delay your shower. Check back when your grandson has his first kid.
  • Some much better... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AVee (557523) <slashdot@NOspAM.avee.org> on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @05:36AM (#14489036) Homepage
    ...it's more consistent and easier to use than Perl 5

    Some thing are just so easy there's no pride in it. Now make something more wich is harder to read then Perl 5 and you've achieved something. It may be better, but is it good?
  • by cheezemonkhai (638797) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @07:42AM (#14489380) Homepage
    The question is "What is Perl 6"?

    The Question is "Who Cares"
  • Perl 6 = COBOL 9x (Score:3, Interesting)

    by scottsk (781208) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @08:40AM (#14489526) Homepage
    Perl 6 reminds me of the super-revamped, object-oriented COBOL that came out in the 90s -- by the time this perfect language was created (and it was a decent upgrade, although the OO stuff was so verbose it wasn't funny), COBOL 85 had such a huge installed base that COBOL 9x was irrelevant. The amount of code written to the COBOL 85 standard was immense, and most new development had moved on to other languages. Maybe Perl 6 can escape the Fortran 9x and COBOL 9x trap of being really great languages about a decade too late. The biggest hurdle Perl 6 is going to face is its own installed base. It will have to be 100% compatible with Perl 5 to get people with a code base of Perl 5 code to even think about using it. Plus, it needs to have a compelling story to tell. I was excited about Perl 6 five or six years ago.
  • Just one question (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Dasher42 (514179) on Tuesday January 17, 2006 @01:25PM (#14491530)
    Will Perl 6 finally end the sheer madness of allowing a function to use loop control statements like next and last to meddle with the loops in their calling functions?

    Some of us have predecessor's code to use and maintain that do the darnedest things, you know. A bit of protection from the madness of others, that's all I'm asking for.

"It's like deja vu all over again." -- Yogi Berra

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