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Perl Programming

Perl 5.11.0 Released 235

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-so-soon dept.
jamie points out that Perl 5.11.0 was released yesterday, as well as a schedule for future 5.11.x releases, planned for the 20th of every month. Jesse Vincent encouraged testing of the new (development) version, saying, "If you write software in Perl, it is particularly important that you test your software against development releases. While we strive to maintain source compatibility with prior releases wherever possible, it is always possible that a well-intentioned change can have unexpected consequences. If you spot a change in a development release which breaks your code, it's much more likely that we will be able to fix it before the next stable release. If you only test your code against stable releases of Perl, it may not be possible to undo a backwards-incompatible change which breaks your code."
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Perl 5.11.0 Released

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  • Wow. . . (Score:5, Funny)

    by ibmjones (52133) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @11:25AM (#29627209) Homepage

    It must be real good if it goes to eleven.

  • Seriously? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by bsDaemon (87307) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @11:26AM (#29627217)
    5.10.1 just came out like a week or so ago... there seems to be a slightly accelerated rate of Perl development lately, which is nice as it proves it's not a 'dead' language by any stretch... and with extensions such as MooseX::Declare, it really gives some of the more modern, OO-based dynamic languages like Python or Ruby a run for their money in their traditional sphere as well, I'd say.

    and first post i think.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by rubycodez (864176)
      no, proves instead of being dead it's stagnant. Perl 5.x lingers like scent of dead skunk under the porch while the Frankenstein of Perl 6 is still on the mad scientist's table, metaphorically getting body parts sewn on from morgues and cemeteries and hospitals across the globe. Perl 6 is the undead Creeper [wikipedia.org] of programming languages
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by causality (777677)

        no, proves instead of being dead it's stagnant. Perl 5.x lingers like scent of dead skunk under the porch while the Frankenstein of Perl 6 is still on the mad scientist's table, metaphorically getting body parts sewn on from morgues and cemeteries and hospitals across the globe. Perl 6 is the undead Creeper [wikipedia.org] of programming languages

        Where's BadAnalogyGuy when you need him?

      • Re:Seriously? (Score:5, Informative)

        by ThePhilips (752041) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @12:13PM (#29627629) Homepage Journal

        Uhm...

        Perl 5 development is stagnant for one simple reason: Perl 5 is near perfect, there is nothing left to be developed there.

        Some wanted better Perl with more consistent syntax. That's what Perl 6 is for. 5.10/etc are intermediate releases serving the purpose of facilitating future migration to Perl 6: some ambiguous constructs of previous version are gone in 5.10/etc.

        I personally do not care much about 6th - I yet to find any pathological problem in Perl 5 which would persuade me somehow to move to next big thing. Perl 5 is well documented, has piles of modules and examples all over the net. I see no point to move from it.

        • by iggymanz (596061) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @12:52PM (#29627917)

          and Perl use had dropped to 15% of its former level in the past five years because the perfect number of applications have been developed with it, there's almost no software left to write.

          • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Insightful)

            by ThePhilips (752041) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @01:37PM (#29628285) Homepage Journal

            Benchmarks and whatnot have little relevance to the real world.

            It's true that thanks to the "there is more than one way to do the same thing" isn't very appealing to commercial companies. But at the same time in the past 15+ years I work, literally every employer had some part of its infrastructure supported by Perl programs.

            Perl isn't for everyone. Obviously simpler languages like Java or C# or Python would tend to dominate because barrier to entry is lower. Nothing new.

            Perl dominated Web in the times when it was a new thing. Internet itself was a new thing. And obviously to start something new you need smart and experienced people. Among such people Perl tend to be quite popular. Now Web design became something what even your mom can do - tools are abundant. There is no need to employ such heavy lifting tools like Perl anymore.

            But thinking that Perl was used exclusively to do web stuff is a rather silly mistake to make.

          • by doom (14564)

            and Perl use had dropped to 15% of its former level in the past five years

            You forgot to link to the data supporting this figure. But what the hell, it's only another smear of the perl community, it's not like you're ever going to be called on it.

        • by doom (14564)

          Perl 5 development is stagnant for one simple reason: Perl 5 is near perfect, there is nothing left to be developed there.

          I know you mean well, but despite the fact that it's certainly true that perl5 is a mature language, there's plenty of active development happening in the perl5 world. There were a lot of interesting features added to perl5 with the 5.10 release. Just to pick one, they added recursive regular expressions, which enabled Damian Conway to write this: Regexp::Grammars [cpan.org].

          Some wanted better

    • Re:Seriously? (Score:4, Informative)

      by Fnord (1756) <joe@sadusk.com> on Saturday October 03, 2009 @12:19PM (#29627667) Homepage

      Its not an indication of anything. 5.11 is a development branch. In theory it should be released the moment they implement one feature that doesn't belong in 5.10.

    • by coolgeek (140561)

      The statement that they are unsure if they are going to break something is probably just the thing to kill it in my eyes. I have about 50,500 lines of perl running a production system, and this announcement has me seriously thinking I should port it all to a language I can rely on. I don't need a routine yum update breaking my system, and I sure as hell don't have time to test their code constantly.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by Myopic (18616)

        I'm sure you are just being a wag, because obviously anyone concerned about the stability of a production system like that wouldn't make foolish mistakes such as changing the version of their runtimes or libraries or platforms.

        You don't mean to seriously suggest that you would rewrite 50,000 lines of code rather than just, you know, *do nothing*, and not update anything?

  • Also try Perl 6 (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Norsefire (1494323) * on Saturday October 03, 2009 @11:27AM (#29627229) Journal
    While you're being adventurous and testing Perl 5.11.0 I also suggest trying a Perl 6 implementation. Rakudo Perl [rakudo.org] (running on the Parrot VM [parrot.org]) is one of the most actively developed right now. Not as solid as Perl 5.X yet, but certainly getting there.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by iggymanz (596061)

      uh, I'd rather do an implementation in a language that's not in pre-release status. My clients like their money handled by language that 1. exists 2. has stable specification 3. has stable releases

      • Re:Also try Perl 6 (Score:5, Informative)

        by Norsefire (1494323) * on Saturday October 03, 2009 @12:30PM (#29627751) Journal

        1. exists

        People have been using Perl 6 for years now. It certainly exists.

        2. has stable specification

        "Stable" is a biologist term, it means "dead". The problem with a set specification (the "waterfall" model) is you discover after something was implemented that it was a bad idea, the whirlpool model prevents this.

        3. has stable releases

        Rakudo has a release every month. The "big" release is coming next April.

        • by iggymanz (596061)

          no No NO. partial implementations of a pre-release language in flux exist, people who need to write reliable real world applications aren't going to touch that with ten foot pole. Perl 6 is the HURD of programming languages, high school science project with some cool ideas here and there.

          • partial implementations of a pre-release language in flux exist, people who need to write reliable real world applications aren't going to touch that with ten foot pole.

            People only code in languages that never change?

            • by iggymanz (596061)

              for real world apps, they code in languages that have definite stable production release version.

      • by Sir_Lewk (967686)

        So clearly it's not targeted at you. Nobody cares.

        • by iggymanz (596061)

          clearly it's not targeted at anyone who writes real world scripting langauge applications. everyone cares since no one is using it other than as a fun diversion to fart around with ideas

      • by Myopic (18616)

        I don't think major implementations for professional clients is the right time to be "adventurous".

  • by sakdoctor (1087155) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @11:36AM (#29627293) Homepage

    Kernel 2.6.31.1
    PHP 5.2.11
    Apache 2.2.13
    Debian 5.0.3

    Keep up with all those thrilling point released with slashdot.org

  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday October 03, 2009 @11:37AM (#29627307)

    For software of any appreciable size, Perl has unfortunately died in industry. People just aren't using it for anything more than 10-line throwaway scripts.

    Perl 6 was something those of us in industry had been anticipating with glee. We expected it to modernize the Perl platform, and make it a contender against Java, .NET and C++ for large-scale software development. But we also expected we'd have that around 2005. It's nearly 2010, and we still don't see much real progress on that front. Rakudo just isn't a production-grade product yet.

    I'm sad to admit it, but instead of waiting for incremental Perl 5 releases for the next decade until Perl 6 is finally mature enough, the company I'm with has started to migrate from Perl to Python. Unlike the Perl community, the Python community has shown with Python 3 that they're capable of working together to create a major release with many new features in a relatively short amount of time (especially compared to the Perl 6 effort).

    Rewriting our approximately 3 million lines of Perl code into Python has actually gone reasonably well. Although I was a staunch defender of Perl, I do have to give Python its kudos. Every day it looks more and more like we've made the right choice moving away from Perl, and towards Python.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      People just aren't using it for anything more than 10-line throwaway scripts.

      You just posted on a website running Slash. Although it is Perl, so maybe the codebase is less than ten lines.

      But we also expected we'd have that around 2005.

      You were expecting it the same year the very first implementation (Pugs) was started? That was silly of you.

      It's nearly 2010, and we still don't see much real progress on that front. Rakudo just isn't a production-grade product yet.

      Unless lives are at risk, Rakudo is stable enough for production (although you may want to wait for the April "Rakudo Star" release).

      I'm sad to admit it, but instead of waiting for incremental Perl 5 releases for the next decade until Perl 6 is finally mature enough

      Perl 6 != Perl 5. They are two VERY different languages. Perl 5 and 6 will continue to be maintained in parallel.

      until Perl 6 is finally mature enough, the company I'm with has started to migrate from Perl to Python.

      You're complaining about maturity and yet you're

      • by Fnord (1756) <joe@sadusk.com> on Saturday October 03, 2009 @12:43PM (#29627855) Homepage

        Ok, I actually do use perl professionally, but even I realize there are some serious problems with it. The reality is a middle ground between you and the grandparent.

        But we also expected we'd have that around 2005.

        You were expecting it the same year the very first implementation (Pugs) was started? That was silly of you.

        Pugs was started in 2005 as an attempt to inject life into what looked like a dying project. The language spec started in 2000. In five years they hadn't nailed it down. In ten years there still isn't a working implementation.

        It's nearly 2010, and we still don't see much real progress on that front. Rakudo just isn't a production-grade product yet.

        Unless lives are at risk, Rakudo is stable enough for production (although you may want to wait for the April "Rakudo Star" release).

        That is EXTREMELY wishful thinking. It may have changed in the last couple months, but I tried this perl 6 code out earlier in the summer:

        my $blah = "blah";
        $blah = $blah.reverse;
        print $blah;

        and that SIMPLE code resulted in an infinite recursion error.

        I'm sad to admit it, but instead of waiting for incremental Perl 5 releases for the next decade until Perl 6 is finally mature enough

        Perl 6 != Perl 5. They are two VERY different languages. Perl 5 and 6 will continue to be maintained in parallel.

        Perl 5 has problems inherent with the language that inhibit large scale use, and this is coming from someone who works on a multi-million line perl 5 project. Recent frameworks have tried to address the problems by grafting perl6 like features onto perl5, but they always impact performance, and are never perfect. And goddammit, I've still found no way around the broken behavior of the SUPER keyword.

        until Perl 6 is finally mature enough, the company I'm with has started to migrate from Perl to Python.

        You're complaining about maturity and yet you're using Python?

        Unlike the Perl community, the Python community has shown with Python 3 that they're capable of working together to create a major release with many new features in a relatively short amount of time (especially compared to the Perl 6 effort).

        Perl 6 has many, many more changes than Python 3. It is an entire rewrite of the language from the ground up, they didn't just change the print statement to a function and call it a day.

        Rewriting our approximately 3 million lines of Perl code into Python has actually gone reasonably well.

        That would have been what, 6 million lines in Python? Now I know you're trolling.

        You're being a bit unfair to Python. I'm not a huge fan of the language (if I had to move anywhere it'd be ruby), but python 3 while it didn't change much in the language itself, was a huge boost in performance to the interpreter. There are incremental changes happening to the perl5 interpreter, but nothing major structural can, because the codebase just isn't very maintainable. In fact that was one of the main reasons they decided to scrap it and develop parrot from scratch instead of working from the perl5 base. Try embedding the python interpreter and the perl5 interpreter in a C program, see which one has internals that make more sense.

        Not to mention that python is immensely more parsable. There are identical python interpreters in C, on the JVM, and on the CLR. Its been said that the only thing that can parse perl5 is perl5, and that is evidenced by the fact that the parrot project gave up on implementing a perl5 parser.

        That's not to say there aren't things python does wrong. Every time there's a point release it seems everyone's code completely breaks, while perl5 is backward compatible to perl1. And frankly, I hate significant whitespace, but that's a personal preference.

        Regardess things are not completely happy in the perl world.

      • by harmonise (1484057) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @02:51PM (#29628851)

        Perl 6 != Perl 5. They are two VERY different languages.

        Then maybe they need to have two VERY different names. Have we learned nothing from the problems caused by Java and JavaScript? It's nearly 2010 and people still think those two languages have something in common with one another. Now we have two different languages with the same name. Did anyone think that that would not cause confusion?

      • by Blakey Rat (99501)

        You just posted on a website running Slash.

        Is that supposed to impress us? Slashdot is by far the most buggy and unstable website I visit.

        • by petrus4 (213815)

          Is that supposed to impress us? Slashdot is by far the most buggy and unstable website I visit.

          To a large extent, the reason for that is because the editorial staff felt a need to "modernise," presumably due to pressure from the brainless Web 2.0 crowd.

          Pre-2.0, the site was as solid as a rock. The editors should have ignored whoever was howling for cosmetic changes and stayed with their instincts.

    • who uses PERL (Score:3, Informative)

      by viralMeme (1461143)
      "For software of any appreciable size, Perl has unfortunately died in industry. People just aren't using it for anything more than 10-line throwaway scripts"

      "Large and high profile [luv.asn.au] websites using Perl [perlfoundation.org] include: Slashdot, The Internet Movie Database, Amazon.com, CMPnet technical magazines ...
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by FooAtWFU (699187)

        Also, the AirWave Management Platform [airwave.com] is in Perl (with C/XS/etc as appropriate in certain places). It sells for thousands-of to millions-of dollars, depending on your licensing and support needs. It's basically the only wireless network NMS out there which supports multiple brands of access point (Aruba, Cisco, HP/Colubris, Meru, Proxim, Symbol/Motorola, Foundry...) and its main competitor is basically Cisco WCS, which only manages/monitors Cisco devices.

        Perl's take on object-oriented programming seems a

    • by Jurily (900488)

      For software of any appreciable size, Perl has unfortunately died in industry. People just aren't using it for anything more than 10-line throwaway scripts.

      Wasn't that the whole point of Perl? Perhaps we should be ashamed for doing large projects with it in the first place.

    • For software of any appreciable size, Perl has unfortunately died in industry.

      Industry doesn't end with "web design".

      People just aren't using it for anything more than 10-line throwaway scripts.

      Perl is one of those languages which grows on you. I had wrote year ago primitive forking HTTP servers with minimalistic CGI support. In the time it was 20 lines + 100 lines for the CGI scripts themselve. Now that is about 5K lines of code.

      But in the end, yes, many 10-line Perl scripts become throwaway - when you realize how to do the job in 1 line.

      Perl 6 was something those of us in industry had been anticipating with glee. We expected it to modernize the Perl platform, and make it a contender against Java, .NET and C++ for large-scale software development. But we also expected we'd have that around 2005. It's nearly 2010, and we still don't see much real progress on that front. Rakudo just isn't a production-grade product yet.

      Change your dealer. He sells you something funny. Or get a real job.

      I'm sad to admit it, but instead of waiting for incremental Perl 5 releases for the next decade until Perl 6 is finally mature enough, the company I'm with has started to migrate from Perl to Python. Unlike the Perl community, the Python community has shown with Python 3 that they're capable of working together to create a major release with many new features in a relatively short amount of time (especially compared to the Perl 6 effort).

      If you were unable to exploit Perl 5 fully - it

      • by chthon (580889)

        I fully agree : Perl is a language which takes time to learn, but the most fantastic thing about is that code that I have written 9 year ago hasn't had the need to be changed, despite going from Perl 5.6.0 to 5.10.0.

        What I learned was that the following books (in addition to the traditional camel book) are a valuable addition to Perl knowledge :

        • How To Design Programs
        • Structure and Interpretation of Programs
        • Perl Best Practices
        • Higher-Order Perl

        If you work through these books, then you will understand wh

    • People just aren't using it for anything more than 10-line throwaway scripts.

      So when you say "in industry" you mean your industry, software development (not IT), and you mean dead for large projects (not dead).

    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by schobes (750303)
      Perl hasn't died. Cpan is one of the most active community and is the largest gathering of usable, open source code available on the net. Show anything that compares to this in the Python, Ruby, PHP realm and I'll shut up, but until you can provide me a CPAN replacement in another language why would you want to change languages.
    • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

      by chromatic (9471)

      [The] Python community has shown with Python 3 that they're capable of working together to create a major release with many new features in a relatively short amount of time (especially compared to the Perl 6 effort).

      Guido switched jobs in early 2000 in part to work on Python 3000. Eight and a half years is not a "relatively short amount of time" for the delta between Python 2 and Python 3.

    • Perl is used very extensively, in industry, military and academia, that is not to say anything against Python.

      I find it is much easier to get people from a traditional programming environment, FORTRAN, C, C++ productive in Python than Perl, since the style is much more compatible. Perl as line noise is a joke and is easy to write well and debug.

      But again, you must learn your tools, but all learning is at a cost. Also developers tend to overcomplicate.

      The which is the best Programming language | Methodology
  • *cough* *cough* (Score:2, Insightful)

    by CODiNE (27417)

    ...

    unit tests.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Unit tests are only as good as the programmer that programs them.

      Many times, your solution is not cut and dry.

    • Re:*cough* *cough* (Score:5, Informative)

      by A beautiful mind (821714) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @12:57PM (#29627961)
      Perl probably has the best testing culture out there from the major programming languages, including Java on the list. Between TAP [wikipedia.org], Perl 5 core's large test suite and a myriad of test related modules [cpan.org] it has automated testing well covered.

      Did you know for example that when you upload something to CPAN, it gets automatically smoked [cpantesters.org] on dozens of platforms and hundreds of different boxes, test reports sent to the author and assistance provided to diagnose platform specific problems if needed?

      Manual testing is for the problems not caught by the huge array of automated tests.
  • Obligatory (Score:3, Funny)

    by razvan784 (1389375) on Saturday October 03, 2009 @12:22PM (#29627693)
  • Perl was so. fricking. awesome. back when the only choices were shell scripts or compiled apps. It was such a leap forward. Who wouldn't be excited about Perl back in the '90s

    But we're far beyond the sophistication of Perl. I'm not saying that you can't do some pretty fricking awesome things in Perl, but that Perl doesn't do many of the meta-tasks that we've come to expect in languages. These supporting features don't necessarily make things run or run fast, but rather help developers in the process of crea

    • Perl is awesome. Still today it is the best choice for large applications. I dont know where people get that it is not elegant, it is an extremely elegant language to use and its design makes good sense. Especially compared to C++. Perl produces far better code than what you would do with C++, easier to debug, etc.

  • by hey (83763)

    Hey I still use and love perl!

    Is there a list online of the cool new features?

    Also, people dumping perl... what are you moving to?
    (Thanks)

  • I've found I can do pretty much everything I need with shell. I've also tended to find that I can store and retrieve whatever data I'm working with in flatfiles with awk, as well. Some people might find that horribly primitive, but truthfully flat text is a lot easier for me to understand and work with than XML.

    I feel that awk has an excessively bad rap, to be honest. I know of some people who like it, but it doesn't seem to get used much. I find it very useful at times.

    What do people use Perl for?

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      I use Perl for one-time jobs... Repairing badly-formatted 80GB data files. Splitting flat files into multiple output files. Testing uniqueness of various fields. Finding the line(s) in a 250GB file that is crashing the sqlload program, and fixing it, because you have two hours or we'll lose the project. (nevermind it's the client's data). Editing several files to purge or excise fields or characters before doing serious work with them. Most of these I do via the command line. I'll write actual Perl

    • by petrus4 (213815)

      I acknowledge; this was a dumb comment. I know Perl can be used as a CGI scripting language, and for any number of other things besides.

      Let me clarify, however; what do people use Perl for, that they *wouldn't* write in another language?

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