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Christmas Cheer Perl Programming

The Perl 6 Advent Calendar 160

Posted by timothy
from the possibly-recognizable-tune dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Larry Wall wasn't joking when he said that Perl 6 would be ready by Christmas. Perhaps not this Christmas, but that hasn't stopped a group of people (including head Rakudo developers Patrick Michaud and Jonathan Worthington) from putting together an Advent Calendar, featuring one cool Perl 6 feature every day until Christmas. Topics currently covered include how to get and build Rakudo (the most actively developed and progressed implementation of Perl 6) and the new Metaoperators. For those wondering when Perl 6 will be finished: Rakudo will be having its official 'production release' (dubbed Rakudo Star) April 2010."
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The Perl 6 Advent Calendar

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  • by ghostis (165022) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @02:37PM (#30345172) Homepage

    ... is Duke Nukem Forever is being rewritten in Perl 6.

  • Waiting for Perl 6 seems a lot like waiting for the Messiah to arrive. And even when (if) it happens there'll be some people saying "Nope. Not the right one... Keep looking...."
    • by Chandon Seldon (43083) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @03:08PM (#30345446) Homepage

      If you compare the Perl6 timeline to the Haskell timeline, you'll see that things aren't really going all that slowly. Building a good implementation of a complex programming language takes time.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by convolvatron (176505)

        yes, but you still haven't explained why perl 6 is taking so long

        • by sqldr (838964)
          well, if you have a quick look through Larry Wall's definitive o'reilly guide on perl, you will find him joculantly using the words "laziness is a virtue of a programmer". He's just being virtuous.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...it's too late for PERL. The system and kernel engineers chose to stick with C, PHP ran all over it with less cryptic syntax, and all the web 2.0 "me too" morons are now hacking away in Ruby and Python.

    But really, PERL's demise was PHP. Especially since the CLI version of PHP, turning him into a true general purpose language.

    • by outZider (165286)

      Sorry, PHP is still an archaic, over keyworded language. Surefire way to find out if a company doesn't know what they're doing: they use PHP at the command line.

      • by tepples (727027)

        Surefire way to find out if a company doesn't know what they're doing: they use PHP at the command line.

        Unless they have business logic libraries written in PHP, and they want to make sure that the libraries used by the public web site and those used by internal command-line tools have the same behavior. Or to what representation should a library written in PHP be compiled before using it in a command-line program?

    • by pierreact (983133)
      "morons are now hacking away in Ruby and Python"... Oh man. Ruby is great for this kind of stuff, so is, as I heard (ruby user here) python. I used to use perl for those tasks but I found it too messy when writting large programs and ridiculous when it comes to OOP (colors and tastes...). ruby fits my needs, the code is clear and short, it's very maintainable... All I need it here :) I'm happy with it and oh... I used it to automate a 30 nodes cluster all the way. Moron, maybe but the shit works very well
    • Is this Funny or Flamebait?
    • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

      PHP isn't necessarily cryptic but it's just as ugly as PERL.
    • by edivad (1186799)

      ...it's too late for PERL. The system and kernel engineers chose to stick with C, PHP ran all over it with less cryptic syntax, and all the web 2.0 "me too" morons are now hacking away in Ruby and Python.

      But really, PERL's demise was PHP. Especially since the CLI version of PHP, turning him into a true general purpose language.

      Dude, you lost me at PHP.
      Perl IS the most widely spread scripting system on a Unix host, after Shell.

  • by physburn (1095481) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @02:51PM (#30345290) Homepage Journal
    Is it just my memory, or is this over five years on one upgrade. An upgrade with too many changes, apocapses, and major changes in grammer and usage. I'm getting old, and don't really want to relearn my languages just to stay put. So keep on delaying perl 6, and i can safely use perl 5 for the rest of my life.

    ---

    Perl Programming [feeddistiller.com] Feed Feed Distiller [feeddistiller.com]

    • by FooAtWFU (699187) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @03:00PM (#30345374) Homepage
      Perl 5.10.0 was out this year, and introduced snazzy new features [cpan.org] like the defined-or operator and easier state variables. It's not like they've been neglecting the rest of the language, and it's not like it's going to be difficult to activate backwards compatibility.

      I'd worry more about the continuing relevance of Perl in a niche which has come to be dominated more and more by PHP (eww!) and Ruby in recent years. It's not going away, certainly, but its relevance to the future of computing may be somewhat limited despite its technical merit.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by ThePhilips (752041)

        It's not going away, certainly, but its relevance to the future of computing may be somewhat limited despite its technical merit.

        That's silly. Programming languages always were and will always be transient.

        Compare Perl1 to Perl5 (that actually easy since change logs are delivered with every Perl version) and see how language have changed over the time. Like-wise PHP or even C.

        Languages evolve along with tasks they are used to solve. Sometimes obviously a branch of evolution falls off and language becomes a thing of past. And that can happen to any language, because we still can't predict with certainty problems of tomorrow.

        • by wayland (165119)
          > That's silly. Programming languages always were and will always be transient.

          Right.  That's why no-one uses LISP any more.  http://people.mandriva.com/~prigaux/language-study/diagram-light.png

          Oh, wait...
      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by jeffstar (134407)

        perl and nice don't belong together, especially if you bring CPAN into the sentence.

        When I have some retarded task that has to be done, like taking a web form and inserting the data into a PDF that has to be emailed to a few different people, or retrieving some data via FTP, verifying that it is valid and then updating some excel worksheets and emailing the new plots around as in-line images in an html formatted email, PERL can do it.

        maybe PHP, ruby and python can talk to open office, ms office, do SMTP wit

        • Re: (Score:1, Flamebait)

          by icebraining (1313345)

          Python can do all that.

          OpenOffice.org ships with the python scripting language, version 2.3.4.

        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          by Luyseyal (3154)

          Maybe glue is perl's niche?

          I'm sure there is a "turning camels into glue" joke in there somewhere.

          -l

    • by Trepidity (597) <(gro.hsikcah) (ta) (todhsals-muiriled)> on Sunday December 06, 2009 @03:09PM (#30345452)

      More than that--- Perl 6 was announced [perl.com] 9 1/2 years ago! Even O'Reilly's Perl 6 Essentials [amazon.com] is now 6 1/2 years old, and some Perl 6 books are into 2nd editions.

    • by RDW (41497) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @03:12PM (#30345480)

      Perl 6 is a new language, not just an upgrade. Perl 5 has not been neglected, and continues to receive updates and new features (some of them originally developed for Perl 6). The plan is to continue Perl 5 support and development indefinitely, irrespective of the status of Perl 6. And of course Perl 5 has its own advent calendar, which this year focuses on interesting stuff you can do with various CPAN modules:

      http://www.perladvent.org/2009/ [perladvent.org]

      • Perl 6 is a new language, not just an upgrade.

        Then they should have chosen a new name than use the same name as an established language. By not doing so they have created confusion leading to people thinking, rightly so, that this is somehow an upgrade to the older Perl.

        • by RDW (41497) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @05:54PM (#30346762)

          Well, the first line of the first Google hit for 'Perl 6':

          http://dev.perl.org/perl6/ [perl.org]

          says:

          "Perl 6 is a new language. Perl 5 and Perl 6 are two languages in the Perl family, but of different lineages. There is no current release schedule for Perl 6."

          Some people, of course, may still find this confusing. These people should use Python :-)

          A longer answer (together with several chapters of new Perl 6 book written by some of the developers) is here:

          http://cloud.github.com/downloads/perl6/book/book-2009-11.pdf [github.com]

          "Some might ask, 'Why call it Perl if it's a different language?' Perl is more than just the vagaries of syntax. Perl is philosophy (there's more than one way to do it; easy things easy, hard things possible); Perl is custom (unit testing); Perl is architectual edifice (Comprehensive Perl Archive Network); Perl is community (perl5porters, perl6-language). These are things that both Perl 5 and Perl 6 will share to varying degrees. Also, due to Perl's habit of stealing good ideas, Perl 5 and Perl 6 will converge in some areas as Perl 5 borrows ideas from Perl 6 and vice versa."

          • by dkf (304284)

            "Perl is more than just the vagaries of syntax. Perl is philosophy; Perl is custom; Perl is architectual edifice; Perl is community."

            And Perl6 is a jump over the shark.

            I've seen snippets of Perl6 and it does indeed look rather different from previous versions of Perl. Does it stand a good a chance of running lots of existing perl scripts without nasty interop goop? If not, it's really another language and should not hang off Perl's coattails. Call it "Rakudo" instead (after all, that name's used right now) and let it find its own way in the world of languages. If instead they'd stuck to being, say, 95% compatible with existing perl scrip

            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by wayland (165119)
              Perl 6 is a specification, not an implementation.  Rakudo is one implementation, but there are others (SMOP springs to mind).  I guess I think that Perl 6 is "the stuff you liked about Perl 5, but more of it".  Oh, and better OO and Grammars.  Mmm, grammars :). 
            • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

              by Draykwing (900431)
              In addition to what wayland++ said, there's also the fact that the Perl 6 implementation on Parrot, called Rakudo, is intended to be able to mix programming languages with great ease. For example, one syntax that's been bandied about is this:
              use v6;
              # Perl 6 goes here
              {
              use P5;
              # Hey, now I'm writing Perl 5 code!
              }
              # I'm writing Perl 6 again!

              The amazing thing is that the object models will be able to interact, which means that CPAN modules will be trivially usable. That's a different kin
              • by scheme (19778)

                In addition to what wayland++ said, there's also the fact that the Perl 6 implementation on Parrot, called Rakudo, is intended to be able to mix programming languages with great ease. For example, one syntax that's been bandied about is this: use v6; # Perl 6 goes here { use P5; # Hey, now I'm writing Perl 5 code! } # I'm writing Perl 6 again!

                You're seriously calling this a good thing? The ability to fairly easily switch to a very similar but different language in the middle of your code? That sounds like an excellent way to create a maintenance and troubleshooting nightmare.

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by ajs (35943)

              "Perl is more than just the vagaries of syntax. Perl is philosophy; Perl is custom; Perl is architectual edifice; Perl is community."

              And Perl6 is a jump over the shark.

              That's meaningless. You could say that about any new technology (I'm sure someone said it about the DVD).

              I've seen snippets of Perl6 and it does indeed look rather different from previous versions of Perl.

              In some ways yes, and in some ways, no. Perl 4 looked like this:

              require "foo.pl";
              local($foo);
              $foo = 10;

              Perl 5 looked like this:

              package Foo;
              my $foo = 10;

              Perl 6 looks like this:

              module Foo;
              my $foo = 10;

              You tell me which was a larger leap.

              Perl 6 is, conceptually, a massive shift and arguably a language of its own. But in terms of raw syntax and ease-of-learning for current Perl 5 users, it's not as large a c

    • Not at all. Perl6 is not an upgrade of Perl5, which is still being actively developed. Perl6 is a brand new language in the same family. Perl 5.10 is more like what people expect from a language upgrade. It has so many new features it's very much like a new version of the language (and it is).
      • by Migala77 (1179151)

        Not at all. Perl6 is not an upgrade of Perl5, which is still being actively developed. Perl6 is a brand new language in the same family.

        Then why name it Perl6?
        If it's a different language, give it a different name!

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by ajs (35943)

      Is it just my memory, or is this over five years on one upgrade.

      Perl 6 is not an upgrade to Perl 5.

      This is something that many folks misunderstand, and frankly, it's a failure of the Perl development team to correctly communicate (an open source project with poor PR skills... shocking). Perl 6 isn't a new language either, though you'll find many who will say that it is (even within the project, where it's a sort of shorthand way of interrupting the long conversation that ensues if you don't call it a new language).

      What Perl 6 is is the logical progression of Perl into t

  • still relevant? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spongman (182339) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @02:56PM (#30345334)

    from an outsider's view (I have NO perl experience, and i intend to die like that if at all possible) it seems like perl has slowly moved from an ubiquitous scripting language to a fringe research project over the last few years. it reminds me somewhat of the pascal/modula-2/oberon phenomenon. do perl afficionados think that this new version will enjoy the success that its predecessors have had?

    • Re:still relevant? (Score:4, Interesting)

      by bsDaemon (87307) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @03:08PM (#30345442)
      Perl 6 is NOT Perl 5. Perl 5 has been under active development, introducing several new features. CPAN is constantly getting new libraries and whatnot, which and its possible to throw together quick hacks and elegant solutions in Perl, depending on what you want to do.

      Maybe Perl is more for a systems administration language (it started out that way) than a software development language, but that's what I need, and that's why I like it. Perl combines the features of awk, sed and shell scripting with those of other languages as well, wraps them up in a C-like syntax, but removes all the hard syntactic bits of C that make it harder for processing strings, or just generally cumbersome.

      For me, Perl 5 is perfect. It's pretty much the language that I would have designed if I designed programming languages -- it i well suited to the tasks I do, the problems I tackle, and is expressive in the same way that I think about writing code. That said, I don't give a flying fuck about Perl 6 at all and really have no interest in it at all.
      • From Perl.org: Perl is a general-purpose programming language originally developed for text manipulation [perl.org] It evolved into a system admin language as time went on and modules were created/added....
        • by bsDaemon (87307)
          Much of system administration scripting is manipulating text. Nearly every log or config file is in pure text, and commands take text in and spit text out, which is why Perl is so great for system admins. The general purposeness of it helps make the program flow easier to deal with for me. If I'm throwing something together on the command line, then awk, sed, cut, etc are fine. If its something I intend to use over and over again, then Perl helps me write a more permanent solution, which, at least to me
    • Re:still relevant? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jepaton (662235) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @03:50PM (#30345736)

      Yes, Perl is still relevant to a number of software developers and systems administrators.

      It is an ideal language for software developers who want to use metaprogramming techniques (code generation; domain specific languages), text processing or data conversion, or automation of software development process. Perl 6 will have a full grammar engine (for parsing - like having YACC/BISON built in) which will make text processing even easier than before. The use of a scripting language for these tasks leaves the source code more accessible than compiled languages, which is an advantage to software developers who can adapt the code more readily than a compiled project.

      Whether Perl 6 will be used much for primary software development I don't know. My day job is C programming for embedded systems where Perl is not suitable. Desktop programming is more likely to be in C++ or C# where the standard libraries are huge and the software development ecosystem is more developed.

      The primary audience for new Perl, in my opinion, is expert software developers who need a powerful/succinct language to implement solutions to problems in the manner they think. Perl 6 therefore supports just about every programming paradigm known to mankind. What makes Perl great for software gurus is what makes it an awful language for programming newbies.

      I will be learning Perl 6, not because I will use it much, but because I will discover new ways to think about problems. Oh, and it'll be fun.

      Jonathan Paton

    • by jonadab (583620)
      > it seems like perl has slowly moved from an ubiquitous scripting
      > language to a fringe research project over the last few years

      Perl is not an ubiquitous scripting language.

      Perl is *the* ubiquitous scripting language. That hasn't really changed. There are a number of other scripting languages, some of them newer than Perl and being used more and more (notably, Ruby), and some of them older than Perl and being used less and less (notably sh), but what hasn't changed in the last fifteen years is that
    • do perl afficionados think that this new version will enjoy the success that its predecessors have had?

      Why should I care?

      I use Perl5 because it is perfect fit for what it is. If Perl6 would catch might attention, I might consider trying it too.

      Perl isn't about gathering design awards or topping charts. It's a robust tool for an array of *NIX related tasks. And not only.

    • the pascal/modula-2/oberon phenomenon

      Funny, that's what a lot of people who liked modula-2 and oberon have said about the recently released Go.

      do perl afficionados think that this new version will enjoy the success that its predecessors have had?

      Do you mean popularity or success?

      Popularity is related to its success, since a bigger community can provide a significant boost to a language, both in terms of library development and in terms of perceived viability as part of a commercial product.

      But widespread us

  • by bcrowell (177657) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @03:12PM (#30345484) Homepage

    I do most of my coding in perl 5. Perl 5's implementation is rock-solid, and CPAN has an absolutely fantastic selection of useful modules for perl 5.

    If I was going to change to something other than perl 5, I would need some motivation. The clearest motivation I can see is that OOP in perl 5 is ugly and bolted on.

    With that motivation, I have dabbled in ruby enough to write one nontrivial app. The thing is, perl 5 still beats the heck out of ruby in terms of implementation and libraries. As an example of this, in my ruby app I wanted to use some regex features that were not available in ruby 1.8, so I ended up using ruby 1.9. But ruby 1.9, and its regex engine, are relatively raw and buggy, and I ended up having serious problems that I had to work around. (Yes, I submitted a bug report. No, it hasn't been fixed yet.)

    AFAICT, the main advantage of perl 6 over perl 5 is the same as ruby's main advantage over perl 5: OOP is implemented in a nicer way. The thing is, the disadvantages are even more magnified, because it's so raw and incomplete.

    My current reaction to the situation is to plan on continuing to code in perl 5 until, say, 2015, and then check back to see how much ruby and perl 6 have improved by then.

    • by ultrabot (200914)

      The clearest motivation I can see is that OOP in perl 5 is ugly and bolted on. With that motivation, I have dabbled in ruby enough to write one nontrivial app. The thing is, perl 5 still beats the heck out of ruby in terms of implementation and libraries.

      Trying out Python never occurred to you?

      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Why would anyone want to use a glorified VB clone? I am sick and tired of seeing 'rock-star' Python and Ruby programmers trying to shove the new shiny toy in everyone's face. People have been using Perl for 20+ years, and they'll still be using it for 20+ years after Ruby and Python are a distant memory.

        • Hmmm, I'm not sure in what ways Python could be considered in any way similar to VB, so I can't respond to that, but I thought someone should point out the irony of a Perl programmer being afraid of new tools. You sound just like the who were afraid of "scripting languages" back when Perl was an infant.
          • by Junta (36770)

            I will say he was overly dismissive of python and ruby, but there is a kernel of truth there. Beware of any language that is a current fad. No matter how good it is, it will be advocated and tried to be used even in places where it doesn't make sense. "Ruby on Rails" did that to ruby for a time (not sure about now) and Python is still very much in the fad stage where a recommendation should be noted, but taken with a grain of salt. I'm not saying this doesn't happen for languages that aren't "hip" (for

            • +1000 on your last paragraph.

              In response to your first point - my thing is, how do you ever know when something stops being a fad? Was using 'C' a fad right when UNIX came out? Maybe it was, but it definitely isn't now, so when did it change. Was Java a fad when it first came out? Is it now? For those of who say yes and yes, what makes it so - a *huge* number of people use it to great success. Same goes for Ruby and Python.
        • by ultrabot (200914)

          Why would anyone want to use a glorified VB clone? I am sick and tired of seeing 'rock-star' Python and Ruby programmers trying to shove the new shiny toy in everyone's face. People have been using Perl for 20+ years, and they'll still be using it for 20+ years after Ruby and Python are a distant memory.

          The GP mentioned trying Ruby (and as such is not afraid of shiny toys) and disliking it because of bad implementation. In that light, Python would have been a great match.

          Please don't drag down Python in the "rockstar programmer" mire, it's a time-honed language that is being used for serious (non-web 2.0) stuff all the time. We all got beards, even.

        • by slimjim8094 (941042) <slashdot3NO@SPAMjustconnected.net> on Sunday December 06, 2009 @05:04PM (#30346308)

          How old do you think Python is? Look it up ... ... ...
          It's 18 years old. In fact, it's only 4 years younger than Python.

          I suppose you think Google, CERN, and NASA are stupid to be "using a glorified VB clone"?

          Maybe it is you that is wrong.

          • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

            by abulafia (7826)

            How old do you think Python is? Look it up ... ... ... It's 18 years old. In fact, it's only 4 years younger than Python.

            I take it then that it is some sort of 4-dimensional Oroboros?

        • by plasticsquirrel (637166) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @07:01PM (#30347320)

          Why would anyone want to use a glorified VB clone? I am sick and tired of seeing 'rock-star' Python and Ruby programmers trying to shove the new shiny toy in everyone's face. People have been using Perl for 20+ years, and they'll still be using it for 20+ years after Ruby and Python are a distant memory.

          Why would anyone want to use a glorified Unix Shell? I am sick and tired of seeing 'rock-star' Perl programmers trying to shove the new shiny toy in everyone's face. People have been using Lisp for 50+ years, and they'll still be using it for 50+ years after Perl is a distant memory.

          Now get off my lawn.

          • The thing that makes me suspicious about Python is that the people who are trumpeting it's greatness are by and large the people who were so keen on Lisp. To some extent perhaps they're just learning the error of their ways, but still. It doesn't look right.

            • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

              by Anonymous Coward
              There is a huge difference between languages like Lisp and Haskell, and languages like Perl, Python, and Ruby. The former are languages that allow for high order functions that manipulate the language, and allow full abstraction without arbitrary limits.

              For example, when object-oriented programming became a new and exciting thing, Lisp programmers immediately started making their own object system. To do this, they did not need to change the language in any way, they could simply create it within the langu
              • by mypalmike (454265) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @10:03PM (#30348710) Homepage

                (problem (((car 'some-apostrophe-shit) lisp (with #letrec foo * (lambda x) (x unmaintainable +))) parentheses (nobody-can-read-this-crap !) (worse-than (cons perl))) (interesting-cs-teaching-language cdr (though))))))))))))))))

          • by wayland (165119)
            Wasn't it Paul Graham that said that Java was good because it took a lot of C programmers, and carried them part way to LISP?  You can say the same about Perl, but even more so :). 
      • by bcrowell (177657)

        Trying out Python never occurred to you?

        I like python OK. I've used it as a teaching language. I haven't written much nontrivial code of my own in python. The impression I get is that since it's younger than perl, its implementation isn't quite as solid, and its libraries aren't quite as complete. As a language matures, the rate at which old code breaks decreases; I think perl is futher along than python in that regard. For some of the applications I'm interested in, like CGI apps, perl seems to have bett

        • by ajs (35943)

          The impression I get is that since it's younger than perl, its implementation isn't quite as solid, and its libraries aren't quite as complete. As a language matures, the rate at which old code breaks decreases; I think perl is futher along than python in that regard.

          It is, but that's not a function of age, it's a function of adoption. Because Python was around for longer than Perl was before its adoption took off, the fact that they're of comparable age isn't as interesting as their timelines.

          That said, Python has its own problems. It's been built on a foundation of axiomatic correctness in a realm that has no absolutes, and thus often finds itself having to compromise in difficult ways (ternary operator that isn't quite a postfix conditional even though those are evil

      • by pmontra (738736)
        No because of its semantic indentation. It's a religious issue and I'm on the other side, the Right One :-)
    • It might just be because I'm not a very experienced Perl programmer, but I find the libraries in the ruby community to be easier to find, easier to use, and of generally higher quality. Could you point me to some examples of libraries that you use in Perl but could not find in Ruby?
      • Re: (Score:1, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward

        Uhm, go to http://search.cpan.org/ and find anything you want. With a demonstration in the synopsis, and everything is installable with a robust command line tool that (sometimes is too) verbosely states any problems. It also has built-in error reporting on test failures, so you can interact with module authors very easily.

        I can't respond to Ruby in any way that isn't flamebait. I really, really hate gems -- when it works, it works great. When it fails, I can never figure it out. I will leave it as tha

      • by edelbrp (62429)

        I've been a long time Perl 5 developer, and have been doing a lot of Ruby since RoR was in beta. I haven't had a lot of issues with Ruby, to be honest. Most of the important CPAN modules have been ported to RubyGems and most of the serious Ruby bugs have been fixed.

        Some things which make Ruby great: It's a very nice OO language. Rails is basically the standard web framework used (Perl 5 has many to choose from, so inheriting a Perl web project can be a pita).

        Some things which make Ruby not so great: It's

        • Didn't mean to suggest a comparison with Perl 6, but rather Perl 5.

          Don't see any difference in the requirement of mod_rails/etc. versus mod_perl/mod_php/fcgi for those languages. Impossible to argue about start-up time and performance in general, although I think Ruby is working more on that problem than nearly anyone right now (1.9/JRuby/Rubinious/etc.)

          The community doesn't seem hugely different than others I have been part of (not many), but of course I'm somewhat of a n00b myself :) It is true that
      • by bcrowell (177657)

        Could you point me to some examples of libraries that you use in Perl but could not find in Ruby?

        Interesting question. Okay, here's the list of all the CPAN modules that I routinely install on a system I'm going to use: CDDB_get, Term::ReadLine, Term::ReadLine::Gnu, Term::ANSIColor, Term::ReadKey, Curses, Mail::Sort, Net::DNS, Net::DNS::Resolver, Mail::Address, Mail::RFC822::Address, Mail::Sendmail, Digest::SHA1, Data::Dumper, XML::Parser, XML::Simple, Data::Dumper, Time::HiRes, RTF::Tokenizer, RTF::TEXT:

        • Yeah I suppose it's tough to compare for all the reasons you mention (and probably more). By the way, while most popular libraries are still available on RubyForge, the bulk of newer and smaller libraries are on GitHub these days. The availability of distribution-packaged libraries is definitely a valid concern, but IMHO, rubygems are easier to use than CPAN and could or should be more widely distributed by default in the future. Food for thought!
          • by bcrowell (177657)

            rubygems are easier to use than CPAN

            CPAN's user interface is definitely very 1994 :-) Perl programmers seem to accept it, but it seems pretty silly to me the way it makes you hit enter 37 times to accept all the defaults.

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by wayland (165119)
      To me, the things that keeps me coming back to Perl 6 is that it will have built-in grammars.  That may just be because of the kind of apps I try to write, though. 
    • by Lazy Jones (8403)

      If I was going to change to something other than perl 5, I would need some motivation. The clearest motivation I can see is that OOP in perl 5 is ugly and bolted on.

      How about multithreading then? It's not only ugly and bolted on, it incurs so much overhead that it's basically useless wherever performance matters at all. I use Gearman now (rationale: might as well take something with the ability to use multiple systems / load balance / redundancy if you are taking such a performance hit), but it would be so much better if we could just have acceptable multithreading like a bunch of other languages (Java family incl. Scala, C/C++ if you are a masochist etc.).

    • I've been working with Perl 5 as my primary development language for about 10 years, and while I love what Perl does well, what Perl doesn't do well (particularly objects and error handling) SUCKS.

      I've recently had the very surprising pleasure of doing a new project in PHP. Now, if you haven't used PHP lately, you would probably be moaning to some degree like I did, but you know what? PHP 5.3 has grown into a real language. Yes, there is still some library inconsistency and cruft, but it has most of the fea

  • Still not APL (Score:1, Flamebait)

    by RichMan (8097)

    It looks like they are attempting to reinvent APL. (with the addition of regex operations).

    I can imagine a single line of code will now require 10 to 100 lines of comments to describe the iterations and references going on.

     

  • 6 seems to be the number of the thing you want, is about to come, and takes forever to finally come, if ever. Is not a coincidence that the number of the devil is 666, should be an unlisted sin or punishment in hell that forever waiting for something that from the start was promised to come soon. IPV6 is another much wanted "imminent" upgrade that will take still a big while to come, and i bet that Duke Nukem Forever was planned to get out in the 6th iteration. I hope that PHP6 dont takes the same fate as P
  • CERN recently invoked the curse too: http://press.web.cern.ch/press/PressReleases/Releases2009/PR18.09E.html.
  • by MSittig (246604) *

    A Perl Monks poster has collected the address of 5 different Perl(-related) advent calendars:

    http://www.perlmonks.org/?node_id=810472 [perlmonks.org]

    As he says, a "great tradition".

  • I still haven't figured it out yet, so let me take this chance.
    Can someone help me clarify: am I right about this?

    - Perl 6 is the successor to Perl 5, it will not exist as an implementation but as a specification. That specification is finished and definitive. It is owned by Larry Wall and small circle of his friends. They want everyone to implement interpreters for Perl 6;
    - An official test suite for Perl 6 exists and it is complete. Anything passing this test suite IS Perl 6. The test suite is stored with

  • Rakudo Star is not a production release. In the linked blog pmichaud says he would like to stay away from words like "finished" or "stable" and calls Rakudo Star a "useful" and "usable" release. The "Star" itself means literal *, or "whatever", to get away from commiting versioning or release engineering terms. The release will be simply something you can hack on without major inconveniences.

  • Non-Obligatory plug (Score:3, Informative)

    by sonamchauhan (587356) <sonamc@noSPam.gmail.com> on Tuesday December 08, 2009 @12:43AM (#30362088) Journal

    To test out Perl 6 in an IDE environment, try Padre.
    http://padre.perlide.org/download.html [perlide.org]

    NOTE 1: Install the 'Padre Standalone Plus Six' package, not the 'Padre Standalone' package)

    NOTE 2: If you install it on windows, ensure you have a few hundred MB to spare on c:\ -- the drive targeting for the Install MSI does not work properly yet.

How many Unix hacks does it take to change a light bulb? Let's see, can you use a shell script for that or does it need a C program?

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