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Larry Wall Talks Perl, Culture, and Community 123

LostDiver writes "Computerworld Australia caught up recently with Larry Wall of Patch and Perl fame. He talks about the development of Perl as 'scratching an itch,' a release date for Perl 6 (Christmas day, year unknown) and beauty versus practicality. Computerworld also has some more information on the upcoming Perl 6. A while back they interviewed Bjarne Stroustrup of C++ fame as well." jamie pointed out a interesting, related video of a presentation by Clay Shirky from last year's Supernova conference in which he discusses why the Perl community (or any web community) drives progress and innovation.
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Larry Wall Talks Perl, Culture, and Community

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  • Christmas? (Score:2, Interesting)

    by MikeRT ( 947531 ) on Sunday December 14, 2008 @12:11PM (#26111065)

    It sounds almost like they're hoping that Santa will drop it down the chimney on a flash drive for them. In the time it has taken Perl 6 to get where it is now--fairly close to release--Mono has gone from being scraps of C and C# code, to being a fairly complete and compatible .NET development environment that has a fairly active developer base on Linux. I'm not going to say that Perl 6 is irrelevant, but if it is not out, in a final release within 6 months to a year, it probably will be since even PHP will be grown up with 5.3 and 6.0 by then.

  • by mrvan ( 973822 ) on Sunday December 14, 2008 @12:33PM (#26111191)

    Hmm that's interesting.

    I know quite a lot of scientists who use Finite State Automata for tasks and use custom libraries for that. If Perl 6 can provide an easier and efficient way of doing that it might even have a future :-)

  • by exploder ( 196936 ) on Sunday December 14, 2008 @12:40PM (#26111215) Homepage

    Things you plan to write in under fifteen minutes are generally better done in Perl. Beyond that point, the verbosity and consistency of Python becomes a distinct advantage.

  • Re:Christmas? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jheiss ( 10829 ) * on Sunday December 14, 2008 @12:52PM (#26111305) Homepage

    It appears within the system administration community that Ruby is well on its way to replacing Perl as the de facto language for major tools. Well over half of the new tools introduced at the LISA (Large Installation System Administration) conference this year were written in Ruby. I've been developing in Perl for about 15 years, but have recently switched nearly all of my development to Ruby. I know I'm tired of hearing about how great Perl 6 will be. I've been hearing that promise for half a decade now. The biggest drawback to Ruby right now is that the availability of 3rd party libraries is nowhere near the level of what's in CPAN.

    Apple is also putting a significant amount of effort into improving and integrating Ruby with Mac OS X. MacRuby and HotCocoa both look really interesting, particularly if you want to develop GUI apps.

  • Re:Christmas? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by r7 ( 409657 ) on Sunday December 14, 2008 @02:09PM (#26111825)

    It appears within the system administration community that Ruby is well on its way to replacing Perl

    Interesting observation but not what I'm seeing here in Silicon Valley. Perl is far less popular than in years past, but Ruby is not that popular among systems admins either. Instead Python is all the rage. I believe this is because Ruby is better suited to those who spend a majority of their time writing code whereas Python can be learned and used more easily without such frequent use. So sysadmins here, who don't spend the majority of their time writing code, are using mainly Python (and shell).

    Not a statistic, just an observation across a dozen or so large and small Linux and Unix using organizations.

  • by theredshoes ( 1308621 ) <theredshoes33 AT gmail DOT com> on Sunday December 14, 2008 @05:42PM (#26113255)
    After reading over the comments on this article and figuring out what I should spend my time on studying is not going to be exactly easy.

    Maybe I should just continue on with OO programming and pick up where I left off and stick with interpreted languages and then onto OOP, instead of functional programming.

    I would think that some functional programming would be useful though. I am guessing if you are familiar with OO and functional it would make you a bit more marketable. Just a hunch.

    If Ruby, Python and PHP have overtaken Perl, it might be better to learn PHP. I will probably end up looking over both though as I go along.

The party adjourned to a hot tub, yes. Fully clothed, I might add. -- IBM employee, testifying in California State Supreme Court