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Christmas Cheer Perl Programming

The Perl 6 Advent Calendar 160

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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  • still relevant? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by spongman ( 182339 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @03:56PM (#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?

  • No, Dont Bother (Score:3, Insightful)

    by omb ( 759389 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @03:59PM (#30345366)
    Or hold your breath either

    Facile discussion of languages on /. is getting so old.
  • by Chandon Seldon ( 43083 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @04:08PM (#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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @04:51PM (#30345744)

    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.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday December 06, 2009 @05:54PM (#30346206)

    Really? They are building a language from scratch with volunteers. How long should it take them to meet your schedule?

  • by ThePhilips ( 752041 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @05:54PM (#30346210) Homepage Journal

    But Python 3000 is already out, as Python 3.0, while Perl 6 is not.

    Technically, Perl 6 is long time out: specification was out somewhere around 2005. Because the Perl6 isn't a software package (like Perl5), it is a language standard.

    The other question is that there are no implementations of the standard yet...

    And even then, Perl5 serves it's purpose so perfectly, that I personally atm see no real benefits to even toy with Perl6.

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

  • by jeffstar ( 134407 ) on Sunday December 06, 2009 @07:23PM (#30346990) Journal

    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 with TLS or SSL, and insert data into a PDF too. I wouldn't know because once I started with perl I never needed anything else for glue type programs.

    Maybe glue is perl's niche?

  • by e70838 ( 976799 ) on Monday December 07, 2009 @05:59AM (#30350874)
    Perl for people with no background in computer science ? Are you serious ?
    My experience is that people who do not like Perl are generally weak in computer science. Perl internal is more similar to lisp than to shell. For example, closures are very effective in Perl.
    All the elegance of Perl need a good level of computer science to be fully understood.
    The sysadmins I have met that had weak background in computer science hated Perl and were very proud of their shell hacks.

    For me, the smart sysadmins solves quickly and elegantly the problem with Perl before the IT departement finished writing the specification of a steam engine.
  • by ajs ( 35943 ) <ajs AT ajs DOT com> on Monday December 07, 2009 @07:38PM (#30359424) Homepage Journal

    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 the realm of modern, highly dynamic language. That means it's drawing on the concepts that come from many popular (and some not so popular) modern languages and blending them in a way that has never been done before. False starts, long implementation paths and re-designs triggered by new insights are par for the course.

    But I want to take exception to the idea that "this has taken too long." How long is too long? If Perl 6 were released 2 days after you died of old age, would that be too long? What about 10 years from now? 5? 2? What's it mean to take too long? There were an abundance of languages that were popular when Perl 6 work started and there will be an abundance of them when Perl 6 lands. What Perl has lost is momentum. Perl 6 will not have the easy conversion of a massive Perl user base to start with, but then Perl didn't have that when it started.

    Perl was a success because it solved a problem. It gave developers a tool for writing simple programs quickly without sacrificing features that they depended on in lower level languages such as binary data, arbitrary size strings and system call access, the three of which did not, as far as I can recall, exist in any other high level language at the time, outside of Lisp and unlike Lisp, Perl felt comfortable and familiar to the average Unix user at the time.

    What will Perl 6 have going for it?

    It will be the first language to give you the rich dynamic OO features of Ruby and Smalltalk, blended with the self-hosted language introspection of Common Lisp and the still-familiar feel of Unix/Linux systems all on a portable and language-neutral VM. Will that be a draw to the same sorts of users that cared strongly about Perl 5? Some yes and some no, but there will be a brand new segment of the programming community that will care strongly about Perl 6 features.

    That's really all that matters, not how long it takes.

The greatest productive force is human selfishness. -- Robert Heinlein