develooper Front page | perl.bootstrap | Postings from July 2000

FWD: Actually a Perl 6 suggestion

July 22, 2000 05:09
FWD: Actually a Perl 6 suggestion
Message ID:

This person makes another argument for splitting into two distinct ends,
and his reason is one unmentioned so far, Internationaliziation.

On a seperate note, I agree that we are surely jumping in a few steps
ahead of where we are supposed to be... but we can't help it, we're
programmers... we wanna implement :)


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Fri, 21 Jul 2000 11:23:10 -0400 (EDT)
From: Ben Tilly <>
Subject: Actually a Perl 6 suggestion

I am not on the bootstrap list, nor do I think that I would probably have 
too much to contribute at this point.

But I do have one crazy idea to throw out for people on that list to think 

Would you consider cleanly separating the front-end parser from the back-end 
interpreter and make the front-end pluggable?  I know that it would take a 
lot of work, and de-integrating the two imposes some development 
considerations (for instance eval would need to know about your current 
front-end that you are using).  But taking that step would do an awful lot 
of interesting things.

The biggest single one is internationalization.  Today if you go to a 
country like India, Japan, or China you will find that any and all 
programming tasks are done in English.  This has enormous consequences on 
the use of computers in these places.  With a pluggable front-end, Perl 
could be a key enabling technology in the ongoing internationalization of 

Now I know all of the problems with doing this.  I understand full well the 
potential for fragmenting the Perl community with different dialects of the 
language.  In many ways it is a bad idea.  However it is a bad idea whose 
time has come.  Like it or not, internationalization is coming, and people 
will want to use computers in their native languages.  The first language 
that allows people to address simple problems in their native language with 
a large number of add-ins will be hugely useful and gain a lot of mindshare. 
  I see no particular reason why Perl should not be that language.

Besides which, wouldn't it be amusing to have a pluggable front-end for 
parsing Java byte-code? :-)

And even more amusing to have a front-end that looks a lot like Python.. :-)

Get Your Private, Free E-mail from MSN Hotmail at Perl Programming lists via nntp and http.
Comments to Ask Bjørn Hansen at | Group listing | About