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Re: Working Group Proposal

July 23, 2000 12:28
Re: Working Group Proposal
Message ID:
On Sun, Jul 23, 2000 at 10:44:39AM -0700, horos wrote:
> > One of the BIG things in perl6 is that we think we can handle backward 
> > compatibility by translation, so the grammar is "up for grabs" - it should 
> > be cleaned up - Larry has said it will be "a lot more consistent".
> > I think we should strive to make it LALR(1) even if (as seems inevitable)
> > it remains fairly complex.
> LALR would be awesome, I would even say essential. It strikes at the heart of 
> the complaint people have of perl being a 'messy' language, puts it on the the
> same playing field as Java and Python.

I surely hope that perl6 isn't going to be made for the people programming
in Java or Python. 

I fail to see what LALR is going to gain us on the _P_erl level. Sure,
it might make _p_erl faster and leaner, but if we have to pay a price in
Perl, is that worth it?

> I would go even farther, and say that there should be three levels of LALR 
> grammars - one for microperl, one for miniperl, and one for perl itself. 
> Make no doubt about it, perl6 has some big hurdles ahead of it, not the 
> least being that perl5 is so successful in the area where it was targeted.
> There HAVE to be compelling reasons for an upgrade or nobody will do it. They
> will port to new technologies instead.
> And, although being a good first step, there have to be definite selling 
> points aside from 'perl is faster && cleaner'.
> Perl needs a vision - several points that take it out of its current niches,
> that allow it to spread to new functional areas. Coming up with that vision an
> successfully spreading it will determine perl6's success or failure.

Changing its syntax to make it "cleaner" might attract new people to Perl.
At the same moment, it will alianate people who currently use Perl -
and that will be terrible loss. Change the syntax enough, and perl5 will
live for many, many years to come.

Is perl6 going to be for Perl programmers, or is it going to be one big
PR stunt?

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