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Re: Working Group Proposal

John Porter
July 20, 2000 12:00
Re: Working Group Proposal
Message ID:
Bennett Todd wrote:
> Could you offer specifics? 

Oh, I *could*... :-)

> > I know to most folks backward compatibility is essential, but IMHO
> > the enslavement to it is what will cause Perl to lose out to other
> > languages like Python.
> Has Python indulged in non-backwards compat more than Perl? 

No; but it is considerably more recent, and was also more carefully
designed from the outset.

> Perl has done some, especially around the perl4->perl5
> change, and I'd expect some more (equally careful and minor) in the
> future. But never anything so violent and comprehensive as to
> require throwing away any hope of reasonable compatibility with all
> the code that's already been written, 

Well, I'm not necessarily advocating that strong a break.
The resemblance could be close enough that converting a perl5 program
to a perl6 program could be a trivial, or automatable, task.
But I believe that this is a good opportunity for things that are
broken to get fixed -- and if bw-compat is lost sometimes, so be it.

> What sucks, that requires completely breaking any hope of backwards
> compatibility to fix?

First and foremost, the proverb that "nothing can parse Perl except
perl" must be rendered null and void.  This, I presume, would entail
changes to the grammar that would likely have the effect of breaking
bw-compat.  But if I turn out to be wrong on that point, so much the

John Porter

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