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Re: Why we're here

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From:
=?iso-8859-1?Q?Jes=FAs?= Quiroga
Date:
July 25, 2000 06:24
Subject:
Re: Why we're here
Message ID:
4.3.2.7.1.20000725130638.00c64a70@ix.netcorps.com

At 19:14 24/07/00, abigail@foad.org wrote:
>If that is the goal of perl6, I shall fight it with all my energy.
[...]
>It would be a shame to give that up and go for marketshare instead.


I refuse to believe that we must choose between one thing and the
other. In the past, both have been achieved quite nicely at the same
time.


At 19:32 24/07/00, abigail@foad.org rote:
>By turning Perl into something else, something "less complex", you will
>lose the people from 1), the backbone of the Perl community. With lots of
>PR work, you might attract new people, from the categories 2) and 3).
>But, you will still drag the tainted name "Perl" with you. And since it's
>a new language, aiming at different people, you're better off calling it
>something else.


Perl 6 will be aimed at different people, that's necessary to grow the
user base. Some suggestions on this list are quite clear about that.
Even the initial meeting notes say things like this:

 >>> More distance from the C/UNIX API
 >>> Perl's internal functions borrow heavily from C, and their behavior
 >>> is now counterintuitive and obscure to new Perl users.


> > They are programmers too. Therefore they are covered by the first
> > priority. The problem is that they don't think/feel/see/know that they
> > need Perl. I think it's worthwhile to rewrite Perl for them too,
> > reconciling their needs/wants/preferences with ours.
>
>No. They are *NOT* the first priority. The first priority is the
>backbone of the Perl community, the current Perl programmers.


Sorry to say it, but a rewrite of Perl is always problematic for
existing users. If they go along, they have to cope with
the migration, and this time it looks rather daunting. If they
don't go along, they must stay with Perl5.

To go along is worthwhile if it's feasible to recoup the cost of
their short-term misery with long-term benefits. And I think one of
the greatest benefits for existing users will be many boatloads of
new users (and new uses).


At 19:50 24/07/00, abigail@foad.org wrote:
>Perl *is* complex. And that's a feature. It's because of that complexity
>that Perl is what it is. And that it has the followers it has now.
>
>There are many, many programmers that prefer simpler languages. There are
>languages that serve them. Java and Python, for instance. That's good,
>that's fine, and there's no need to move Perl towards those languages.
>
>Let's focus on making perl, as possible Perl, better. Make it faster,
>more maintainable. But don't change the language into something that
>isn't Perl.


I meant Perl is complex or not, that's up to the users to decide while
choosing the subset of features they will use. I think Perl is, and
will always be, like a personal programming language, ever
customizable, ever versatile.

Unfortunately, many people think that Perl complexity is compulsory,
and not optional. No wonder they're unwilling to learn Perl.

Anyway, Larry will decide, so ther's nothing to worry about.



I didn't want to anger you or anybody else. If I did, I'm very sorry.



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   Jesús Quiroga   (jquiroga@pobox.com)

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