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Re: Future Perl development

Craig Berry
February 4, 2007 20:53
Re: Future Perl development
Message ID:
On 2/3/07, Michael G Schwern <> wrote:
> Perl 6 is happening.  There's running code.  There's a considerable test suite.  The performance is shaping up.  Even Perl 5 compatibility is being dealt with.  If people don't know this and think its all a wanking exercise... well, that's a PR problem not a code problem.

Well, not long ago I was curious to know what was going on, so I took
a look at the front page here:

which says that for news of Perl 6, go to the list summaries page here:

but nothing has been updated there in almost a year.  My first thought
was that after hearing about so many problems for so many years, I was
finally seeing the dreaded signs that Perl 6 had been cancelled.  But
wait, there's a link in the left column called "Status," so I click on
that and get to:

which tells me nothing more recent than, "The community brainstorming
process finished August 1, 2000," and points me back at the same
defunct list summaries page.

Now quite eager to find out what the death blow was, I delve into the
individual list archives at and discover that in fact
Perl 6 list summaries are still being produced and posted to
perl6-announce, so I quickly scan the latest three or four list
summaries to try to get a sense of where the project is.

Great news -- lots of stuff is going on.  But much of it is not
anything that using Perl 5 for 10 years gives me the basis to
understand, and most of it is dominated by perl6-internals, just as it
was five years ago.  The language list is still trying to decide
whether math should be done in floating point or integer and debating
whether something that sounds like a multi-dimensional array slice can
be supported.  Is this a language I can use in production this year or
next?  It doesn't sound like it.  Is it really the future of Perl, and
is it solid enough that I should spread myself even thinner and try to
contribute to porting it?  Dunno, and can't easily see how to find

I'm only slightly less dense and uninformed than I've implied here, or
in other words, there is a little exaggeration in what I've said, but
very little.  The list summaries are written by insiders for insiders,
and there's nothing wrong with that, but when a non-maintained mirror
of them is presented as the primary source of project status, that's
not a PR problem, that's a PR wormhole that sucks potentially
interested parties off into other galaxies where you will never see
them again. Perl Programming lists via nntp and http.
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