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Re: Future Perl development

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From:
Robin Redeker
Date:
February 5, 2007 11:16
Subject:
Re: Future Perl development
Message ID:
20070205155609.GA16647@elmex
On Sun, Feb 04, 2007 at 10:53:36PM -0600, Craig Berry wrote:
> 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.

I agree completly!

This is my perception of the Perl 6 development:

I've been interested in Perl 6 since 3-4 years now and followed
the mailing lists and progress on Perl 6 and Parrot more or less.
But the enthusiasm to learn Perl 6 and use it was blown away already
years ago, when all I saw were weekly changes of the language and
no reasonable fast and stable implementation I could use for solving
my problems.

Some months/years later I realized that it is futile to wait for
something useable and I went back to solve my problems with perl5 again.
(And I'm damn happy that perl5 is still so alive and even new features
are being implemented!)

All PR I heard the last year about Perl 6 was: "-Ofun"
And it generally says: "Come here to have fun with language design
and experiments".

And I read (in http://perlcabal.org/syn/S01.html#Project_Plan):

   'What we can say here is that, unlike how it was with Perl 5, none of
   these projects is designed to be the Official Perl. Perl 6 is anything
   that passes the official test suite.'

I get the deep impression that Perl 6 is a cluster of toy projects that
float around which all aim at the blurry goal "Perl 6".

But the goal seems to be only fun and not a finished Perl 6 with a good
specification and a reference interpreter/implementation. You know,
something that is resonably fast and stable, with a language that is not
such a fast moving target (that is at least my perception).

I heard from multiple Perl 6 people that the language is already
'mostly finished' and the spec is there: The synopsises.
But seeing that the numeric semantics haven't been sorted out yet really
makes me wonder...
(maybe I'm getting the perl6 mailing lists wrong and it's just some
minor number details that are being sorted out. But the decisison
whether Int is Num or whatever is, at least for me, a major design
issue).

All there is, as far as I can see, an experimental haskell interpreter
and a test suite for something that is being called Perl 6.

Maybe "-Ofun" is the thing that leads to outdated websites and
language patchworks?
Or maybe noone is feeling responsible for producing an usable programming
language out of the language patchwork that is called Perl 6.

And it really drives _me_ away when I'm being said:
"Here is your commit bit!" when poiting out outdated websites or problems
with Perl 6, Pugs, whatever. I mean: Sorry I've read your websites and
tried out your program, I'm not going to report anything again...

I have a limited amount of time for programming and I don't want to spend
time on language development. I have my own projects, and if Perl 6 is not
finished enough for actual problems, then I'm going to use other languages.

This is just _my_ perspective, maybe I'm getting it all wrong,
maybe I'm not completly informed or maybe I'm just dumb.


   Robin

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