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Re: [PATCH] Class as a Feature (take four)

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From:
Steffen Mueller
Date:
December 15, 2008 23:42
Subject:
Re: [PATCH] Class as a Feature (take four)
Message ID:
49475BC7.5020206@sneakemail.com
Hi chromatic, hi all,

chromatic wrote:
> That theory didn't work out very well for Tcl or Lisp.  Surely the fact that 
> it's possible even fourteen years after the fact to give Perl 5 a little bit 
> nicer syntax out of the box (barring the 'use feature' fiasco) has some 
> degree of compelling to it?

It does. I like it. I'm not sure I'd call 'use feature' a fiasco,
though. There is a default feature set in effect with "use 5.X.Y" and
I've been advocating that... no, I'm not going to say it on the list again.

> I thought the purpose of allowing language evolution outside of the core was 
> to test features for syntax, usability, and feasability, and then possibly 
> consider subsuming the proven-good ideas (such as "We're pretty sure the 
> right keyword to declare a class is "class").  Or shall the answer always 
> be "Pity about the core language, but if you're fortunate enough to have a 
> working development environment, access to the CPAN, and the wherewithal to 
> compile XS modules, you can fix things we all agree are suboptimal"?

Again, I agree. The largest part of the Perl user base has never
installed a CPAN module and does not intend to. It is that same group of
people that we are catering to with the hard and fast rule never to
break backwards-compatibility (cf. feature). Why not cater to them with
an improving core as well? Apart from lack of lots of skilled people who
have copious spare time?

Let's also not underestimate the value of marketing. Being able to say
"We have the best object-system around. Just install it from CPAN" is
miles from "We have a modern object system in core that works very well.
Full "meta" support is available from CPAN." The former may sound better
or at least very easy to us. But it is not. By no means. Not for the
bulk of users.

I said on IRC last night, half jokingly: There's too much prototyping
going on in Perl6 (or at least used to), but there's way too little for
my liking in Perl5. That's at least half-true if you look at the Perl5
core only.

Cheers,
Steffen

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