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Postings from August 2019
Re: perl6's new name?
From: Richard Hainsworth
August 12, 2019 17:58
Re: perl6's new name?
Message ID: email@example.com
On the topic raised by Eliza, a counter rant. Hopefully, everyone will
detect the humour (English spelling) and not take offence.
There are is one statement in Eliza's original text that is not correct,
and several that are debatable. The debatable statements are
understandable, and entirely reasonable per se, given the way software
and other languages are developed. The statements are not however
consistent with the distinct and unique way that Larry Wall has guided
the development of Perl since he first wrote Perl 1.
The 'name' issue has been hotly debated for years. Larry has made a
Whatever way one might feel about his decision, an over-riding
consideration (looking at Larry's words) is one of unity: keeping the
whole Perl world together, and not letting it shatter into pieces over
shibboleths. I think that this unity is really important and well worth
fighting for. More power to Larry!
Incorrect statement: "Perl 6 was initially conceived to be the next
version of Perl 5."
No. It might be correct to say that Perl 6 was conceived to be the next
evolution of **Perl**. It was never ever conceived to be backwards
compatible, in fact it was explicitly designed _not_ to be backwards
compatible, and so was never the 'next Perl 5'. There was / is a goal to
allow for most Perl 5 programs / modules to be automatically re-written
into Perl 6, and there is already the possibility of writing Perl 5 code
inline in a Perl 6 program. But inlined Perl 5 remains Perl 5.
Perl 5 has developed significantly since the Perl 6 evolution process
began. That just shows the power and resiliance of the original Perl
concept, and the creativity of Perl 5 developers. The 'next versions' of
Perl 5 compared to the Perl 5 that existed when the first Perl 6
Apocalypses were written, have already landed. Perl 5 remains a great
modern language. That in itself is a different gloss to 'took back the
reigns', by which I mean that the same facts of history can be treated
in very different ways if you change your perspective. Not everything in
life has to correspond to simple explanations, or sound bites
convertible into limited character messages.
The debatable statements include:
- "It took way too long to mature to an initial release"
- "Having two programming languages that are sufficiently different to
not be source compatible, but only differ in what many perceive to be a
version number, is hurting the image of both Perl 5 and Perl 6 in the world"
- "such a name change would no longer require the approval of the BDFL"
1. Yeah, it too a long time. Yeah that really really depressed me. But
to be fair, the task was not trivial. And the timescale is shorter than
it has taken humanity to return to the Moon! But now, things are
different. I only use Perl 6 when I have the choice. When I need speed,
When I do Android apps, I bang my head to get Java to work. Etc etc etc.
Given the diversity of hardware and operating systems today, I doubt
there will ever be a single universal language for all things.
2. "Hurt the image"? That is marketing speak. Marketing speak has its
uses. But if the Perl community wants to be different, why do we need to
kowtow to marketing gurus? Just because others do it, doesn't mean we
have to. Especially not if there is a really good reason not to. I
happen to agree with Larry that the continuing unity of the Perl
community, with two sister languages that interact with each other, is
very very valuable, and not to be easily sacrificed on the altar of
fashionable phrases. Unity is much more valuable than the 'benefits' of
3. The Benevolent Dictator still lives, and there are revolutionaries
and revisionists who want to change things? Well I'm sympathetic to
revolutionaries. Two things though: Whose exactly approval is to be
required for a name change? And actually I think that Larry Wall is
still more revolutionary in his decision to have the sister languages of
Perl 5 and Perl 6 than all those parroting the market speak about name
change and brand value.
On 12/08/2019 07:14, Eliza wrote:
> Hello perl6 world,
> I saw the perl6 github issue, just was confused will perl6 change its
> Perl 6 was initially conceived to be the next version of Perl 5. It
> took way too long to mature to an initial release. Meanwhile, people
> interested in taking Perl 5 along, took back the reigns and continued
> developing Perl 5.
> Having two programming languages that are sufficiently different to
> not be source compatible, but only differ in what many perceive to be
> a version number, is hurting the image of both Perl 5 and Perl 6 in
> the world. Since the word "Perl" is still perceived as "Perl 5" in the
> world, it only seems fair that "Perl 6" changes its name.
> Since Larry has indicated, in his video message to the participants of
> PerlCon 2019 in Riga, that the two sister languages are now old and
> wise enough to take care of themselves, such a name change would no
> longer require the approval of the BDFL.
> I would therefore propose to change the name to "the Camelia
> Programming Language" or "Camelia" for short, for several reasons:
> the search term "camelia programming language" already brings you to
> the right place. This means that changing the name to "Camelia" will
> have minimal impact on findability on search engines such as Google
> and DuckDuckGo.
> the logo / mascot would not need changing: it's just that it now also
> becomes the actual name of the programming language.
> "Camelia" in its name, still carries something Perlish inside of it.
> The concept of "Camelia" being an implementation of a specification in
> "roast", still stands. The alternative, to use "Rakudo" as the name of
> the language, would cause confusion with the name being used to
> indicate an implementation, and would endanger the separation between
> specification and implementation.
> Choosing yet another name, such as Albus, would mean having to start
> from scratch with marketing and getting the name out there. Hence my
> preference for a known name such as "Camelia".
> The "Camelia" logo is still copyright Larry Wall, so it would allow
> Larry to still be connected to one of the programming languages that
> he helped get into the world.