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Re: just curious to know

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Richard Hainsworth
June 14, 2020 15:56
Re: just curious to know
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Hi Radhakrishnan,

If 'spreading wings over the information technology field' were to mean 
anything other than what is fashionable today, then C still reigns.

And if anything, COBOL still is so important in big financial 
institutions that COBOL programmers earn more than Java programmers - if 
some articles are to be believed.

But fashion or pride **is** important, not technical or intellectual 
superiority - there are examples where a technically inferior technology 
became more widely used. Just in the IT field, MS Windows is more 
widespread than Linux. Is this because Windows is 'better technically', 
'better funded', 'better advertised'? or whatever. Please don't answer 
because I'm only asking hypothetical questions that don't have binary 
answers. My aim is to show you that the question you ask has underlying 
assumptions that may not be true.

What matters to me (because it affects what I do, and I am unable to 
affect what other people do in their blind herd instinct) are the following:

a) Can I write  elegant programs in a language, without excessive words? 
I'm looking askance at Java, which is still one of the most popular 
languages around. By elegance, I mean take a complex problem and write a 
program so that I can come back to it two years later and quickly work 
out how it runs.

b) Can I write programs that can be easily tested - for me the following 
programming paradigm leads to good code: writing a test, writing the 
documentation, writing the code (iterating the cycle), and not the other 
way around.

c) Can I write a one line piece of code to test something, or do 
something quickly on a terminal? Can I use the same language to write a 
complex piece of software?

d) Does the language deal clearly with subtle problems, eg., Is there a 
distinction between code reuse, and extensions of existing objects.

e) Does the language do things I can't do easily in other languages?

So for me, the answer to (a)-(d) is unambiguously yes. And there are a 
number of things I can list for Raku / Perl 6 for (e)

- Unicode. You can use any human language you want for your identifiers 
and numbers. You could create aliases in any language for any of the 
functions in Raku. You can create your own functions using any character.

- Perl regular expressions (regexes) are copied (badly??) by every !!! 
other language. But Raku takes them much further, and more flexibilty. 
After getting used to Raku regexes, I tear my hair out when I go to 
another language.

- Regexes are extended into Grammars and Actions. This in my view is 
where Raku will be most used.

- I think most of all is that I can write a program that is a bit like a 
conversation. Flow statements like 'when', 'if', 'unless', 'for', 
'with', 'without' just make it so much easier to write understandably.

- There is an explicit difference between Truthiness and Definedness. 
Eg. 'if' is about truthiness, but 'with' is about definedness. And '0' 
can be made to be 'True' if you need it to be.

I have used many languages, but I find myself coming back to Raku.

This is a quick response, and I'm sure I missed something out - oh yes: 
concurrency ...



On 14/06/2020 16:04, Radhakrishnan Venkataraman wrote:
> Hi,
> I had been a perl 5.0 user in the past.  Ever since perl 6.0 was 
> announced, I waited, like many, indefinitely.  At last perl 6.0 has 
> just started from its starting block and is also in the race.  I am 
> happy about that.
> Perl 5.0 was generally termed to be good at CGI scripting, system 
> administration, web scraping, strong regex, processing text files etc.,
> I want to know what perl 6 is so special in.  When perl 5.0 was there, 
> there did not exist any other language to do the same things easily as 
> perl 5.0 did. Similarly, in which areas perl 6 is special?  I am 
> unable to know it from google search, as much information is 
> not available.
> Further, if concurrency and parallelism are the special things in perl 
> 6, then Rust and Go (so special in both concurrency and parallelism) 
> are already spreading its wings over the information technology 
> field.  Both are statically typed and compiled languages and there 
> would be more "welcome gesture" for these languages in the field.
> To put my question simply, where is the space for perl 6 in today's 
> technology?
> Please enlighten me (any body from user group) on this.
> Thank you,
> Regards,
> Radhakrishnan

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