Most Perl 6 will look like Perl 5

Dave Cross dave at
Fri Jan 25 11:57:30 GMT 2008

Quoting Matt Johnson <mwj at>:

> Most of that doesn't scare me, but the sigil change makes me want to
> run screaming for the hills. Why completely change a paradigm that's
> worked fine for many years (that the sigil designates the return type)
> -- to something which appears to be different for the sake of
> difference (now the sigil designates the type we're looking into)?

Have you ever run a beginners' Perl training course? The current sigil  
behaviour is pretty much guaranteed to be one of the things that makes  
most beginners go "huh?" It just doesn't seem to correspond with how  
most people expect a language to act.

I agree that the current behaviour seems to make sense. Most Perl  
programmers that I've spoken to about it agree that it makes sense.  
But most of them (myself included) will admit that it confused them  
for a while when they first came across it.

When this change was announced, there was a collective sigh of relief  
from Perl trainers round the world.

I also believe that the simplifies some of the dereferencing syntax  
but, being a  little selfish, it's the time I'll save not having to  
explain the current behaviour that I like most about it.


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