Perl outreach

gvim gvimrc at
Thu Nov 29 12:33:30 GMT 2012

On 26/11/2012 12:11, Dave Hodgkinson wrote:
> What with having Copious Free Time recently, I've been attending
> a fair few start-up and online tech meetups. They all have one thing
> in common: people turn their noses up at perl. Last week at Hacker
> News Network, among a turnout of 500 people, I saw one other known
> perlmonger. At AngelHack a few weeks ago, among a similar turnout,
> I suspect I was the only person knocking up a prototype in perl.
> And we wonder in a sea of PHP and Rails why no-one registers perl
> as a good solution.
> We may have the best tools in the business but that's no help if we
> don't get out there and demonstrate our technologies.
> Yes, LPW was great, but where, outside our fishbowl, is perl showing
> what it can do and how easily it can do it?
> Does no-one else get the urge to get out there and see what mad
> problems need solving?

One thing I think may be missing from this discussion (unless I missed/skipped a post) is how outsiders perceive the future of Perl. Whilst the development and adoption of PHP 5.4 and Python 3 haven't been without their problems they're out there whilst the mythical Perl 6 Christmas has become a joke both outside and inside the Perl community. Despite Perl 6's legitimate claim to be the best programming language ever developed I think the community didn't seize the opportunity to fill the void we're addressing in this post. Academic excellence won over practical/marketing considerations and the result is that we still don't have a production-ready implementation. Indeed, I think the whole implementation emphasis is simply an extension of Perl's TMTOWTDI slant and which, as a previous poster pointed out, has been to Perl's detriment in its decline relative to PHP, Ruby and Python. Perl 6 became mired in the Parrot project trying to solve a secondary problem - how to compile Perl and no
n-Perl languages into compatible bytecode within a shared runtime (correct me if I'm wrong). I think at this point Perl hit a fork in the road - remain relevant or pursue academic excellence - and clearly chose the latter. This choice would have been inconsequential if Perl 5 was thriving but despite the efforts of Modern Perl it was losing market share and continues to do so.

If we want to be Perl noticed again as a serious contender for new projects I'd say our best bet is to finally get Perl 6 finished, or at least "production-ready". I know Perl 5 is excellent but Perl needs something new to get noticed again. That something is Perl 6.


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