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Re(2): What's your objection to Perl 6?

by Ovid (Cardinal)
on May 04, 2004 at 16:10 UTC ( #350397=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: How to Sell Perl 6
in thread How to Sell Perl 6

Out of curiosity, what's your main objection to Perl 6? I've read repeatedly where you've stated that you're not keen on the language, but I've never quite figured out why. I assume it's nothing as simple as "comfort level" simply because you strike me as being more thoughtful than that. Could it be that you think Perl 6 won't catch on? Do you feel that Perl 5 is technically superior to the (admittedly non-existent) Perl 6 or that Perl 5 will be easier to use? Is it a "wait and see" attitude? I suppose it's probably something else entirely.

What I read is "I won't use Perl 6 because it's not Perl 5," but I'm pretty certain that I'm misunderstanding you.


New address of my CGI Course.

  • Comment on Re(2): What's your objection to Perl 6?

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Re(3): What's your objection to Perl 6?
by hardburn (Abbot) on May 04, 2004 at 17:55 UTC

    I won't speak for Abigail-II, but I object strongly to the whitespace rules that were shown in A12. I know Abigail-II has objected to the hash index whitespace restrictions in earlier Apocs, but they didn't bug me so much. The method lookups are a different story.

    I also think the A12 whitespace restrictions highlight a problem that has always been there but few, if anyone, have ever noticed. In an awful lot of programming languages, parans are used both for grouping and for function calling, this being a relic of mathmatical notation. VB makes it even worse by using parens for array indexing.

    I think we should come up with a completely different notation for these concepts, though I'm baffled as to what that notation should be. Perl6 is already crawling into Unicode to fill in the need for an increasing number of operators, and I'm not too fond of that, either.

    : () { :|:& };:

    Note: All code is untested, unless otherwise stated

Re: What's your objection to Perl 6?
by Abigail-II (Bishop) on May 07, 2004 at 16:44 UTC
    Out of curiosity, what's your main objection to Perl 6?
    My main objections? Definitely its sensitive whitespace rules. It wouldn't be so bad if it was for some cases which didn't happen that often. But indexing and method/subroutine calls? That will effect about every other line of code. That would require a massive change of coding style - a style that I've been using for two decades. And for what? That we might leave off parenthesis every now and then.
    Could it be that you think Perl 6 won't catch on?
    Probably as much as perl5 is. Perl isn't a big language like C or Java are - I don't expect perl6 to make Perl "bigger". But within a few years, perl5 will be as common as perl4 is now. But I expect that to happen if we name 5.10 "perl6" as well. People have a tendency to use products with the highest number anyway, perl5 will get the name to be unsupported (whether it is or isn't doesn't matter), and publisher seeing they can sell more "perl6" than "perl5" books will do the rest.
    Do you feel that Perl 5 is technically superior to the (admittedly non-existent) Perl 6.
    That I would find unlikely. However, I do feel that the perl6 project has been a drain on perl5 development. Not only because some people stopped working on perl5 development, but also of the attitude "why bother implementing, let's wait for perl6". We'll never know where perl5 would have been if there wasn't a perl6, but I'm sure it would have been much further than it's now.
    Perl 5 will be easier to use?
    For me, perl5 will be much easier to use. For others, I do not know. Perl6 syntax appears to be even richer than perl5s, so I presume the learning curve for perl6 will even be steeper than for perl5. (Yes, I know you can get by by knowing only part of the language - but that's not a luxury every maintaince programmer has - and that's how many programmers start, and that's also how the open source movement works).

    I'm not going to argue that there's nothing good about perl6. It has lots of interesting features. But I think the price is too high. For me personally, the whitespace rules aren't worth it. For perl itself, I'm not convinced the years it has taken so far, and the years it still might take will be worth it.


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