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Re: What's your objection to Perl 6?

by Abigail-II (Bishop)
on May 07, 2004 at 16:44 UTC ( #351516=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re(2): What's your objection to Perl 6?
in thread How to Sell Perl 6

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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