|No such thing as a small change|
Re^6: A wholly inadequate reply to an Anonymous Monkby pmichaud (Scribe)
|on Apr 23, 2010 at 23:25 UTC||Need Help??|
I was talking about an improved evolution of Perl 5 ...My apologies, I misunderstood what you were saying. So to answer what I now understand you to be talking about...
Releasing a Perl5 compatible successor, maybe just bundling Moose for OOP and Coro for multithreading and maybe some syntax cosmetics and restriction³ to contradict the "write only language" complaint would easily cannibalize the Ruby spectra like they are actually cannibalizing the Python spectra.¹
Sorry, I really can't speak to plans for Perl 5 development, that's not my field of expertise. And I don't know what gods you know that are telling Perl 5 not to evolve, but I can guarantee they will be denounced by the Perl 6 team, not worshipped by us. After all, Perl 6 hopes and plans to interoperate with Perl 5 someday, and anything that can be done to help the two languages converge (i.e., both languages must evolve) will be of great assistance in that effort.
I also think that the many Perl 5 contributors who have slaved away these past years to bring 5.8 and 5.10 into the world can be justifiably miffed that their heroic efforts are so easily dismissed by comments like this.
Honestly, Perl6 should be renamed into something like Perl++.
Hypothetically, let's suppose for a moment that I agree with you, and that we should change Perl 6's name to something else. Will this suddenly free up the name for Perl 5 to use in marketing materials? I think not -- I think any attempt for a Perl 5 successor to make use of the Perl 6 name in the next five years would befuddle the marketplace even further and cause even more ridicule of Perl in general. There's just too much baggage (much of it negative) already attached to the name "Perl 6" for Perl 5 to be able to make any good use of it now. (I'd apologize, but the choice was never mine to make nor significantly influence. I understand why people are pained by it though.)
I think we can speculate all we want about how "Perl 6" ended up being the wrong name for what we got, but I fear that train left the station years ago, before people ever recognized it as a potential problem. Let's move on. Personally, I think we're better off exploring names like "Rakudo Perl", "Vanilla Perl", "Strawberry Perl", "ActiveState Perl", "Pugs", etc. than boxing ourselves into a strict sequential 4, 5, 6, ... numbering scheme.
(If you think such an approach cannot possibly work from a marketing perspective, then I offer Windows 3.1, Windows NT, Windows 95, Windows 98, Windows 2000, Windows XP, Windows Vista, and Windows 7 as an obvious counterexample. And of course there are also things like "Windows CE" and "Windows Mobile" that denote products in the same family but have an entirely different technical basis and purpose. Whether you respect Microsoft's technical skills or not, I think we all have to admit that they probably know a thing or two about marketing and that they show it's possible to be successful in spite of marketing mistakes.)
TMTOWTDI is our motto, and one of the deep lessons I've learned from watching Larry and the Perl community work is this: Just when it seems like there are competing needs that seem impossibly irreconcilable, someone comes up with an absolutely brilliant, unprecedented solution that makes the world say "Wow" and forevermore changes the way that everyone thinks about it in the future. I'd like to see us work towards that end, rather than eternally regret "what might have been" with the name "Perl 6".