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Re^4: What is Perl6?

by punkish (Priest)
on Nov 22, 2010 at 00:36 UTC ( #872845=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^3: What is Perl6?
in thread What is Perl6?

NO. A programming language is something abstract. Something that exists inside your head. Like an idea. You can't install a concept on a computer.
In my view, and perhaps only in my view, you are making this way too complicated.

Kinda replying to the other messages in this thread as well -- yourself, chromatic, ikegami -- you are all Perl veterans.

Even though I have been using Perl for a while, I consider myself a user, in my home-made spectrum, a user being lesser than a veteran. I conducted a very unscientific test -- I asked three of my colleagues. All three of them understood that Perl was a language, and could be installed on a computer. None of them appreciated that Perl 6 was a spec, Rakudo was a compiler and Parrot was a virtual machine.

Now, it seems that this confusion will likely perpetuate. Those who know better will continue to tell others that Perl 6 is a spec, Rakodu is a compiler and Parrot is a VM. Common users such as myself will continue to use the term Perl to refer to the language, its instantiation, its compiler, and the programs written in it. That is the reality.

I know that I will be a Perl programmer, I will write Perl programs, and I will call /usr/local/bin/perl to run my Perl programs. Nowhere in this path will I ever refer to myself or the tools I use as being Rakudo or Parrot.

I don't expect what is out there to change, but I did feel it worthwhile to make my confusion and its source known. I hope that is taken as a point of feedback as it is meant to be.

Many thanks.


when small people start casting long shadows, it is time to go to bed

Comment on Re^4: What is Perl6?
Re^5: What is Perl6?
by roboticus (Canon) on Nov 22, 2010 at 03:04 UTC


    Actually, I think you're making it too complicated. You know what a car is, right? It may surprise you, but you can't actually buy a "car". You can buy a Mustang, a Prius, or many other types of car. But there is no "car". The "car" is a concept, and Ford, Honda et. al. are all manufacturers who would love to sell you one. And they sell different types.

    In computers, you know what an operating system is, but you're not running "operating system", you're running Windows, Linux or some specific type of operating system. You're viewing this message not with "HTML viewer", but FireFox, IE, Opera or some such.

    Since you see this every day in every aspect of life, I find it odd that you're having difficulty with this one instance.


      It may surprise you, but you can't actually buy a "car"
      I am sorry, but that, to me, seems like an absolutely ridiculous statement. Yes, I know about classes and concepts and their instantiations -- I am 46 years old, am back in school after 15 years of working re-trying my hand at my Ph.D., I do ecosystem modeling for a living (using PDL and Perl), and have taken a few philosophy courses along the way (none of which is impressive -- I am only listing those to establish a context). However, I don't go telling folks that if they say they are buying a "car" they are wrong. There is something to be said about common usage of language.

      Once again -- I want to reiterate that I (now) understand the difference between the spec, the compiler and the VM, and that they have different names. However, for most practical purposes, for most folks, these differences are pointlessly, needlessly confusing. And, we do want *most* folks to take up Perl6.

      Actually, I think you're making it too complicated
      And, to think, my aim was diametrically opposite... I thought things were too complicated and I was trying to make them simpler.

      when small people start casting long shadows, it is time to go to bed
Re^5: What is Perl6?
by moritz (Cardinal) on Nov 22, 2010 at 06:45 UTC
    In my view, and perhaps only in my view, you are making this way too complicated.

    What I've been trying to tell you is that we're not making it more complicated than it is. There is some essential complexity, and as a programmer you just have to deal with it. But our naming scheme doesn't make it more complicated than it is.

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