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Re: Critique of Where Perl 6 is Heading on

by perlcapt (Pilgrim)
on Oct 16, 2004 at 16:20 UTC ( #399773=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Critique of Where Perl 6 is Heading on

Even though I am far from being a computer linguist, I can see the need for Perl 6. If Perl 5 was syntactily as pretty as Python for doing OO programming, I wouldn't be building a event driven application using Python (and having to learn Pythons's very wierd excentricities most of which come from it's lack of value assignment.). I have written tens of thousands of lines of OO-perl5, but am embarassed to pass off maintenance of this code to a non-Perl programmer.

Perl 6 syntax is far more elegant. This is important. It may be fun to write obfusticated code, but applications that require maintenance should be easy to follow. (No, I'm not a COBOL programmer ;-) I mean, easy to follow by another programmer.. who may actually be me looking at my own code two years from now after having done a dozen other projects in between. H___, I have trouble recognizing my own English text as written by me, years later.

Perlhaps, if and when Perl6 is developed and released, it will be called something other than Perl! Stranger things have happened.
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Re^2: Critique of Where Perl 6 is Heading on
by steves (Curate) on Oct 16, 2004 at 22:27 UTC

    Interesting tangent about syntactic elegance ... I have not seen enough differences in Perl6 to say it has significant syntactic elegance over Perl5. Can you point out some specific examples?

    You mention COBOL which I had the (mis)fortune of getting paid to program in for a short time back when I was a college intern. In addition to liberal GOTO use, the code was peppered with ALTER statements, which is COBOL's way of writing self modifying code. So, far from being elegant to maintain, it was a syntactically pleasing maintenance nightmare I inherited.

    After that I worked on some easy to maintain C, then C++, then C code. C is really only a step or two above assembler if you look at it honestly. The reason for the ease of maintenance had less to do with the language than it did with the design and with the logical way the problems were abstracted and factored down to interfaces.

    So I'm not sure I believe that syntactic changes will make a huge difference, although I agree with you that coming more towards that Java-like middle ground syntax helps those less capable programmers pick things up faster.

    Then there's the Java code I inherited that had one method named main ...

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