|No such thing as a small change|
I'm not a fan of this change.
Whenever I hear that something's "easier to type", I think of PHB's exclaiming, "The source code's much smaller now!" -- it's mostly irrelevant.
For me, the point of high level languages is that the source code can easily be read by developers, so that they can get the gist of what's going on. You have to read a whole pile of assembler to get an idea of what's going on. I like the -> shape -- it reminds me that the thing to the left is a reference (or a pointer, as my 15 years of C tells me), either to a data structure or an object. I like that.
You're confused about what that & means? I think context explains it very nicely. That's as it should be.
What does the dot mean here? Context solves this again.
What's the octothorpe doing? Context.
The human brain's actually very good at dealing with context. It allows us to understand the difference in pronunciation of "Get the lead out!" and "Lead the way!", where the key word 'lead' is spelled the same way but sounds different in each of the two phrases.
If Perl were a new language, I can see there being some leeway. I've been fortunate to use Perl for about 15 years, and it was around for 10 years before that.
I think this change will be a poor choice for Perl.