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Re^3: A "Perl-7" that I could actually USE right now

by raiph (Chaplain)
on Jun 28, 2013 at 22:29 UTC ( #1041360=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^2: A "Perl-7" that I could actually USE right now
in thread A "Perl-7" that I could actually USE right now

Update: Realized I was giving JimmyZ and Arnsholt, much as I love 'em, a little too much credit. ;)

You seemed to have assumed that you've picked three key repos and that if some folk slowed commits to the main branches of these 3, then P6 dev was slowing and the missing contributors had slowed their contribution to P6. These assumptions are incorrect, as are others such as all commits and contributors being equal. Line count isn't going to be a better metric either. I recommend you visit the IRC channel #perl6 on freenode and ask questions; you'll get a much better picture of what's really going on.

At least 13 of the 14 folk you named remain active P6 contributors. (I'm excepting particle; he joined #moarvm a few weeks ago, but afaik he hasn't committed anything in a long while.) 11 of the 14 folk you named are highly active, currently contributing somehow near every day, 5 or more days a week, most for years. (The additional three exceptions are pmichaud, the P6 and Rakudo manager, who is occasionally committing and otherwise contributing but can't be said to be doing so most days; bacek, who contributes in fits and starts but hasn't done so for a few months afaik).

Of the top 50 contributors to the rakudo\rakudo repo, about 20 speak up on #perl6 pretty much every day and have landed commits to some P6 project repo (not just a personal P6 project) in 2013.

Of the bottom 50 rakudo\rakudo contributors, I recognize 15 of them as #perl 6 regulars in 2013, some making commits. (The numbers may well be higher than I recognize.)

The NQP repo includes several Parrot contributors (partly because NQP had a strong overlap with Parrot a few years ago) and Parrot dev has slowed tremendously. Even so, 26 of the 44 committers to the NQP repo since 2009 have NQP repo commits in 2013.

Ignoring whose contributing to what and how, Rakudo and NQP are both advancing rapidly, imo faster than in any previous period.

The main action in Rakudo/NQP land right now is getting the port to the JVM to the next level (ready for experiments with parallel processing, running on Android, etc.). I expect that to remain the focus in July, possibly August too. If you're trying to see where this Rakudo action is, follow branches in the Rakudo and NQP repos, or in forks folk have created, related to Rakudo/JVM. Note that since YAPC::NA, sorear, the creator of Niecza, has joined forces with jnthn on this port so now both of these two extraordinary hackers are working on Rakudo.

Others continue to work on the compiler ignoring the backend stuff. Watch the likes of timotimo, FROGGS, and newcomer ssutch.

Talking of timotimo and ssutch, note that these are both long time pythonistas that seems to have fallen in love with P6. It's interesting that the P6 project seems to be attracting contributors from outside the Perl world as much as from within. It's also interesting that ssutch was able to jump in to the compiler's guts and produce a working non-trivial patch in his first week of exposure to Perl 6.

Finally, MoarVM. The MoarVM repo was secret until 4 weeks ago. It has tripled the number of committers it has in 4 weeks, with several new contributors being well known uber hackers. (Chip Salzenberg has joined the channel!)

Here are the contributor graphs over time for the three repos you looked at: rakudo/rakudo, perl6/NQP, MoarVM/MoarVM. I agree they don't show a significant ramp up, but they don't show a significant ramp down either. The team is getting these pieces done, with or without help from others in the Perl community.

The above is focused on the three repos you picked. But there's lots more to P6 than those three repos. The module installer and ecosystem, key modules, testing components (including testsuite and japhb's workbench), rakudo debugger, Zavolaj FFI, documentation and so on are all important pieces. Check out the commits reported on #perl6; these are a good first approximation of the key P6 repos.

In summary, there have long been about 20-30 regulars, 50-70 occasionally returning irregulars, and a trickle of new folk, that are steadily building out Larry's vision.

Right now the vibe on #perl6 is very positive. The outlook for the rest of this year and 2014 is a joy to contemplate.

One last thing. Consider P5. I've heard that there are only 3 people in the world who deeply understand the guts of #p5p Perl 5: Nicholas Clark, Dave Mitchell, and Father Chrysostomos, and that they consider it a tough situation. Indeed, one of these three, Nicholas Clark, is now a regular on #perl6, and my understanding is that he sees P6 as being poised to deliver a technically excellent strategic way forward for P5 that sidesteps the deep problems of #p5p P5 without abandoning P5 (Pumpkin or otherwise). Talk of 25% improvement in the speed of the current p5 or Moose is easy; but just you wait until you dig in to the details...

Really, the best way to understand P6 is to visit the IRC channel #perl6 on freenode and hangout. Try it. I bet you'll like the folk even if you don't like the language!

  • Comment on Re^3: A "Perl-7" that I could actually USE right now

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Re^4: A "Perl-7" that I could actually USE right now
by Jenda (Abbot) on Jul 03, 2013 at 14:19 UTC

    I hadn't assumed a thing. I was pointed to those three repositories. A little earlier I was pointed to the repositories linked from the Perl6 module list. Both were supposed to prove that Perl6 is being actively developed (I never doubted that) and that there is a sizable community around it (which they did not). In summary, as you write, there had been 20-30 regulars, 50-70 occasionally returning irregulars (here I think you are exaggerating a little, yes occasionally they return) and (and here's the main disconnect) "a trickle of new folk". No. There's a trickle of people that come, stay for a week and go.

    I don't doubt there are a few people that work their asses off. I just don't see people flocking to tear the results out of their busy hands. I don't see people waiting eagerly for Perl6 to get into a (for them) useful state.

    Within the echo chamber of #perl6 it certainly looks like there's a lot going on, like there's a lot of life in the project. Outside, strange noises are heard from time to time. Perl Incorporated built a shiny new hall, right next to the main gate, built a highway to ship the planned project, made press releases and superbowl ads ... and failed to deliver anything. The hall is no longer shiny, the highway was partly reused and partly fell into pieces, but in the furthest corner of the huge building, there are three offices and a kitchen still inhabited and from time to time a bunch of school kids comes for an excursion.

    Yep, the groundwork may end up being useful (though the choice of JVM will probably never cease to surprise me). Hopefully.

    Enoch was right!
    Enjoy the last years of Rome.

        It might have made sense in late 90s when Java was hip and looked like it's gonna evolve. IMnsHO at this time MONO would be a much better target. Even if it takes Google a few more months to make the switch.

        Anyway some pointers to the current rationale would be appreciated, thanks!

        Enoch was right!
        Enjoy the last years of Rome.

Re^4: A "Perl-7" that I could actually USE right now
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 28, 2013 at 23:04 UTC
    What is your fetish for name dropping, are you the celebrity tell-all rag of the Perl-6 cult? How about everyone in your cult stop telling us how good it's going to be and actually SHIP SOMETHING.

      Illegitimi non carborundum

      Yes, I'd say I'm the P6 tell-all. I'm not much of a coder these days but I've been following the project since the start (with time off for good behavior); participating in the P6 community around the edges; reading #perl6 daily for 2 years; producing daily summaries of #perl6 for a year.

      Jenda's post provided some useful stats but his/her narrative didn't square with reality and was unfair to people I feel I know and love and ultimately to the entire Perl community.

      I think innocent bystanders are likely to believe the picture painted by posts like Jenda's and think P6 is a dead, dying or at least struggling project. Given that I know otherwise and ultimately care about the whole Perl community more than Perl 6, I post facts that might mitigate the destructive elements of this armchair analysis and am willing to endure the attacks such as yours.

      I'm pretty much the only monk who focuses their PM posts on P6. Moritz Lenz is a respected monk and well loved top P6 hacker, but he seldom mentions it here at PM, in large part because a handful of vocal PMers are so unfriendly. Stefan O'Rear, another top P6 hacker, pretty much only posts code, technical documentation, and release announcements ever, and never here at PM. Really, other than me, how often do you see someone posting about P6?

      Excepting me, P6ers are basically doing exactly as you suggest. They are working their butts off, developing the system that Larry Wall designed to help save Perl's bacon in years to come, and ship code and technical documentation, with little fanfare and even less credit.

      The P6 project has been shipping something every month for nearly SIX YEARS. Of course, your answer will now be that you didn't mean "SHIP SOMETHING", you didn't mean ship crap, but rather ship something folk can use. And then I'll point out that it isn't crap and some folk are using it. And then you'll argue that it must be crap otherwise I wouldn't have called it just something and you didn't mean a handful of early adopters, you meant average folk. And so it goes on. I understand that you are frustrated or annoyed or whatever that P6 isn't what you want it to be when you want it. That doesn't mean misleading posts are best left unchallenged, if you care about the monastery and broader Perl community, and is the reason I respond to posts such as Jenda's. (Usually I ignore trolls such as yours.)

        "That doesn't mean misleading posts are best left unchallenged..." That's why I respond to your misleading posts. People are unfriendly to Perl-6 because of people like you, you all who keep promising how it is almost ready even though it hasn't lived up to the hype. Ever.

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