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Re^3: Would you suggest alternative names for Perl 6?

by sundialsvc4 (Abbot)
on Dec 08, 2014 at 18:33 UTC ( #1109625=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re^2: Would you suggest alternative names for Perl 6?
in thread Would you suggest alternative names for Perl 6?

Okay, I’ll take-on this assertion and even (why not?) assert that every one of you who “down-voted” my post did so because you are both clueless and wrong!!”   (Cowabunga!   Here goes!!   Downvote me! I don’t care!! Wheeee!!!)

Computer-programming languages don’t have “successors.”   If they had, then IBM’s PL/1 would have “succeeded” both FORTRAN and COBOL, because it was very-obviously “–er” than both of them ...

... and yet, it didn’t.   Why not??   You can still license FORTRAN and COBOL from IBM.   Why??

The very-simple answer is two-fold:

  1. “What we have right now” ... is ... “Software that works.”
  2. In order to now do anything different, we must both “consign the business-value of everything that we now have to the scrap-heap,” a-n-d(!!!) “undertake the entire effort that we have already-amortized, all over again, and with no compelling evidence that we actually will wind-up in a better situation than where we are right now had we done nothing.”

Those arguments might have been successful ... a couple decades ago “when all of this was so very young.™”   H-o-w-e-v-e-r . . .

It should surprise no one that someone who has already spent a million-plus dollars on something, would be quite unwilling to spend the same sums (or more??) all over again.   And yet, this seems to make perfect sense to the Geeks™ who were the recipients of “the first million.”   Having, not two years before, “extolled the eternal virtues of Perl-5” to the Powers That Be,™ they now stand before the very same decision-makers and coo, “ohh, but we were so wrong ‘back then.’   Just give us X-Million Dollars again, and this time ... thanks to the (by the way, not-compatible ...) Perl-6 ... it will [trust us ...] be so much better.”

The real-world business proposition of Computer Software is not something that can actually be “solved” by building “a better wrench or pair-of-pliers.” The present world does not require a better way to approach programming if the only available way to achieve “better” is to, once again(!), start over.   Like it or not, having embarked down a particular technical path (and having first obtained the financial permission to do so ...), you don’t today get the automatic green-light to throw everything away and start over.   If you want to improve your technical situation, you will find yourself to be obliged to do it within the context of what you already have at your disposal.

And it just so happens that the Perl-5 language has shown itself to be able to go “much beyond the call of duty” in this regard.   (Prithee, can you name for me any recent language for which Moose even would have been a technical possibility?   Well, I’ve been around a long time now, and I cannot name a single one.)

Quite frankly, I consider Moose to be “a fundamental game-changer” that has been very seriously overlooked ... even by the Perl-6 team.   (Especially by the Perl-6 team ...)   The conventional wisdom has been that, in order to make any sort of significant improvement from the past, you must abandon that past.   (The ADD 1 TO COBOL GIVING COBOL. pundits fared no better with this train of reasoning ...)   Well, it so happens that this is not the case anymore.

Fact is, the language-systems that we have today ... including Perl-5, Python-2, etc... ... are not “so awful, old, and decrepit” that we must persuade our employers/clients to scrap(!!) the million-dollar investments that we somehow talked them into yesterday.   Quite frankly, I think that the Perl-6 contingent fell on its face by asserting that “Perl-<6” had no more business value.   They based their entire business proposition upon that fact, and upon their entirely-presumptive stance as “heir apparent.”

Furthermore, an entirely new realm of language systems has since emerged.   With haXe, for example, I haven’t had to confront “raw JavaScript,” nor “raw Flash,” directly for quite a number of years.   I can, instead, produce a system that meshes these two techologies together (not to mention mobile ... iOS and Android ...) in o-n-e code base.   (With strong compile-time type checking such that none of the “target” languages have.)

haXe is a game-chnger.   One among many.

“The world,” as we live in it today, “is all about game changers.”   The Perl-6 project took as its prime-directive the proposition that, in order to “improve upon™” the Perl-<6 world, it must “replace” it.   And when the current-world proved itself not-so-willing to be summarily replaced, it simply did not know what to do.   It still does not.

I do not apologize for being the jester in this case.

  • Comment on Re^3: Would you suggest alternative names for Perl 6?

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Re^4: Would you suggest alternative names for Perl 6?
by Your Mother (Bishop) on Dec 08, 2014 at 18:41 UTC

    I suppose one could quibble and equivocate over the meaning of “successor” but your argument most immediately reminds me of the creationist who argues: Evolution cannot be real or else why would there still be monkeys?

      “An interesting thought, to be sure ... but ...” I think that the fundamental difference here is that “the new generation of monkeys” in this case never had to stop and consider the state of the current ones.   No matter what software-tool we might be talking about, it is still ... a tool.   Therefore, it is and always will be subordinate to whatever-it-is that it is being used to do.   And, in order to gain market acceptance, it must present an opportunity-cost that is low enough to be no brainer.

      The Perl-5 system is by no means the only interpreted-language system out there on the field, but it certainly is the only one that I have encountered which could have produced Moose or any of its lesser children, without introducing any changes to the core system.   (Well, an exception could be drawn for Common LISP.)   Nevertheless, IMHO, Moose did, and entirely without fanfare, introduce a “game-changing improvement” that has near-zero adoption cost.

      In like manner, haXe demonstrated that you could achieve significant productivity-benefits, and work-product target expansion, without changing the target-languages, simply by changing the language that you write in.

      Perl6 might have have had academically-valuable advantages, but it asks asked too much of its adopters.   It has had too high of an opportunity-cost.   Its day in the sun, like it or not, has now set.   Better luck next language . . .

      “Another suitcase, another hall . . . don’t ask, anymore.” – Evita

Re^4: Would you suggest alternative names for Perl 6?
by karlgoethebier (Monsignor) on Dec 09, 2014 at 11:30 UTC
    "I’ll take-on this assertion..."

    I didn't assert anything in my post.

    " ...you are both clueless and wrong!"

    I'll skip this despite that i consider "being clueless" as a personal assault.

    "Downvote me! I don’t care!"

    Yes, i'll do so. And it will become my default policy in your case. But i'm sure you care. It's a pleasure to you.

    "I consider Moose to be “a fundamental game-changer”"

    I wonder if you ever wrote something useful using Moose or Moo.

    "...haXe.. Javascript... Flash ...I can, instead, produce a system..."

    I wonder if you ever produced something like that you call a system.

    "I do not apologize..."

    This is a known issue.

    Karl

    «The Crux of the Biscuit is the Apostrophe»

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Re^4: Would you suggest alternative names for Perl 6?
by Anonymous Monk on Dec 08, 2014 at 20:12 UTC
    Mike, can you rewrite that without using every APL key on your keyboard? It's so very difficult to find a point among all your cutesinesses.

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