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Resource protection and Perl 6

by pg (Canon)
on Jan 22, 2003 at 20:36 UTC ( #229123=perlquestion: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

pg has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

My company is in system design phase of a new project, and I see Perl as a candidator language. However some one brought this up, and said there might be a serious problem, as Perl 6 might be coming at any time, considering its possible huge difference from previous versions, we might waste lots of resources, and have to come back and redo the project.

Actually this also bothers me.

What is everyone’s opinion? How big would the change be? Did you hear any plan for a conversion tool?

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: Resource protection and Perl 6
by mirod (Canon) on Jan 22, 2003 at 21:03 UTC


    • first Perl 5 is here, and will be here for a long time,even after Perl 6 is released. Perl 6 being available does not mean you will be forced to upgrade, you will still be able to use Perl 5, including by using Perl 6 in compatibility mode as described in Apocalypse 1
    • the second comment is that Perl 6 is still Perl: I attended Damian's talk on Perl 6 where he converted a bunch of real-life scripts from Perl 5 to Perl 6. The result was still very much Perlish. It really looked like Perl, only better, whithout some of the clunkiest parts of the language . Too bad I can't find an online version.

    So fear no more, your project will still run in Perl 5 AND in Perl 6, and you will not have to completely re-learn the language, just get used to a slightly different, but usually simpler, syntax.

      You may be referring to ...And Now for Something Completely Similar, by TheDamian.
      So let’s calmly back away from all those snarling differences, and turn our attention instead to the many aspects of Perl 6 that are staying the same (or, at least, reassuringly very similar).

      To do that, we’re going to make some of the Perl 6 design team “eat their own dog-food”. That is, we’ll take a few real-world Perl 5 programs that Nathan Torkington, Hugo van der Sanden, Dan Sugalski, Simon Cozens, and I use every day, port them to Perl 6, and see how much they actually change.

      Damian showed us entar and untar as examples of how he customizes his enviroment. Very cool.
Re: Resource protection and Perl 6
by Elian (Parson) on Jan 22, 2003 at 22:17 UTC
    Several important points.

    First, even if perl 6 was released tomorrow (and trust me, it won't be) that's absolutely irrelevant--it'll be at least six months before the code has been beaten down enough to work out the bugs and get it in what I'd consder a production stable state. (I may have higher standards than other people) And, since you'll probably want another six months or so of small projects to work out the changes, it'll probably be a year before you'd want to consider it as a candidate for production code. (though the shaking out of bugs and playing with perl 6 time may be coincident)

    Second, perl 5 isn't going away. There are many places that have perl 5.6.x, 5.005, and even 5.004 in production and active development. 5.004 is not new, and neither is 5.005. The version of perl you choose now will be fine for several years to come, and there will be new versions of perl 5.

    Third, there will be a coversion tool, as well as a perl 5 front end to parrot, perl 6's back end. Who knows, given development efforts, we may well have parrot be a darned close to complete perl 5 engine before a perl 6 engine. Odder things have happend. (Though, for a variety of reasons, you won't see a parrot-backed perl 5)

Re: Resource protection and Perl 6
by dragonchild (Archbishop) on Jan 22, 2003 at 21:19 UTC
    To echo mirod's comments - I've worked in several Perl shops. I've also worked on several Perl versions. I started with Perl right after Perl5 was released, some 7+ years ago. I was on Perl 5.003 (or something like that). I've worked with 5.004, 5.005, and 5.6.1. Right now, I'm working with 5.004. The group I'm with wants to upgrade, but cannot because that would require too many resources for recompiling all the modules in use.

    But, the app is still being developed and, other than a few neat things (like our and 3-arg open and better Unicode support), it's just like Perl 5.8. (Oh, and bugfixes and speed enhancements and ...)

    We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

    Don't go borrowing trouble. For programmers, this means Worry only about what you need to implement.

Re: Resource protection and Perl 6
by valdez (Monsignor) on Jan 22, 2003 at 21:16 UTC

    Java hasn't honoured itself many times and needs third party tools, that are continously improving. Python is growing as well, and so does PHP, that announced a new major release (next summer iirc). Apache is slowing changing, without any kind of problem; people using mod_perl is patiently waiting for version 2.0.

    Every tool needs to grow, but Michael G Schwern wrote in

    *** You will NOT have to rewrite your Perl 5 programs ***

    citing Larry Wall, Apocolypse 1. Is it enough? ;-)

    Ciao, Valerio

      Thank you for the link, and it definitely tackles my shop's concern. I would distribute this link to others.

      Let's fight for Perl, and fight for our open source principle.

      All the other posts here are very informative and helpful, I will organize all your thoughts presented in this thread into a presentation to my co-workers.

      My thanks to everyone.

      Sincerely yours,
Re: Resource protection and Perl 6
by Ctrl-z (Friar) on Jan 22, 2003 at 21:26 UTC
      you might find this article by Mr Conway helpful

      It's Doctor Conway. I didn't spend six fricking years in Evil Computer Science School to be called "mister," thank you very much.


        Yes sir Doctor Conway sir. Your wish is our command sir. Would you like 3 or 4 slave girls with that cup of tea?
        I didn't spend six fricking years in Evil Computer Science School to be called "mister," thank you very much.
        Yeah, me too, so I do sympathize. Yet, despite the nick, I'm not a real doctor: all I got for my efforts was a lousy Ph.D. :-(
        Sorry I could not resist this since Doctor Conway's out burst has brought a cheeky grin to my face. In my day to day work my colleagues routinely call me Mr Reade and I cannot be bothered wit the stress of it all to put every one right when they get it wrong suffice to say that I only insist on proper use of my title when I think someone has been cheeky or just down right ignorant. After all, I know what I have done and what it cost me in time etc. etc. Here in the monastery, all who follow the Perl way will most probably be humbled by the likes of Damian and their achievements, is that not enough? If Damian insists on being called by his proper title, then he should perhaps sign ALL articles etc as Dr. D Conway, that way no one can be excused for their lack of knowledge, which I believe (in this case certainly) is the ONLY culprit. Sincerley, Gav. (Dr Reade if you insist)

        Briefly, since this subthread is a plain off-topic.

        You made so many things for Perl and the community that I could spend all my life saying thanks to you and it wouldn't be enough, but PLEASE, don't point out you spent six years to get a degree.

        You are a famous person, and all the famous people are known only by name and surname, or nickname. So you are "Conway", "Damian Conway", "TheDamian", "Mr.Conway" or even "Damian" to everybody.

        Do you regret you are famous, Damian?

        Thanks for everything you do for Perl and for us


        Update: dree made me notice the smiley, and Elian showed me that I was definitely wrong. Sorry about that, my head is all covered by ash.

        # Another Perl edition of a song:
        # The End, by The Beatles
        END {
          $you->take($love) eq $you->make($love) ;

        "That makes me angry, and when I get angry that makes Mr. Bigglesworth upset, and when Mr. Bigglesworth gets upset- people DIE!"

Re: Resource protection and Perl 6
by Anonymous Monk on Jan 23, 2003 at 02:28 UTC
    I think the concern here comes from a long history of his, and other, companies being forced to upgrade as major versions are released. Your mind should rest at ease that as long as Perl5 is a viable language it will be supported. One of Open Source Development's major business advantages is that upgrades are hardly ever forced. When they are it is typicaly with good reason such as security and/or stability.

    A prolific example is the Apache project. They released version 2 a long time ago, but version 1 is so good that it continues to be supported despite the fact that the core developers poured their hearts into version 2 and really would like to see folks upgrade.

    Your business benefit is the fact that Perl5 will be around, and supported, for a long, long time with no pressure to upgrade because your vendor's annual profits have to rise by 20%. You will upgrade when it is right for YOUR business.

      Yes, you 100% understood the concern right.

      Major companies behave differently from a single person or small shops, in terms of application development.

      They usually prefer to keep up with the most current technology, and this forces them to carefully consider the stability of their choices.

      You provided me a very good and very convincing point. I would borrow your point, and present it as the difference between the life cycle of traditional software development, and the life cycle of open source development.

      I am confident that I would be able to boom the hope of using Perl.

      Thank you very much.
Re: Resource protection and Perl 6
by jacques (Priest) on Jan 22, 2003 at 22:02 UTC

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