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Re^5: Developer::Perl::Find

by Adrade (Pilgrim)
on Jun 01, 2005 at 17:41 UTC ( #462569=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^4: Developer::Perl::Find
in thread Developer::Perl::Find

Since I arrived late to the party, I think I first discovered this tidbit in the Wiki article, which I believe explains it pretty well:
    Perl was originally named "Pearl", after "the pearl of great price" of Matthew 13:46. Larry Wall wanted to give the language a short name with positive connotations, and claims he looked at (and rejected) every three- and four-letter word in the dictionary. He even thought of naming it after his wife Gloria. Before the language's official release, Wall discovered that there was already a programming language named Pearl, and changed the spelling of the name.
I downloaded Version 1.0 to look at the man page, and lo and behold, the "old"|"new" name was still there:
    perl - Practical Extraction and Report Language
, so I don't think that this could really be considered a post-facto expansion (so long as we would consider v1.0 the first real Perl "event", so to speak - if we didn't, we would need to search deep within the bountiful caverns of Larry Wall's mind for guidance, during the time that the primordial ooze was congealing). Consistent with the current man pages, the 'a' is in lower-case while the other initial letters are in upper-case, suggesting (but not saying) that someone once thought of this as an acronymic representation of something (perl|pearl), notwithstanding the fact that it was created independently and after the assignment of the name Perl.


Impossible! The Remonster can only be killed by stabbing him in the heart with the ancient bone saber of Zumakalis!

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Re^6: Developer::Perl::Find
by merlyn (Sage) on Jun 01, 2005 at 20:19 UTC
    so long as we would consider v1.0 the first real Perl "event", so to speak
    Ahh, but this is also denying history. Perl version 0 was used within Larry's workplace before the first real release.

    -- Randal L. Schwartz, Perl hacker
    Be sure to read my standard disclaimer if this is a reply.

      That's very true - which is why I tried to think of it as an event, a singular occurrence that can be pinpointed to one time and one environmental state, and why I continued, saying that we would have to search Larry Wall's mind for guidance if we didn't recognize this as Perl's first event (its initial emergence), since we would really have to go all the way back to when it was a flicker of imagination, through the many stages of name-picking and sort of self-identity establishment all the way to the release of v1.0. This point seems to me the foundation of Perl's ego, its social connectedness, sowing the seedlings of what was to become the Perl community. If we are to deny v1.0 this title, then even the name Perl could be considered a post-facto expansion of earlier names, attributions, and concepts. This, of course, is not to say that a thing's identity cannot change over time, as obviously Perl's has, but these observations just sit as so of a thread that seems to be woven through the versions in this one particular regard, a ghostly echo of times and versions past.

      Bumbling always,

      Impossible! The Remonster can only be killed by stabbing him in the heart with the ancient bone saber of Zumakalis!

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