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How can I start with Perl 6?

by revdiablo (Prior)
on Jun 06, 2005 at 20:39 UTC ( #464076=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

This post began as a reply to Scarborough's reply at Re: Why aren't you using Perl 6 yet?, but took on a life of its own. I thought the content might be useful to a wider scope, so I decided to post it as a new top-level node. It all started by replying to the simple comment:

I don't really know how to begin

There are a of lot ways to begin. It depends on what part of the process you're interested in. Of course, it's still a process, and still has quite a way to go before there's anything resembling a product ready to be used by the masses. I think that is the main reason people are avoiding Perl 6. At least, that's the impression I got from the replies in this thread, and that's the reason I thought would be prevalent. If that alone is enough to keep you away, that's perfectly understandable.

That being said, the process is still rather interesting to observe, even if you don't think you can contribute much directly. There are many and varied ways to observe or even get involved, and some of them don't take very much effort. The important thing to take away here is that you can do any one of these things, and still learn something that will probably be useful in the future.

  • If you are interested in the language, you can start learning it without a lot of effort.

    • One thing that will not take much time is reading through some of the Synopses in the Perl6::Bible. You can read the Apocolypses and Exegeses if you really want, but the Synopses are both more concise and more up to date than the larger, more detailed documents.

    • You can watch the perl6-language mailing list, which can be quite interesting, but is often like trying to drink from a firehose. The amount of detail they discuss can be overwhelming, even if you've been following the process for a while.

    These can help you get an impression of how the language is going to turn out. Some details will change over time, but the general ideas shouldn't change dramatically.

  • If you are interested in the implementation, there are a few areas you can explore.

    • Parrot is the virtual machine that will eventually power the Official Perl 6 release. You can download that, and try to make it do something interesting. It might only be indirectly related to Perl 6, but it will still be useful experience.

    • If you want to actually write Perl 6 code and see it do something [marginally but nonetheless] useful, you can check out Pugs. Limbic~Region has already covered the bases on this with his very fine node, Get Involved With Pugs.

    These will give you practical experience that will likely be helpful later down the line. The toolchain will undoubtedly go through a lot of change, but, as I said before, it will likely be useful experience.

So, this node has gotten a bit longer than I expected. There are probably some even simpler and less obtrusive things I have left off. But I think that if you pick one of the bullet points that sounds interesting, and just sort of take a look to see what it's about, you should be able to gain a low-pain entry point into the world of Perl 6.

Any comments or additions will be gratefully accepted.

Replies are listed 'Best First'.
Re: How can I start with Perl 6?
by theorbtwo (Prior) on Jun 06, 2005 at 21:45 UTC

    Re reading perl6-language, it's a lot like sipping from a firehose. One useful thing to do is to try just reading $Larry's posts, and enough others to get some context as to what he's talking about. If you want more, read all of @Larry's posts. If you want yet more, try to pick out names you recognise.

    Remember, if $Larry says it, take it with a grain of salt. If @Larry says it, take it with a 1cm x 1cm x 1cm cube of salt. If somebody else says it, just freeze-dry yourself, /especially/ if it's from a name you don't recognize.

    Warning: Unless otherwise stated, code is untested. Do not use without understanding. Code is posted in the hopes it is useful, but without warranty. All copyrights are relinquished into the public domain unless otherwise stated. I am not an angel. I am capable of error, and err on a fairly regular basis. If I made a mistake, please let me know (such as by replying to this node).

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