I just touched upon how natural programming can be a way forward for Perl in my previous post, and quickly saw a twitter from chromatic not understanding the “criticism (?)” of Perl 6. As he is a member of the Perl 6 development team, I am happy that he noticed my post, but not so happy about the lack of understanding. So a clarification is probably called for.

My post was not a criticism of Perl 6. I am quite skeptical and apprehensive about P6, which shone through in my article, but criticising a project that started in 2000 for not implementing ideas published in 2008 would be rather unfair. However, Perl seems to be in search of a purpose nowadays, with lessening interest and corresponding calls for better marketing.  I wanted to present a large challenge to programming in general, and to show that this is an opportunity for Perl and the Perl community.

Particularly since I don’t think better marketing is such a good idea. I think a programming ecosystem that makes you go “wow, this is really going to make my programming great” markets itself.

So this was actually more picking up the challenge presented by chromatic himself to come up with a vision for Perl.

Now, that he didn’t understand that, I can’t help. But I am quite impressed by the Perl 6 development team that they actually pick up and notice the talk in the community that quick. That’s promising for the “community rewrite of Perl and the community” that Perl 6 development originally promised.

(Actually I just wanted to show a cool debugging tool but got carried away.)


5 thoughts on “An alternative vision for the Perl Eco-System

  1. “I think a programming ecosystem that makes you go “wow, this is really going to make my programming great” markets itself.”

    And what’s “a programming ecosystem that makes you go ‘wow’?”

  2. admin says:

    For example, starting Perl programming back in the 90s,, seeing dynamic typing, CPAN and a lot of other things new to a prior 8086 assembler coder. Since then very little (but it’s been enough to keep me occupied for 10+ years).

    However, something that would really implement some of the ideas from my previous post would probably be exciting and a real step forward – although maybe only for me..

  3. Adam Kennedy says:

    > Particularly since I don’t think better marketing is such a good idea. I think a programming ecosystem that makes you go “wow, this is really going to make my programming great” markets itself.

    If it’s one thing I learned from my experience with the Oz programming language, it was that this statement is false.

  4. admin says:

    Mr. Kennedy: That is also a fallacy, that Oz was not marketed doesn’t necessary mean lack of marketing is the reason for it’s low acceptance.

    I don’t know much about Oz except what I just skimmed of Wikipedia, but to me it seems very focussed on language (though interesting) and little else (cpan-like libraries, a special IDE, debugging tools, community, forums, learning resources and so on). Exactly what I tried to criticise earlier, that language development is far too focused on writing new code and far too little on the other parts of programming – which is taking a lot more time and effort than writing new code. (That is not a criticism of Perl only of course, it’s just that I happen to spend most my time with Perl)

    Also, a new language must meet a need to succeed too – there are plenty of really nice languages out there, but the majority of developers are not going to go through the relatively large effort of learning them unless it offers them clear value back. Being better from a computer science point of view is not enough (as proven many times).

    That said, I don’t think freshening up some of the old Perl sites would hurt.

  5. I totally agree with your vision about better tools – but frankly the criticism of Perl 6 project was rather unnecessary. From what I’ve seen there are so many innovative ideas in it – that accusing it of playing catch up with other languages seems rather ignorant.

    Continuing your thought about “doing too little on the other parts of programming” – I partially agree here – but only partially, because I think every Perl programmer recognizes that the biggest advantage of Perl is CPAN – and CPAN is not just a code repository it is a whole ecosystem. But I do agree that we could use it better. And your article on IDEs is really dead on.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *