Perl 6 First Official Release
Perl 6 First Official Release
Written by Nikos Vaggalis   
Monday, 28 December 2015
Article Index
Perl 6 First Official Release
How Will Perl 6.c Be Used

Perl 6.c Impact

We conclude with a collection of quotes from well known personas of the Perl world, on how and where Perl 6 is likely to be used.

Jonathan Worthington - Perl 6/MoarVM architect:

For one, I suspect there will always be text to be transformed, unstructured data to be untangled, and so forth. Perl 6 is strong at this: grammars bring structure to parsing problems and let you get from text to data structure easily, and the range of tools for slicing and dicing that data are immense.

One of the things I find most pleasant about working with Perl 6 code is how easy it tends to be to refactor and evolve. Depending how far you want to go, a quick code sketch can be grown into something more structured – perhaps with classes and roles if needed –  and for added safety you can add in type constraints. Not just boring ones, like “it’s an Int” –  thanks to subset types you can be very expressive.

I think it’s hard to predict exactly what niches a general purpose language will find itself in, however. I mean, it’s not like Perl was designed from the outset to be good for web programming, but when the need came Perl was there and had the ingredients.

Perl 6 has a lot of ingredients to offer. The language seems to sell itself rather well, even if the implementations aren’t all the way there yet. So I’m looking forward to see what people will cook up with it, as we gradually remove more and more of them adoption barriers.

 

Moritz Lenz- prominent Perl 5 hacker and member of the People of Perl 6, as well as a regular contributor to both the Perl 6 test suite and the Rakudo compiler:

It supports both object-oriented and functional programming styles really well and then it has lots of features that no other language has combined before.

For example, Perl 6 has lazy lists, which are usually only found in pure functional languages, and it offers a meta object system, which means you can create your own object types (like classes, roles, enumerations).

Also, its function signatures are powerful enough to compete with the pattern matching facilities you might know from functional languages like Haskell. And the nice thing is that you don't have to know all those fancy features to get started -- you can write well-readable Perl 6 code with basic knowledge, but an experienced programmer can use all the "power" features.

Oh, and it is dynamically typed, but you can chose to add type annotations, and profit from enhanced speed and safety where you do. 

Flavio Glock - Perlito :

(on whether businesses would consider switching from Perl 5 to Perl 6)
It will eventually happen. At some point people will use it for one-off scripts, and then somebody will use it on a cronjob, but it will not replace Perl5 in this environment - it will instead compete with alternate languages, like Go. 

 

Sawyer X- Dancer Web Framework:

Some amazing ideas came out of Perl 6, some of which were ported to Perl 5, some of which successfully. When it comes to language features and ability, Perl 6 has done a lot of right, even though it also made several mistakes. Hindsight is 20/20, and if we could go back, things would have been done differently. All in all, I think it’s best for us all to concentrate on the current state and the future – and those look bright.

I will likely not have to rewrite Dancer in Perl 6 because a bare-bones Dancer port has already been written by tadzik (Tadeusz Sosnierz) called Bailador. I haven’t looked at the internals too much, so I’m not sure if the design flaws we had to deal with exist there too. Either way, I’m certain it’s in good hands, and I hope that in the future I will be able to contribute to that.

(Extracted from: All About Dancer - In Conversation With Sawyer X)


Sebastian Riedel - Mojolicious Web Framework: 

I’ve had the pleasure to see Jonathan Worthington talk about concurrency and parallelism in Perl 6 at Mojoconf 2014, and to say that it was quite inspiring would be an understatement.

But “production use” can mean a lot of different things to a lot of people. Is it feature complete? Is it as fast as Perl5? Would you bet the future of your company on it?

I love Perl6 the language, it solves all the problems I have with Perl5, and if there’s an implementation that’s good enough, you bet there will be a Mojolicious port!

Extracted from: All about Mojolicious: An Interview with Sebastian Riedel

Matt S. Trout - Catalyst:

I’ve spent a fair amount of time and energy over the years making sure that the people thinking hard about language design for both the Perl5 and Perl6 languages talk to each other and share ideas and experiences reasonably often, but I’m perfectly comfortable with Perl5 as my primary production language for the moment, and so long as the people who actually know what they’re doing with this stuff are paying attention I don’t feel the need to that much.

One of the things I’m really hoping works out is the whole MoarVM plan, wherein Rakudo will end up with a solid virtual machine that was designed from the start to be able to embed libperl and thereby call back and forth between the languages. So if that plan comes off, then I don’t think you’d ever write Catalyst in Perl6 so much as you could write parts of Catalyst apps in Perl6 if you wanted to… and maybe one day there’d be something that uses features that are uniquely Perl6-like that turns out to be technologically more awesome. You can still write parts of those apps in Perl5 if it makes sense, but I don’t think looking at the two languages in the Perl family as some sort of competition is that useful. I much prefer a less dogmatic approach, similar to the saner of the people I know who are into various Lisp dialects.

So it’s more about experimenting in similar spaces and learning and sharing things – and while being a language family is often cited as a reason why Lisp never took over the world … Perl taking over the world got us Matt’s Script Archive and a generation of programmers who thought the language was called PERL and fit only for generating write-only line noise whereas being a language family seems to have pretty effectively given Lisp immortality, albeit a not-entirely-mainstream sort of immortality.

 I think, over a long enough timeline, I could pretty much live with that (absent a singularity or something I’ll probably be dead in about the number of years that Lisp has existed), and I think if there is a singularity then programming languages afterwards won’t look anything like they do now… although, admittedly, I still wouldn’t be surprised if my favorite of whatever they do look like was designed by Larry Wall.

Extracted from Catalyst And More - An Interview With Matt Trout

 

And let's not forget that Perl 6 is already acting as a source for inspiration to language designers, for example being a big influence on Sidef.

More Information

Day 24 – An Unexpectedly Long-expected Party

Reflecting, celebrating, and looking forward
Learn X in Y minutes

Day 8 – Grammars generating grammars

Related Articles (in chronological order)

Perl 6 and Parrot - In Conversation with Moritz Lenz
Niecza - Perl 6 Implemented in .NET
Where is Perl Heading? Interview with Jonathan Worthington
Perlito - An Interview With Flávio Glock

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