The Raku Beginner Tutorial
Written by Nikos Vaggalis
Thursday, 21 November 2019

If you want to get to grips with Raku, formerly Perl 6, there is a 30- part YouTube playlist to get you started with it.

After splitting from Perl 5 and its renaming from Perl 6 to Raku, a move that has cleared up much confusion (see Perl and Raku Both Anticipating Newfound Glory if you missed the story to date)  the time has come to familiarize yourself with the language up and close.

There are many ways to get started, such as with a good book like Think Perl 6 which I awarded a 5-star review when I reviewed it, but what better way to get a quick overview than a few well-made (and free) video tutorials? Yanzhan Yang has provided us with just that and, as a matter of fact, some of the material that he bases his tutorials on comes from the Think Perl6 book.

The videos themselves are recordings of Yanzhan coding and explaining line-by-line what he's doing. As such it's very hands-on. There's a total of 30 lessons, one per video.

Lesson 1 : Basic Setup.
Lesson 2 : Variable Name.
Lesson 3 : Data Types.
Lesson 4 : Expression & Statement.
Lesson 5 : Command Mode & Error Message
Lesson 6 : Function Part 1
Lesson 7 : Function Part 2
Lesson 8 : Function Part 3
Lesson 9 : Conditionals and Loops
Lesson 10 : Recursions
Lesson 11 : Parameter Constraints
Lesson 12 : Multi SubRoutine
Lesson 13 : String Functions
Lesson 14 : Regular Expression
Lesson 15 : File IO
Lesson 16 : Arrays
Lesson 17 : Map, Reduce and Filter
Lesson 18 : Hashes
Lesson 19 : Class
Lesson 20 : Exception
Lesson 21 : Grammar
Lesson 22 : Meta Operator
Lesson 23 : Infinite List
Lesson 24 : Custom Operator
Lesson 25 : Package
Lesson 26 : Phasers
Lesson 27 : Dynamic Scope
Lesson 28 : Our Declarator
Lesson 29 : Lazy Iterable
Lesson 30 : MAIN SubRoutine

The lessons might be specifically about the Raku language but in fact they serve as an introduction to programming by means of Raku.For example, the lesson on variables isn't just on how Raku goes about them but also on the underlying concept of what a variable actually is. The same holds true for successive lessons. The next, on Data types, looks at what each of the Integer, the Rational and the String are and then he introduces Expressions and Statements, Functions, Conditionals and Loops.

Lesson 10 - Recursion - marks the beginnings of the more advanced concepts. Parameter Constraints; Multi SubRoutines; Map, Reduce and Filter are at this level too.

So far so good, as the general programming concepts go. After this the tutorials become Raku-specific covering its intricacies, start with Grammars and continuing with Meta Operators, Phasers and the rest. These subjects are likely to be a bit too difficult for the total newbie, that the tutorials assume they are addressing, to grasp. Nevertheless Yanzhan provides a very good overview of the language without going too deep.

Who should watch it then? Here's a checklist:

• Have heard of this brand new and shiny language called Raku and want to check it out?

• Are you a Perl5 Monger looking to find out what the fuss is about?

• Are you a total newbie/student/professional who wants to kickstart its programming endeavour with a post-modern programming language?

If you say "Yes" to any of them, then these tutorials are for you. They are best viewed in the company of a good book, such as Think Perl 6.

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