Since my last use.perl post about Perl's perception issue seemed to generate a moderate amount of interest, I decided to do a bit more research about, well, research. In order for it to be effective, a clear goal needs to be established. I think a first pass at said goal would be "creating the perception of Perl as a modern, useful language." If that alone could be done, most of the other issues might take care of themselves. It will be a tough thing, though. I still talk to people today who don't know Perl has OO programming. We've had OO for fifteen years, but when people still don't know this, we've failed miserably (of course, this might not be a widespread perception problem).
Once a goal is defined, there are two questions which need to be asked before market research is feasible:
In other words, this is something which might need to be a joint effort between P5P and either TPF or Enlightened Perl. Polaris research has a handy guide explaining some market research basics. This is something which could be done. Whether we'd do anything with it or not is the real question.
At times I feel like some people in the Perl community are hoping Perl 5 dies a quiet, dignified death. Do we care about Perl 5, or are all eyes on Rakudo? I certainly hope people still feel there's merit to Perl 5, but if the Perl community gives up on it, why shouldn't the rest of the world?