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davorg (18)

davorg
  dave@dave.org.uk
http://dave.org.uk/
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Journal of davorg (18)

Friday November 25, 2005
04:40 AM

How Old Is Perl?

[ #27736 ]

According to the introduction of "Open Sources 2.0" (which, helpfully, is online) Larry Wall has led the Perl community for "more than 20 years". According to perlhist, Perl 1.0 was released on 12th December 1987. I know which one I trust most.

Don't these people check simple facts? I know it's a small thing, but it would have been simple enough to check. And had they said "almost 20 years" I would have let it pass without comment.

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  • Suppose Perl6 version 1.0 is going to be released by Christmas 2007. And in November 2025, "Open Sources 5.0" is going to write that Larry has led the Perl6 community for "more than 20 years". They wouldn't be wrong. They wouldn't even be wrong if they write that Larry has led the Perl6 community for more than 25 years.

    Communities can exist before a product is released, perl6 being a prime example. There wasn't a Perl community before 1987, but simply checking perlhist doesn't reveal that.

    • It's amazing how the most pedantic of pedants can be willing to be forgiving to their favourite cause. P6 doesn't have a community, it has a lot of p5 optimists. It's sort of like calling a shantytown of hoboes a community for future homeowners. Kids today....It's a pity we can't go back to the time before 'community' became the buzzword as then we might actually have one again.
  • If you extend "the Perl community" to include some additional territory from within the open source nation, then the 20 years is true. Just consider patch, configure, rn, and warp to be the earlier portions of the Larry Wall state, and perl is the new town in that state. Or you could just say that they messed up their fact a bit.
    • i know "patch" is Larry work, but didnt know about configure,rn and warp.
      What is rn and warp ?!

      tia
      • rn [wikipedia.org].

        Wikipedia doesn't seem to know Warp, but it's a space war game.
        • Warp is a space war game from the mid 80's. It was designed in the days of ASCII terminals, which could be from a huge variety of manufacturers running mutually incompatible protocols, so you controlled them using termcap / curses. So the "graphics" are quite primitive by today's standards. Hmm, I wonder if it would still be compilable, I'll have to look around for the source code.
      • You mean metaconfig, not configure (which generally refers to the GNU autoconf, at least nowadays).

  • Something like this [google.com] seems to suggest that perl has been around since about February of 1987.