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kid51 (5328)

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Journal of kid51 (5328)

Sunday January 04, 2009
10:23 PM

Seek better response to "How Is Perl 6 Doing?"

[ #38219 ]
I often attend other (non-Perl) user groups in New York City -- mostly Linux and BSD groups. From time to time, when I identify myself as a Perl programmer, I am asked -- or, should I say, I am taunted with -- the question, "How is Perl 6 coming along?"

Now, up until two years ago, I simply ignored that question, because I had my hands full learning to become a good Perl 5 programmer and had no time/tuits to follow anything related to Perl 6.

But since I was recruited to the Parrot project in November 2006, I've had to take that question more seriously. My stock response goes like this:

I don't have the time to follow developments in the Perl 6 language specification. I do follow the development of the Parrot virtual machine. We expect to have our 1.0 release during the first half of 2009. You can view the Parrot roadmap.

Of course, that's not the response that the questioner was looking for. So what I would like to know is if there is one site to which I can direct such questioners which says:

1. How complete is the development of the Perl 6 language specification.

2. What percentage of the completed Perl 6 language specification has been implemented on Parrot (Rakudo)?

If we don't have such a site, what would be the obstacles to developing one?

Thank you very much.

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  • No, there's no such site. I'd love it if there was one. Nothing stands in the way, other than someone needing to manage the project, understand the tasks (for some value of "tasks"), and let us (and the project) know what's left.

    There have been many attempts to put such a thing together, but all aimed at different audiences, and they never have been maintained so far as I know.



  • I didn't reply before because I didn't have to contribute what you're looking for, but I was pointed at this again today and you've only got one reply... so... here goes.

    The Exegesis and so on are pretty good. It's hard to say how complete they are until people have been using an implementation of it for a while. That's the nature of the beast. You don't know how much further until you get there, and in this case, that's a function of observing people use what you've made for a while.

    The (I forgot what i

    • [People] looked at Perl 5 and said, "We can do better". That's the wrong kind of hubris.

      Anyone who's patched Perl 5 and hasn't thought "We can do better" has insufficient imagination.

      No one helped Audrey. Or few people did.

      I tried. Pugs was unusable. This approach did not work. Note that for any perceived or real flaws in the Rakudo approach, it makes visible progress toward its goals every week, and visible, dramatic progress in every stable monthly release.

      Perl 5 has a runops and pp_hot.c that fit

    • Now let's talk about Rakudo. [...] If you have a language, such as BCPL, you change the parser to accept your new language, such as B. Then you slowly start changing the source code of the BCPL compiler to include B as its deemed safe.

      If this is the approach you advocate, then your comment is more properly a criticism of Perl 6, not of Rakudo. I'll note that when Larry wrote his parser for Perl 6, he didn't start by modifying an existing one either. I suspect that's because there weren't any parsers in

      • I'm kind of sad to see you reply. I like to think that my kind of prattling on is completely off the radar of the people actually doing the work.

        It's true that Perl 1 kind of came out of no-where. I don't know the early-early history here. Did Larry peek at awk's grammar and copy bits from it? I don't know.

        I also know the Perl 5 parser is a bit horrifying and the muckiness of all of that is a lot of the catalyst for Perl 6, but, in theory, one approach to writing a Perl 6 grammar would be to hack up Per

        • I think you overestimate the difficulty of writing a parser for a language and greatly underestimate the difficulty of equipping a two-decades-old runtime with evaluation semantics like laziness that it was never designed for. The BCPLBC example is somewhat of a red herring in this because all of the languages are in the “portable assembly” class largely defined by ALGOL, without significant differences in evaluation semantics or memory model.

          I made a very small proposal for 5.12 and it took a []

          • I'm confused. I said that the ideal case of morphing one language into another did not apply to Perl 5 and acknowledged that one of the primary reasons for a rewrite was the Perl 5 core.

            Can you double check that I said what you thought I did?