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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • You say:

    Number of stable Rakudo (Perl 6 on Parrot) releases since the Perl 6 project began in summer 2000: 17.

    Patrick's latest release announcement [perl.org] says:

    On behalf of the Rakudo development team, I'm pleased to announce the May 2009 development release of Rakudo Perl #17 "Stockholm".

    (and the previous 3 announcements are similar - I didn't check further than that.

    • If I recall correctly, the intent behind the wording of Rakudo's release announcements -- as well as its version numbers -- is to reduce the possibility of people expecting that any monthly release represents the whole of Perl 6.0.

      I hate the linguistic games around "stable" and "maintenance" and "development" almost as much as I hate the magical thinking around version numbers.

      With that said, I use the word "stable" to mean "passes tests on supported platforms" and "performs as intended". It's not the final point of development, but it's a well-known collection of working features that represents a measurable improvement over the previous release. We don't randomly slap together a tarball because "it's been a while since the last release and we should get something out there." Similarly, my opinion (I will not put words in Patrick's mouth) is that "development" does not mean "Oh my goodness, someone please download this tarball and tell me if it works!"

      Note however that the CPAN site implies strongly that Perl 5.10 is a testing release not intended for stable production environments [cpan.org].

      • Rakudo uses the phrase "development release" primarily as a way of indicating "No, we aren't claiming that it's Christmas yet." More formally, it's an explicit recognition that there are significant portions of the Perl 6 specification that Rakudo doesn't support yet.

        We don't (yet?) make any official claims about Rakudo's suitability for given purposes. Do I think Rakudo is ready today for a wide variety of general-purpose applications? No. Can I conceive that Rakudo today could be usable for more than