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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • And Perl 6 has just come too late to save the day.

    Can I borrow your time machine? I have two business plans that require backwards time travel. While I'm there, I might as well release a version of Perl 6.

    • Hello chromatic

      It might be because I am not a native english speaker but I think I don't understand the meaning of your comment. Anyway, since it sounds sarcastic, I could hazard a reply.

      I don't mean to offend anybody, nor I want to denigrate the work that many people are donating to the project.

      Nevertheless, during these seven years Perl has lost a lot of audience, that's the real thing. And even if Perl6 came out today it is not going to regain it all. It will retain the current audience of Perl5, and may
      • Nevertheless, during these seven years Perl has lost a lot of audience, that's the real thing.

        How do you measure that?

        And even if [Perl 6] came out today it is not going to regain it all. It will retain the current audience of [Perl 5], and maybe gain some more, but the old times are gone. Definitely.

        How do you measure that? Perl 6 isn't out yet. If it's not going to be successful, I want to know so I can stop wasting my time.

        If you think it won't succeed, that's fine, and we can discuss that o

        • by bronto (1193) on 2007.11.20 16:50 (#59117) Homepage Journal
          Hello chromatic

          Yes: I think that Perl6 is not going to gain a sensitive audience compared to what Perl5 has. That's what I wrote, it's my own, personal opinion, and in fact it is in my blog on FSM (no, it was not an article).

          Let me stress again that I am not scorning what you and other people are doing to make Perl6 finally dock. Being into the "free software movement" (for whatever it means) for many years I know that people does what they can, when they can, and unless some "external intervention" comes up, no one can tell when a certain piece of software will be released (Debian GNU/Linux, my favourite distribution, is one good example of that).

          I am not saying that Perl6 is going to fail. No, not at all. Go back, read it again. I'm not saying that.

          I'm not criticizing the amount of effort you and others are putting into Perl6. No. My opinion is that you will succeed in improving the language and empower the people that are currently using Perl5 and all those that will want to give Perl a try. Nobody's questioning Perl5 power (not me), and nobody is saying that Perl6 would be worse than Perl5 (not me, again). I am talking about my personal feelings on the matter, that are shared by someone (like larsen on or Roland Lammel here on FSM...), and not shared by others (like you).

          About the point that popularity was not a goal for Perl6, I remember an article I read years ago that I can't find again (if someone has a pointer that would be greatly apreciated). That article told of a meeting about Perl's future held at OSCON2000, with Larry Wall and all other Perl's "core people" of that time. In that meeting someone (maybe brian d foy?) strongly said that if something didn't change, Perl was not going to succumb to Java and all the other emerging languages of the time. From that one could deduce that along the goal of making Perl better than Perl, there was also the goal to make Perl more popular.

          I'm sure the objective of making Perl6 better than Perl5 will be achieved.

          What I am questioning is that Perl6 is not going to make Perl more popular than before. And no metrics exist for that (as well as there probably aren't to measure whether Perl6 will be better than Perl5). These are opinions. If we talk about a "measurable" demonstration of an opinion, we are not talking about an opinion anymore, but about a truth. That's why I am not sure it does make sense to discuss the matter this way (in fact, I think this could be more spoiling for Perl6 thank my opinion alone).

          But since you ask for numbers and facts, I'll do my best to bring them. Done that, I'm not going to discuss anymore unless the discussion cools a bit.

          If you take the "State of the Onion" of 1999, Larry Wall showed a little statistic based on the job offers in (see []). Not finding any detail about that research anymore, I did my own little research a few hours ago for the following keywords:

              * java
              * c++
              * c#
              * Visual Basic
              * Javascript
              * perl
              * PHP
              * python
              * cobol
              * ruby
              * smalltalk

          Note I: c#, PHP ruby are newcomers compared to 1999 research;
          Note II: the following numbers for Visual Basic are the sum of the research for "VB" and "Visual Basic"

          This is what came out at around 15:30 GMT+1 on Sunday, November 18th:

                1. java 17169
                2. c++ 8424
                3. c# 7656
                4. Visual Basic 7228
                5. Javascript 6771
                6. Perl 5768
                7. PHP 2384
                8. python 1335
                9. cobol 1146
              10. ruby 672
              11. smalltalk 68

          So we have Perl at 6th place, 5th if you leave the C# newcomer out. Compared to the 1999 research, this is a -3/-2 places.

          If we take the newcomers into account, perl has 9.84%; it's difficult to tell from the graphs how much it had in 1999 precisely, but it doesn't look that bad. If we don't take newcomers into account and we limit ourselves at the 1999 competitors, we have a 12.04%.

          Now, every statistic should be interpreted. My interpretation is that Perl is less requested than more other languages, which means to me that it is less popular than before. By the way, it is almost keeping its market share, which means to me that he's keeping its old audience while the other emerging languages are competing between them for the top of the chart.

          Now you have numbers, but you had opinions again -interpreting a statistic is giving an opinion, isn't it?

          There could be more things to say, but this comment is too long already.

          • I'm trying to understand your argument. Emerging languages -- that is, languages released after Perl 5 -- are more popular than established languages and are crowding them out. No matter how new or different Perl 6 is from Perl 5, it will always be an established language and can never hope to be more popular than Perl 5 because it can never be an emerging language.

            Do I have your argument correct, or am I missing something?

            • Hello chromatic

              thanks for asking. No, I am not saying that.

              Let's take Java, for example.

              What I am saying, and that's just my personal opinion, is that Perl6 should have come before to better compete with, say, Java.

              One thing was trying to compete with Java 7 years ago, now it's a different matter. In the last 7 years Java has heavily deepened its roots into the ground, and it looks difficult to me for Perl6 to erode a sensitive portion of Java's user base.

              Different reasons apply to other languages (e.g.: wi
              • Okay, I'm glad you asked.

                I don't speak for @Larry, but I don't care about eroding any of Java's user base with Perl 6. Not at all.

                The way I figure it, there are at most a few dozen million existing programmers in the world, and they all have their own preferences for language and language family and platform and all of that. That's fine. They can use what they prefer and it doesn't really affect me.

                I care a lot more about the six billion non-programmers, specifically about making a good language th