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Re^15: Curious about Perl's strengths in 2018

by Your Mother (Bishop)
on Apr 24, 2018 at 16:58 UTC ( #1213487=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re^14: Curious about Perl's strengths in 2018
in thread Curious about Perl's strengths in 2018

I doubt that those who were energized and mobilized by the greenfield of Perl6 would have had the intestinal fortitude to attack the problems cited in this thread; which were largely socially bounded anyway.

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Re^16: Curious about Perl's strengths in 2018
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Apr 24, 2018 at 18:53 UTC

    Given how many experienced porters P6 burned out and chased off (Dan, Simon, Chip, Nick, Artur, Hugo, a few more that don't immediately come to mind), I still suspect that things could have been different if all that energy weren't wasted going down a dead end.

      It's unclear to me how P6 was a harsher environment for core contributors than P5 could have, would have been attempting to do similar things against the grain of a fairly ossified culture and spec by tradition; not to be pejorative; I have only praise and gratitude for all porters on all projects; they make my development life possible. It seemed like there was just as much community resistance and apathy for P5 forks as there was for P6.

      From outside the Perlsphere Perl5 is largely considered a dead end and sub signatures and such wouldn't have altered that perception because it's a brand and application/library problem more than a language problem. If we're talking about wasted energy, there is a legitimate case to be made that it's what all Perl devs are expending since there are several good alternatives outstripping Perl in marketshare, new features, and problem domains. Again, that's devil's advocate. I love Perl and only code because Perl exists whether or not it's a cul-de-sac in which my career may be forever parked.

        It's unclear to me how P6 was a harsher environment for core contributors than P5 could have

        In some ways it was and in some ways it wasn't.

        P6 had the permission to break everything because it had no users and it had a hand-waved "compatibility" plan that still doesn't work. There was rarely any pressure to deliver anything useful and usable because there were no users and no schedules, and it suffered for a long time because of that.

        That lack of market pressure produced a lack of technical leadership, and you can see it in the fights between Dan and Leo, for example. It's difficult to build the right thing when you don't know what to build and it's very difficult to say no to the wrong things when you don't know what to build.

        At the same time, Perl had no permission to break anything because P6 held it back for so long. Not only was P6 the future version destined to replace Perl, it had Larry's full attention and was subject to Rule 1 and Rule 2 design.

        If I take solace in much from that debacle, it's that Perl has adopted the monthly/yearly release cadence that worked for us in Parrot as well as a deprecation policy (even if it didn't work so well for Parrot).

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