Every once in a while I'm asked "So what's so special about that language, Perl?". Usually, I try to explain how I find Perl special, how I find it natural, and yet so powerful. Frankly, it's been quiet a while since I'd last written anything in Perl. It's also been more than a year since I'd written here. A few days ago I decided to take Perl out of the shelf, just for mere fun. Suprisingly (or not), I did not forget. Everything goes just (well, almost..) as fluently as it used to. Feels like a natural langauge...

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Re: So much like a natural language
by Zaxo (Archbishop) on Jun 17, 2004 at 23:49 UTC

    That is a stated goal for perl5, and I agree that it succeeds wonderfully. The natural feel of the language is indeed hard to forget, once learned.

    It contributes to my unease about perl6 that the model there appears to be a formal language with an unambiguous grammar, rather than a natural language.

    After Compline,

      I don't think that ambiguity of grammar is what gives Perl 5 it's flexibility and natural feel. I think that Perl 6 - a larger language - will provide many more "ways to do it", and will possibly have even more of that quality you like.

      My Perl 6 unease is that "once learned" clause you added to your statement about Perl 5. When Perl 6 is here, despite the excellent Exegeses and the years of discussion, we are all going to slide some way back down that learning curve.

        I wonder how far in the future is that "When Perl 6 is here" of yours. I would not start worrying today, anyway.... :-)
        I for one welcome a slight slide down the curve of learning. I don't want to sound too pretentious, but I'd like to learn more Perl, and short of ugly things like ioctl and shmget and whatever modules I haven't yet needed, there's not much I can think of. Sure, I could stand to increase my obfuscational abilities, but that's not practical.

        And I could learn Ruby, which is similar to Perl but not Perl, but I wouldn't be using it. I want the enjoyment of discovery with this language, and I haven't had that for quite a few years.

        Jeff[japhy]Pinyan: Perl, regex, and perl hacker, who'd like a job (NYC-area)
        s++=END;++y(;-P)}y js++=;shajsj<++y(p-q)}?print:??;