Perl 6
Larry Wall's Talks: Revision 5

"Perl, the first postmodern computer language"

  • This talk was presented at LinuxWorld Spring 1999. Although it predates the formal birth of Perl 6, it very much reflects the thinking that prompted the initiation of Perl 6.
  • Some notable quotes:
    • “Perl is humble. It doesn't try to tell the programmer how to program. It lets the programmer decide what rules today, and what sucks. It doesn't have any theoretical axes to grind. And where it has theoretical axes, it doesn't grind them. Perl doesn't have any agenda at all, other than to be maximally useful to the maximal number of people. To be the duct tape of the Internet, and of everything else.”
    • “Perl does one thing, and does it well. What it does well is to integrate all its features into one language. More importantly, it does this without making them all look like each other. Ducts shouldn't look like girders, and girders shouldn't look like ducts.”
    • “The very fact that it's possible to write messy programs in Perl is also what makes it possible to write programs that are cleaner in Perl than they could ever be in a language that attempts to enforce cleanliness.”
    • “When I started designing Perl, I explicitly set out to deconstruct all the computer languages I knew and recombine or reconstruct them in a different way, because there were many things I liked about other languages, and many things I disliked. I lovingly reused features from many languages. (I suppose a Modernist would say I stole the features, since Modernists are hung up about originality.) Whatever the verb you choose, I've done it over the course of the years from C, sh, csh, grep, sed, awk, Fortran, COBOL, PL/I, BASIC-PLUS, SNOBOL, Lisp, Ada, C++, and Python. To name a few. To the extent that Perl rules rather than sucks, it's because the various features of these languages ruled rather than sucked. … But note something important here. I left behind more than I took. A lot more. In modern terms, there was a lot of stuff that sucked. … I picked the feature set of Perl because I thought they were cool features. I left the other ones behind because I thought they sucked. … More than that, I combined these cool features in a way that makes sense to me as a postmodern linguist, not in a way that makes sense to the typical Modernistic computer scientist.”

"Present Continuous, Future Perfect"

1 Introduction - Where Perl Draws Ideas From
2 How Perl Entered the Unix Universe (2:06)
3 Why Perl Evolved As It Did (3:54)
4 Irrationalities in Other Languages (5:54)
5 Linguistics (8:22)
6 Anthropology (11:10)
7 Other Sciences (12:14)
8 Fan Mail (14:42)
9 Future Perfect (17:25)
10 Goals and Meta-Goals (20:33)
11 Simplifications (24:00)
12 Regularizations (27:49)
13 Object Orientation
14 Functional Programming
15 Regular Expressions

Yearly "State of the Onion" Talks

  • State of the Onion
  • These are Larry Wall's yearly Perl status reports, with much humor-infested commentary on Perl 6 design philosophy, processes, and illuminating insights.

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