Perl 6
State of the Onion: Revision 2
  • The State of the Onion 15 (2011)
  • The State of the Onion 14 (2010)
  • The State of the Onion 13 (2009)
  • The State of the Onion 12 (2008)
  • The State of the Onion 11 (2007)
    • Themes: (Title) "Programming is Hard, Let's Go Scripting..." Describes the many dimensions of programming languages and how to reconcile them into a generalist language like Perl 6.
    • Notable points and quotes:
      • "Human languages therefore differ not so much in what you can say but in what you must say. In English, you are forced to differentiate singular from plural. In Japanese, you don't have to distinguish singular from plural, but you do have to pick a specific level of politeness, taking into account not only your degree of respect for the person you're talking to, but also your degree of respect for the person or thing you're talking about. So languages differ in what you're forced to say."
      • "Obviously, if your language forces you to say something, you can't be concise in that particular dimension using your language. Which brings us back to scripting."
      • "How many ways are there for different scripting languages to be concise?"
      • "Language designers have many degrees of freedom. I'd like to point out just a few of them."
      • ""
  • The State of the Onion 10 (2006)
    • Themes: Organizational structures in nature and technology. Families. Evolution of Perl. Perl 6's multiple programming paradigms.
    • Notable points and quotes:
      • "From time to time, people have suggested that Perl 6 is sufficiently different from Perl 5 that she should be given a new name. But we don't usually rename our kids when they grow up."
      • "If there's a particular problem that Perl is trying to solve, it's the basic fact that all programming languages suck. Sort of the concept of original sin, applied to programming languages."
      • "Perl has always been about letting you care about the things you want to care about, while not caring about the things you don't want to care about, or that maybe you're not quite ready to care about yet. That's how Perl achieves both its accessibility and its power. We've just baked more of that "who cares?" philosophy into Perl 6."
      • "Reconciling the seemingly irreconcilable is part of why Perl 6 taking so long. We want to understand the various tensions that have surfaced as people have tried to use and extend Perl 5. In fact, just as Perl 1 was an attempt to digest Unix Culture down into something more coherent, you can view Perl 6 as an attempt to digest CPAN down into something more coherent."
  • The State of the Onion 9 (2005)
    • Themes: Spooks, organizations, plus (human and software) roles, traits, properties, and mixins.
    • Notable points and quotes:
      • "I probably shouldn't point this out, but we've been planning Perl 6 for five years now."
  • The State of the Onion 8 (2004)
    • Themes: Screensaver analogies for programming and language design.
    • Notable points and quotes:
      • Larry discussed some of his series serious medical problems that took a huge chunk of time out of his Perl 6 design work.
      • "This is how other people view my thinking. I spend a certain amount of time bouncing all over the cognitive map, then I'll perseverate in a particular area for a while, and then I'll take a flying mental leap to something that seems to the observer to be totally unrelated. They aren't unrelated, but they are long-range links. You know — all that six degrees of separation stuff. You need the long links as well as the short ones to make your graph work that way. There, my mentioning that is another example of just that sort of mental leap. This screensaver tends to look like a random walk generated by a person with attention deficit disorder. I don't have ADHD. I tend to perseverate and not get distracted when I should get distracted. If anything, I have Asperger's syndrome, or some kind of mild autism. My good friend Tom Christiansen, who does have ADHD, once said jokingly that I have "task-switching deficit" disorder. He's probably right on that. Certainly I seem to be stuck on this Perl thing. I've been stuck there for more than 15 years now. People think I make these long mental leaps all the time, but they're all in the scope of this one picture. In my mind, everything relates to Perl, one way or another."
  • The State of the Onion 7 (2003)
  • The State of the Onion 6 (2002)
    • Themes: Somewhat random.
    • Notable points and quotes:
      • "I think the biggest compliment I've gotten so far about Perl 6 was from someone on Slashdot who said, "I'm surprised that Larry has been able to escape his preconceptions as well as he has.""
      • "But two years ago Perl 5 had already started dying, because people were starting to see it as a dead-end language. It seemed odd at the time, but when we announced Perl 6, Perl 5 suddenly took on a new life. We shouldn't have been surprised. When people have a vision for the future of a language, the current language doesn't seem inferior any more."
      • "Let me put this bluntly. If we'd done Perl 6 on a schedule, you'd have it by now. And it would be crap. Perl 6 will be ready when all the inputs are there, and all the event-driven decision circuits have had a chance to make their decisions. We're not the least bit afraid to slip our schedule, because we don't have a schedule. We just have a plan."
  • The State of the Onion 5 (2001)
  • The State of the Onion 4 (2000)
    • Themes: Music and sound analogies for Perl programming. How to orchestrate the Perl community and culture. First brief mention of Perl 6 at end of talk.
    • Notable points and quotes:
      • "Perl 6 is going to be designed by the community. We're going to be doing some jamming. I'll still be exercising some artistic control over the language itself, but instead of playing off a score, I'm going to be playing off charts now and you're going to be seeing a lot of people improvising melodies of their own and interweaving them creatively in ways that will make Perl 6 much better than Perl 5, just as Perl 5 was much better than Perl 4, and if you know anything about me, you know I take the promised land quite seriously. We're all going to march in there someday. ((Plays music.)) I'm jazzed. ((Applause.))"
  • The State of the Onion 3 (1999)
  • The State of the Onion 2 (1998)
  • The State of the Onion 1 (1997)

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