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Perl 6
Perl 6 Executive Summary

  • Perl 6 is a comprehensive redesign of Perl that aims to {greatly streamline and powerfully extend} the Perl 5 ecosystem.
    • Perl 6's many new built-in features greatly advance the Perl tradition of highly-capable, feature-rich programming. Here are some of those features:
      • Multimethods, coroutines, continuations, currying, signatures, captures, exceptions
      • Powerful yet convenient object-oriented programming, generics, roles
      • Functional programming primitives, {lazy and eager} evaluation, junctions, autothreading, hyperoperators (vector operators)
      • Definable grammars for {pattern matching and generalized string processing}, with many other powerful extensions
      • Advanced introspection and meta-programming
      • {Extensible and overridable} {Perl 6 primitives and Perl 6 grammar}, language-level macros
      • Module aliasing and versioning, optional static/gradual typing
      • Full Unicode processing support
      • Garbage collection
      • Greatly-improved foreign function interface
      • Optional Tyoing System
    • See The Long Perl 6 Super-Feature List for the long overview.
  • Perl 6 has a fun-driven community: writing Perl 6 compilers is fun, developing applications in Perl 6 is fun, and so is dealing with friendly, intelligent people.
  • Perl 6 will support its still-advancing big sister (Perl 5), and future versions of both languages will support increasing degrees of interoperability.
  • Perl 6 is defined by the Perl 6 test suite (which are in turn based on the Perl 6 language design documents), not by conformance to a reference implementation (as Perl 5 was).
  • While Perl 6 has been an infamously long time in development (see below), it has been relentlessly advancing along the long road to "industrial strength" over the last few years.
    • New pre-1.0 releases of Perl 6 are now made on a routine monthly schedule.
    • This long gestation period has allowed Perl 6 to make many important refinements on the basis of early implementations.
    • The Rakudo Star release of Perl 6 on Parrot is due out in spring, 2010. This pre-1.0 release is intended to be practically usable by early Perl 6 developers.

One piece of FUD I hear from executives and friends is that "because Perl has no types, it can't be used to build large systems, and isn't as good as Java." To address this misperception, I suggest putting Perl 6's typing in a bullet by itself near the top, e.g. "Optional typing that is both powerful and flexible, moreso than typing in any other language".

contributed by james@hidden on Jul 3 2:43pm


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