Perl 12

Many people are saying that Perl 5 should be renamed. I disagree. Perl is Perl. That's what makes it great. However, I agree that the 5.x version naming is a burden for people who want to advocate the modern relevance of Perl. So, why don't we just drop the "5."?

Perl 12. The current version of Perl is 12.1. That looks right to me. It just fits. Perl 12.x (and 14.x, etc...) just makes more sense because it conveys that Perl is mature (it is) and it has a healthy schedule of stable major releases (it does.)

This idea is not unprecedented.

Is it Solaris 5 or 10?

  ~> uname -r

Is it Java 1 or 6?

  ~> java -version
  java version "1.6.0_16"

I'm sure that there are other examples of this.

Nothing technical has to change. Perl 12.x will still be Perl 5.12.x when you install it on your system just like Java 6 is Java 1.6 and Solaris 10 is Solaris 5.10. Only the marketing and the nomenclature would change.

What about Perl 6? Well, Perl 6 isn't really the next version of Perl 5, right? Perl 6 is a language specification, and Rakudo 1 is an implementation of Perl 6.x. I don't see the Perl 12 nomenclature interfering with Perl 6 or its implementation(s).


Thanks, man. I could certainly live with Perl 12. I'd go further and release Perl 5.14 as Perl 6 and let Rakudo be an experimental playground....

This idea is not unprecedented.

Actually, the program that invented this trick (AFAIK) was Emacs. Version 1.12 was followed by version 13 back in 1985.

It seems awfully silly to assume that Perl 5 has sole claim to the name "Perl" now and forever. Perhaps you should ask the guy who came up with the name "Perl" for his opinion.

This is why I like the fact that the perl -v output format was slightly changed for 5.12. It now says:

"This is perl 5, version 12"

That indicates that it's the 12th release of the language Perl 5. Previously, it would say, e.g. "This is perl, v5.8.8" which is a little more ambiguous.

That's a terrible idea. I really have always despised the engineering version number versus marketing version number difference of Java, Oracle, and other products. It's confusing. It's stupid.

If anything needs renaming it's Perl 6, it's not really the successor to Perl 5 anymore. It's a new language.

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About Jesse Thompson

user-pic I blog about Perl.