Why are people asking for a Perl name change again?
There has recently recently been an increase people asking, seriously or in jest, for Perl 5 and/or Perl 6 to be renamed and others offering rebuffals of various types. You could say a heated debate seems to be going on.
However, one thing stands out here: It does not seem to be clear to either party exactly why the party is saying what it is saying. And when the realization arrives, some realize that it should be fairly obvious and stop arguing, but do not make their realization public, leaving others to make the same mistake.
As such, i'll try to put it into the most simple words i can here:
The existence of Perl 6 means that for the decision makers in IT, the managers and CEOs who are not even programmers, Perl 5 appears to be obsolete.
This is not a language issue, this is not a feature issue, this is not a community issue. This is entirely an issue of marketing Perl 5 to the people who control the money, because they decide which developers to hire and what languages to train their developers in and which language to use in their next project. Many of them will not make the decision based on how shiny Moose, Dancer or Mojolicious are, or how many modules there are on CPAN. They will make the decision based on gut feeling and on how well they can sell it to shareholders.
The name Perl 6 implies to non-technical people that it is newer and better than Perl 5 and that Perl 5 is abandoned and a waste of time and money to invest in. There is a lot of vibrancy and activity in the Perl 5 community, with new tools and toys springing up weekly and improvements being made to the core regularly, but this is only visible to programmers, people who are on the ground and working on it.
People who ask for name changes do not do it so they can effect great upsets in the Perl development. Perl 5 has had a great many upsets since it was first called Perl 5.
People ask for name changes so they can show the rest of the world just how alive Perl 5 really is.