Rakudo is ...

I'm not entirely sure why so many people are benchmarking Rakudo. The dev team knows that Rakudo is slow. The decision to not optimise for performance is deliberate. It's far more important to make the code correct because fast code which is incorrect isn't very helpful.

Despite our knowing what's going on, I see many people who haven't followed the Perl 6 development process (which would be just about everybody) complaining that this new language they've heard about is incredibly slow. I fear that so much talk about how sloooooow Rakudo is will start to define Rakudo in the minds of many.

We should be blogging about the neat things we can do with Rakudo. Try to create positive associations. All of this talk about performance, particularly when the dev team made it explicitly clear that they weren't focusing on performance yet, is just going to earn Rakudo a black mark.

12 Comments

I think the Perl 6 spec should be smaller. Save some details for 6.1.

If the spec was smaller, the correctness work could be done sooner, and the performance work could begin sooner.

I think the Perl 6 spec should be smaller. Save some details for 6.1.

I disagree. I don't think should come any time soon. IMO the core innovation of Perl6 is that it is flexible and moldable enough not to need a 6.1 any time soon. Throwing that away is throwing out the baby with the bath water IMNSHO.

"Why can't you just (reduce the scope of the spec)?" has come up before. What features would you delay until Perl 6.1 or 6.2? Remember, if you don't get forward and backward feature compatibility right, you never get another chance.

The second half of my comment on chromatic's last blog entry explains my take on this exact issue.

The tl;dr version: this reminds me of the first releases of Java, 15 years ago. Today, Java is one of the most prevalent languages, and is far faster than it was back then.

Rakudo's performance today is a non-issue if you put it in perspective.

I wonder how Rakudo Perl 6 performance compares e.g. to Ruby

@jnareb, why are you wondering about performance at all, let alone compared to another language? Have you even read Ovid's post? Performance at this point in time is not a factor. Just drop it.

I'd go so far as to say the hidden agenda here is to /deliberately/ give Rakudo a bad name.

I was surprised when I first saw Rakudos performance in a small script. My immediate thougt was: OMG if it's that slow now, how slow will it be when finished?

Of course I was completely wrong and I was pleased to learn that Rakudo / Perl 6 / Perl (but that's a completely different issue) will be much faster in the future.

At the moment I'm very positive about Rakudo and I hope to start being productive with it as soon as possible.

We should also blog a lot about how positive the development of Perl 6 is for Perl 5 now as important features get / got "backported".

Before you really make it fast, all positive words are just too weak to be heard of.

Ovid, I am not sure why are you surprised. Anyone trying to use Rakudo now will encounter this extream slowness and then they will try to do the only thing they can - measure it.

 

They can't appreciate the power of it as that would require a lot more investment in their part and many, especially those who already come to (back) to Perl with suspition will not want to invest that time.

 

I think this is natural.

 

IMHO we should keep doing our respective thing we are good at and also encourage the people who spend their time on making Rakudo and Parrot better and faster.

 

We should keep showing the qualities of Perl 6 in blogs and other ways.

Oh and just to clarify the previous post, I am very happy with people who do invest in learning Perl 6 even after they saw, measure and publish the slowness.

I don't find the slowness a real problem. I really appreciate perl6, coding in it is a joy. It has a powerful feel to it. (The speed is a lot better now)

It is a difficult process developing a new and innovative language.

It is too bad that people don't appreciate the amount of work, which is put into it. Every language needs some early adopters. I hope people pick it up, it would be a pity if it vanished.

Is there something like cpan for perl6? I couldn't find anything like it. I was planning to use perl6 for system administration scripts. It would be nice if it is possible to share libraries in an easy way.

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About Ovid

user-pic Have Perl; Will Travel. Freelance Perl/Testing/Agile consultant. Photo by http://www.circle23.com/. Warning: that site is not safe for work. The photographer is a good friend of mine, though, and it's appropriate to credit his work.