Perl 6 Status

Today, from Freenode's #perl6:

01:41 < zzzzzzzzzz> Is there no site that gives a current status of Perl6 work
that a non-guru could follow?

01:42 < zzzzzzzzzz> Most of the hits under are ca.
2010 and even is close
to two months old.


01:47 < zzzzzzzzzz> That's the impression I get but I have a hard
time getting much farther than that. For example, "what
exactly do I download to start learning, and why those bits
instead of other bits?"


01:52 < zzzzzzzzzz> Whichever. A site that took a snapshot of the state every
quarter or two would make it a lot easier for relative
noobs to get up to speed and start learning things.

This is a feeling I've shared for a while. Working out where Perl 6 is takes a bit of archeology, trying to figure out what the Compiler Feature matrix means.

Anyway, I've taken a stab at trying to create a very short, simple, regularly updated set of answers:, hopefully accessible to Perl 5 developers and random other developers. It's on Github (there's a link in there), so if you think I've gotten something wrong, or want to update it, please send me a pull request.


would you be open to a patch that outlines the relationship between Perl5 and Perl6? This is still clearly a frustrating and FUD prone topic. Something like:

What in the relationship between Perl5 and Perl6?

Although Perl6 was originally envisioned as the next great version of Perl, the community now deems Perl5 and Perl6 as separate projects with separate development teams and project goals. Perl5 continues to flourish into its 3rd decade and there is no plan for it to cease development anytime soon. (maybe some relevant link here??)

jjn1056 wrote:

Although Perl6 was originally envisioned as the next great version of Perl, the community now deems Perl5 and Perl6 as separate projects

There doesn't seem to be a clear position on that. For example, look at this talk from Liz, in particular:

  • never bought the sister language argument
  • Perl is evolving, and this is it
  • The new Perl is Perl 6

yeah the whole, 'they are separate languages' is more of a political move to try and resolve the issues between the communities. In my mind the harm done to Perl by insisting Perl6 is going to replace Perl5 significantly outweighs any benefits I can understand. The 'two languages, one family' thing is a compromise the at least promises to keep the peace. Not sure why someone wouldn't want to embrace that.


I hate to even have to bring it up, but I feel I am forced to because as a working Perl5 programmer one of my unpaid job duties is fighting FUD and convincing my peers that Perl is not a weird programming choice. The existence of confusion around Perl6 makes that job harder. This is actually a serious matter for me, since I program Perl5 not just for fun, its how I support my family, so its not game without consequence. Anything we can do to help fight that FUD is worth doing. Perhaps the statement could be worded differently such as to not annoy Perl6 hobbyists. However I think its worthwhile since I still regularly see articles attacking Perl and using Perl6 as part of that attack (see which made the front page of Slashdot earlier this month). If you create a webpage like this its going to end up in Google and someone might find it that was not following Perl development close enough to understand that Perl5 continues to evolve.

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About Peter Sergeant

user-pic I blog about Perl.