Revisiting Perl 6, and my first PR

I've been programming in Perl 5 since 2001 or so. In 2012, I took a brief look at Perl 6 just to see what it was all about, and wrote a simple blog entry describing some of the basic changes between P5 and P6. I promptly walked away from the language until a week ago.

Over the course of the last week, I decided that I want to go full-out and really learn the language. My goal was to port my File::Edit::Portable P5 module to P6. This module saves record separators from a file, then when writing back, it re-uses the saved line endings. So if you open a Windows file on a Unix system, it'll re-write the file with the original Windows line endings.

I began reading an intro, which led me to numerous pieces of the official documentation.

The first thing I wanted to test was the foundation of my module... saving the original line endings in a file, so I set out with a very basic understanding of the language to do so. I had some issues, but eventually found a really hacky, non-perl6ish way to ensure this was possible (due to my extremely limited knowledge).

I joined #perl6 on IRC, and started interacting. This morning, someone pointed to an issue with the DBIish module, in that the documentation states that if a specific DB client library wasn't installed, the relevant tests would be skipped. This was not the case for `mysqlclient`. I said that I'd have a look, and submit a PR if I could sort it out.

Without any understanding of the Perl 6 testing infrastructure, I quickly found the issue, fixed the single line that was causing the problem, tested it and submitted a PR, which was quickly merged.

I know that this is a very small contribution, but it's important to me. I feel that it helps solidify my commitment to learning the language, (much like I've been committed to the P5 landscape for a very long time), and shows that I'm willing to give back what has been given to me by others.

Cheers,

-stevieb

2 Comments

This is a great story! Hopefully, we'll see many more PRs from you :)

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About Steve Bertrand

user-pic I'm a poem and lyric writing, hip-hop producing, photographic artist, network engineer and part-time Perl hacker. I've been coding Perl since ~2000 and now I code full time in Python (but I love Perl more).