Thought for the day: Perl 5 is English; Perl 6 is Esperanto.

Esperanto may be a saner language than English in every way.

But English is the language of Shakespeare, of Milton, of Byron, of Dylan Thomas; the language of Arthur Conan-Doyle and Agatha Christie; the language of Tolkien and C S Lewis; of Lewis Carroll and Beatrix Potter. It's the language of Stoker and Shelley.

Wikipedia notes that over 100 original novels have been published in Esperanto. Big woop-dee-doo(!)

I want to be able to use Perl 6 day to day, but not if that involves missing out on Perl 5's literature (i.e. CPAN).


People have been comparing Perl with English since the early days of Perl 1-5, mostly due to Larry's formal education background. Today it makes me want to look up which other programming languages are designed by a linguist.

As with the Perl 6, existing Perl 5 programmers can readily understand a significant part of Perl 6 just by its similarity to Perl 5, but the lack of a real implementation holds it back. All new languages (be it Esperanto or Perl 6) must face the chicken-and-egg problem, but in Perl 6's case somehow the language can only be used in a special audio lab and not on the streets or even at home. This severely limits its usefulness and thus its uptake.

Speaking of CPAN, what's the solution for a Perl 6 CPAN? I found an old Stack Overflow question that directed me to Is this still the alternative at the moment or can Perl 6 module authors use the same CPAN that Perl 5 is using?

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About Toby Inkster

user-pic I'm tobyink on CPAN, IRC and PerlMonks.