Perl 6 lives!

So Perl 6 has been officially released.

By Christmas.

Just as I always promised (...for, ahem, so many years in a row ;-)

And now that we've arrived at this joyous and long-anticipated day, now that we officially have this extraordinary and beautiful language at our disposal, now that the project that has consumed half of my own professional life has finally reached its first great milestone ...what can I say?

I could perhaps reflect on the long, often lonely, sometimes painful, struggle to bring this language into existence. On the endless fear, uncertainly, and doubt from a sceptical world. But that is only history now, irrelevant, and largely obscured by the memory of the tireless support and patience and faith of so many loyal friends and supportive colleagues.

I could certainly wax lyrical on how remarkable is the achievement. But there is really no need. Perl 6 speaks eloquently for itself: an astonishingly powerful modern multiparadigm language that nevertheless preserves an essential Perlishness. A language in which writing code is once again a pleasure, and often a joy.

I could easily ponder the bright possibilities going forward. How remarkably good a teaching language Perl 6 could be. How exceptional a platform for new special-purpose languages. How ideal a glue language. How deeply optimizable on current and future architectures. But you will soon discover those benefits—and many more besides—for yourselves.

So, instead, after all this work, after all this time, and after all this communal accomplishment, I will just say: "Thank-you"

Thank-you to every person who ever believed in this huge and seemingly endless project. To everyone who ever contributed a suggestion, an idea, an insight, an hour of their valuable time, a dollar of their invaluable financial support, or even just a single word of their encouragement.

Thank-you to the many many people who devoted themselves to our shared task over the past decade and a half: to the hundreds of people who responded with ideas and requests during the initial RFC process; to the tireless members of the early design team who helped make sense of all that input; to the enthusiastic captains and crews of the early Parrot and Pugs and Niecza and Yapsi implementation teams, to the scores of extraordinary developers who collectively created and refined and perfected Rakudo. To every person who gave of their time and their talents to turn that long-ago dream of a new Perl into the reality of today's Perl 6.

But, above all, thank-you to the man whose genius, whose humility, whose insight, whose patience, and whose dedication to—and love for—the whole Perl community, lies at the very heart of this remarkable achievement. To Larry Wall.

I know I speak for every person who has had the privilege of working alongside Larry over the past fifteen years when I say that it truly has been a privilege, and a pleasure, and an honour to know and assist and learn from this genuinely great, and genuinely good, man.

Thank-you, Larry. For this wonderful new language...for the countless lessons shared along the way...and for the extraordinary example of generosity, of kindness, of courage, of faith, of perseverance, and of sheer decency you have always been to us.

Perl 6 is a remarkable achievement in so many ways, but above all it is a reflection of the remarkable man who first conceived it, and of the community of remarkable people he gathered around himself to realize it.

Congratulations and well done to everyone involved in bringing Perl 6 into being. It's been a long and challenging climb, but the view from here is gorgeous. And the prospects ahead look breathtaking.



I want to add:
Thank you Damian for your hundreds (maybe thousands) of hours of work to help with the design and implementation of Perl 6, and furthermore to make examples, and to make and present your presentations all over the world to promote Perl 6.

Muchas gracias a ti también, Damian.

Espero un día poder ver esa vista. Yo todavía no he salido del hotel, pero me estoy preparando para la escalada.

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About Damian Conway