The Second Age of Perl

For years people have been saying that Perl is dead or is dying. I've even said it, although not with the same implied meaning.

Today, with the power vested in me by myself, I hereby declare that we are now in the Second Age of Perl; and it has nothing to do with Perl 6!

It's not that I don't like Perl 6 / Rakudo. I actually love it, but I don't make my living from it. Perl 5 is what brings home the bacon, and my guess is that it will be that way for years to come.

We've actually been in Perl's Second Age for a while now, we just didn't realize it. It's the collective work of Tatsuhiko Miyagawa, Ovid, Brian Foy, Stevan Little, MST, Dave Rolsky, and so many other giants; and the contributions of all us little guys (you know, the community). It started with things like Class::MOP, Perl::Critic, DBIx::Class, DateTime, and Moose. Though, those things are only the foundational elements of the Second Age. What's really brought us into the Second Age is all the stuff that's been built on top of those things, or as a result of those things. Things like Padre, Plack, and the MooseX community. Things like Mojolicious and Dancer. And let's not forget cpanminus, Starman, and Dist::Zilla. I haven't even mentioned Strawberry Perl yet.

As I sit here writing this my mind is a buzz with all the modules and programs I could write down, but the Second Age isn't just about code. It's also the marketing efforts like PerlBuzz,, and the Ironman Blogathon. It's about the countless YAPC's and MiniYAPC's around the world. It's about the reinvigoration of Perl Mongers. It's about the new policies we're putting in place like using Task::* and the new release policy starting with Perl 5.12. And it's about coming up with a recommended starting place like Enlightened Perl is doing.

Here we sit, on the precipice of our future. We can't rest on our laurels, but we should take a few moments to admire all that we've accomplished in the past couple of years. We've brought ourselves out of the dark ages of being the new "legacy" programming language, and we're back in the main stream. Now's the time for more innovation. Now's the time to build the tools and applications that make Ruby, Python, and the rest fire up their copiers once again. There is a reason why Perl regular expressions are the defacto standard, and that the other languages are attempting to replicate and even better the CPAN for themselves. Let's give them some more things to copy.


I said to Tatsuhiko the other day that there should be a sort of "Web 2.0"-style name for this new era of Perl. Not because it needs some shiny marketing name, but to indicate that the community has rebooted into an innovative new world that's as cool and modern as anything else out there.

I wouldn't know the right name to pick, but it's definitely something that could serve the community well to work on.

I nominate "scallion." Because it's a young, subtle, multi-colored, versatile variant of the onion.

"in the face of expotential growth of all Open Source software Perl is once again in the avant garde treading the new ways of maintaining a massive ecosystem of interdependend code libraries" :) From (my PerlMonks post): 'It is the ecosystem' ( )

P++? (As in C vs C++)

I always thought prefixing the language made it sound more interesting: Iron Python/Ruby for the .NET CLR.

I don't have a suggestion though. :)

What do you think of Perl5 2G (2nd Generation) ?

There is a new name for it. It's called "Perl 5.12". *grin*

Shallots -- the sweet milder Perl.

"...we just didn't realize it."
What's this "we?" I've been saying this for 3 years. :)

Also, KUDOS! Lacuna Expanse and related code looks amazing. You probably just put yourself among the Perl renaissance makers.

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About JT Smith

user-pic My little part in the greater Perl world.