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Analysis, Design effort of Perl 6

by pbeckingham (Parson)
on Jun 28, 2004 at 17:40 UTC ( #370266=perlmeditation: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

I have been eagerly following the developments, Apocalypses, Exegeses, language and internals mailing lists with great anticipation for what, three years now? From the April Fools' joke, to today's discussion on why the length of a string is an ambiguous term.

I love this stuff.

Now I was wondering - has there ever been a language designed with this degree of up-front analysis, community participation and clarity? Has language design ever been this way before? I'm hoping that post-Perl6, this kind of ongoing thrashing of ideas will continue somewhere, somehow. It's fascinating.

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Re: Analysis, Design effort of Perl 6
by l3nz (Friar) on Jun 28, 2004 at 18:24 UTC
    I dont think anything like this ever happened before - not on this scale, not something so open. I guess what makes Perl special is all there - it's the people, it's the idea that Perl wont just be a practical reporting tool but a way to express oneself. Not all languages have a Larry Wall to tell the way and to let us all build them. I actively use and like Java, but let me tell you, there's not much seeking of beauty by the community at large. Perl is different.

    On the other side, after all this time I have a feeling that your fears are a little premature - there's quite a bit of road ahead before we hit the post Perl6 milestone.... <grin>

Re: Analysis, Design effort of Perl 6
by Anonymous Monk on Jun 28, 2004 at 18:04 UTC
    What makes you think this isn't the way most languages are designed? The only difference is that in most cases the design happens privately. Not a surprise, since community participation's far more of a hindrance than a help, and it's arguable whether the benefits the sane people bring outweighs the stress, ulcers, and bad reputation the crackpots contribute.

      No, I don't think most languages are designed this way. We're talking about *years* of discussion for the design of a language here, not a standardization committee.

      It's the lengthy, intellectual nature of the discussion that I'm referring to here.

        Yeah, it's not like anyone's designed a language like Ada, C#, Java, C++ (In it's original evil form, not the new and improved evil form it's currently in), or Dylan. just to not name a few. It must be a new thing!

        /me looks around for the lost <sarcasm> tags

Re: Analysis, Design effort of Perl 6
by Arunbear (Prior) on Jun 28, 2004 at 19:03 UTC
    It's a good bet that there's never been anything like Parrot before.
      It's a good bet that there's never been anything like Parrot before.

      I'd take that bet.

      Back in the eighties I did a lot of work with Poplog, a programming environment that had Lisp, Prolog, ML, Pop-11 and a few other languages all compiling down to a single virtual machine, which was in turn incrementally compiled down to raw machine code. Ran on VMS and most Unix platforms.

      The VM was stack based, rather than register based as Parrot is, but there certainly isn't anything new about a cross-platform VM that was built to be the target for many different languages.

      Parrot's just following in the grand Perl tradition of stealing the best ideas and implementing them well :-)

      (If anybody is interested Poplog is still around. It's open source, runs on VMS, Windows9X/NT and a variety of versions of the Unix operating system (including Linux, AIX, Ultrix, SunOS, HP-UX and Dynix), on a variety of processors including VAX, M680x0, SPARC, 80x86, and MIPS. See for info.)

      I'd take the bet against you. While it's not true that there's nothing new under the sun, Parrot steals heavily from all sorts of things and there isn't, so far as I've seen, anything new there. (Granted, I don't think anyone's smashed all these pieces together before, but you may be hard pressed to argue that it's a good thing...)
        This coming from the guy who's claim to fame is writing an OO assembly language. What was it called again? Eagle? Myna? Sparrow? Some bird name, I think.


        We are the carpenters and bricklayers of the Information Age.

        Then there are Damian modules.... *sigh* ... that's not about being less-lazy -- that's about being on some really good drugs -- you know, there is no spoon. - flyingmoose

        I shouldn't have to say this, but any code, unless otherwise stated, is untested

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