Parrots and Perls - Where is Perl 6, anyway?

Summary:The Parrot team has announced the release of Parrot 0.12.

The Parrot team has announced the release of Parrot 0.12. For those not familiar with the project, the Parrot project is a virtual machine designed to run dynamic languages like Perl, Python, Scheme, Befunge and others. It's a fairly ambitious project, though not quite ready for prime-time just yet.

The Parrot name comes from an April Fool's joke. Larry Wall and Guido van Rossum (inventors of Perl and Python, respectively) announced a "merger" of Python and Perl. That's a frightening thought, if ever there was one. (No disrespect to either language intended...)

Seeing that Parrot development is still moving ahead makes me wonder what's going on with the long-awaited Perl 6. Perl 6 is a rewrite of the Perl language, and is (also) fairly ambitious. Perl 6 has been in development even longer than Debian Sarge -- Larry Wall was talking about Perl 6 back in 2000, after all -- and some folks are curious if it's ever going to see completion. From a user standpoint, I don't really see much wrong with Perl 5 (5.8.6 to be precise).

There is also a new project worth mentioning, called Pugs which is an implementation of Perl 6, started in February. The Perl 6 language reference is not actually finished, but the Pugs folks have decided that it's stable enough to be implemented.

For my part, I'm content to wonk away with Perl 5, but I'm curious if there's much interest in Perl 6 in the community at large. Is anyone chomping at the bit to start using Perl 6?

Topics: Software Development

About

Joe 'Zonker' Brockmeier is the community manager for openSUSE, a community Linux distro sponsored by Novell. Prior to joining Novell, Brockmeier worked as a technology journalist primarily covering the Linux and FOSS beat, and wrote for a number of publications, such as Linux Magazine, Linux.com, Sys Admin, UnixReview.com, IBM developer... Full Bio

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