Some interesting posts over in Planet Perl:
While I'm a raging Python fanatic (or at least a serious Python user :) I don't think this is anything to gloat about: Perl vs Python is a relatively minor struggle compared to Good Language vs PHP, and Dynamic vs Static.
Either way there are good lessons for any language in there. And we should be sure to thank GvR, Barry Warsaw, and all the other Py3k contributors for moving forward with Py3k... Say what you will about Py3K's backwards incompatibility, but I think the lack of a strongly determined future for Perl, i.e. a clear roadmap for Perl 6, is one of the Perl community's big problems.
Posted by mark on 2008-12-04 at 21:32.
But the fact remains that both python and ruby appeal to new users more readily than perl's syntax will. Perl 5 stopped evolving. it still has a huge niche, an ecosystem of C coders who are 60 years or older ;-) But the new blood isnt coming into Perl. The fossil coders repeat how great CPAN is but they forget that perl as a language is not as good as ruby and python.
Posted by Martijn Faassen on 2008-12-05 at 09:19.
Agreed. While I do have things to say about Python 3's lack of backwards compatibility, the core developers have managed the situation a whole lot better than the Perl 6 project did. The Python core developers value the evolutionary approach, and don't tend to get carried away by ambitious projects like a massive revision of the language **and** interpreter infrastructure (Parrot). The Python developers reach for the possible and leave the insanely ambitious and difficult to other projects like PyPy. That's the right way to go about it.
Posted by Aaron Trevena on 2008-12-07 at 06:35.
Wishful thinking much ? If Perl 5 stopped evolving why has 5.10 got new operators and features, as well as bein faster ? I don't think there is much evidence that the Python core developers have managed anything better at all.. both Parrot/Perl6 and Python 3000 projects were started about the same time, and Parrot 1.0 will be delivered in March, while Perl 6.0 will be delivered the following January, so it's a matter of a few months difference, despite Pythons huge hyperbole and Google backing. We've had 5.8 and 5.10 versions of Perl released since Perl 6 was started, and will likely have a 5.12, and many features of Perl 6 have already been included in 5.10 or made available through CPAN. Anyway.. much as some Pythonista might hope, the constant repitition of the PiD meme does you no favours and just gets in the way of mixing communities. I'd love to start a Dynamic Languages user group in my area, but I can't be bothered with all the Python Zealots. The PHP, Lua and Ruby guys may have drunk the koolaid but at least you can talk with them.
Posted by Alexandr Ciornii on 2008-12-07 at 07:04.
Perl 5 didn't stop evolving: there is perl 5.10 with serious changes (including features from Perl 6), Moose and MooseX::Declare that are more serious OO system that Perl's integrated (that was copied from Python). And many, many others. Perl programming evolved much in latest 2 years. I read someone's blog a year ago that was bashing Perl based on 10 year old description of Perl. Many programmers (especially python ones :)) don't know about changes in latest 8 years and do similar things. I general, problem is very huge base of programs that should work on future versions of Perl. So removing features in Perl 5 is not good. As chromatic said, Python 3000 was developed more that 9 years, so 8 years of Perl 6 is not much.
Posted by Marcus on 2008-12-07 at 09:17.
I wouldn't underestimate the Perl community. Sure, they're taking their time with Perl 6 and Parrot, but... would we want either of them rushed? I didn't understand Parrot until listening to developer presentations at OSCON and elsewhere. Imagine a better .NET, and open source. And no, none of the Perl 6 and Parrot crew appear advanced in years, as if such blatant agism would be an appropriate criticism in any event. These are youthful C coders at the top of their games, with the courage to think about problems other language developers are all too pleased to avoid. I'm sticking with these folks, and sticking with Perl. This language still has a lot of visionaries on the team, and a lot of legs.
Posted by Robert on 2008-12-07 at 13:22.
I wish people that mention Perl 6 actually knew what they were talking about. The only thing Perl 6 has done "wrong" is marketing. Perl 6 is a total re-write of the Perl language and yes it has taken a long while for the volunteers to put together. On the other hand, you have Python 3 which is not a total re-write at all and was at least backhandedly funded by the Google machine. I like both languages actually but your (Martijn) opinion about "the right was to go about it" is just that, your opinion.
Posted by Paul Boddie on 2008-12-18 at 07:04.
I'm not sure I'm that sorry to see Perl fade away. On various occasions I've experienced cheap shots, sniping and puerile remarks about Python from Perl programmers, who would rather see everyone waste their time fiddling with Perl, and I've encountered more than enough decaying Perl code over the years, probably as a consequence of this shoehorning tendency. The Ruby people managed quite a "bait and switch" routine with those Perl people dissatisfied with the state of Perl but too proud to switch to Python. Now, a lot of those people are using a language which is much closer to Python, and which has dropped a lot of the Perl-style compatibility baggage: they can surely keep up their whining about Python from another location, oblivious to the inherent contradiction in their position. Still, there's a lesson to the Python community here as well. Perl still gets a lot of usage because of all the libraries, even though I suspect that many of them are overrated (the "CPAN is wonderful" argument). In contrast, Python's standard library decays and the Python 3000 tidying project has taken precedence. Changing these priorities in order to confirm Python as a better choice than the "incumbent" (Perl and Java, frequently) is better than looking over one's shoulder at whatever the next supposedly cool language is doing; this means improving the library offerings and making the details of actual work, not language gymnastics, easier.