Perl’s new wave February 16, 2009Posted by claudio in Uncategorized.
Tags: community, Modern Perl, Padre, Perl
We all remember the “Perl is dead” hype from not so long ago. In short: Perl 6 wasn’t there yet and perl ironically wasn’t a copy of the language of the day (python, ruby, c#, …).
I was positively surprised by the response of the perl community. It wasn’t the typical “our programs run fast” (to ruby fanboys*) or “space as syntax wtf?” (to python fanboys). Instead it seemed that community took notice of the criticisms and made pretty clear that waiting for Perl 6 was not an option. Today, Perl 6 is doing fine (you can write code in Perl 6) and so is Perl 5.
So what did the community do? Well, Perl Best Practices -and corresponding module Perl::Critic- was a milestone telling people to stop writing perl 4 scripts and respect sane best practices to achieve clean and elegant code. Next to the many great modules already at CPAN (DBI::*, POE::*, DateTime, DBIx::Class (after PBP), WWW::*, etc), the community decided to address some clear shortcomings.
Moose (inspired by Perl 6) was an answer to one of the -in my opnion- greatest shortcoming of Perl 5: the basic OO framework. Perl-based Catalyst jumped on the Ruby-On-Rail wagon. chromatic, a core developer and important community member, started to think out loud what actually “modern perl” means and how we can improve perl by getting rid of obsolete features and bad practices.
An other missing piece, was a beginners-friendly and perl-centric IDE. Padre is aiming to fill this need. Gabor Szabo was able to quickly form a community developing padre (including Alias of Strawberry Perl and PPI fame). I guess this was the kind of project I was waiting for.
I hope that by being part of this project I can contribute to this positive perl new wave.
* fanboy != user