> Nathan Wiger writes:
> : Maybe the name "Perl" should be dropped altogether?
> No.  The Schemers had to do a name change because the Lisp name had
> pretty much already been ruined by divergence.
> : (Granted, that's not what I'd prefer, but the changes are getting
> :  rather massive and are starting to really permute the proposed
> :  language)
> If you talk that way, people are going to start believing it.  The
> typical Perl 6 program is not going to look very different from the
> typical Perl 5 program.  The danger of us continually talking about
> the things we want to change is that people will forget to notice the
> tremendous amount of stuff that we aren't changing.

But you're, what, 15% through the PDD's/RFC's and we've got a language spec
that is already quite different. My own fear isn't just what's been changed,
but it's that other 85% that hasn't even been addressed yet.

Again, I don't dislike these changes. As a linguist/programmer, they bring
novelty and a new enjoyment of my career and passtime. However, on a
business level, just the changes that have taken place so far are enough to
scare off commercial users who don't take kindly to moving through this
level of difference at the cost of programmer salaries.

The Y2K problem addressed a tiny fraction of written code. The proposed
changes so far put that to shame. Now, I won't put this change on the
catastrophic level as COBOL/Y2K in terms of the number and importance of the
systems affected, but for 5M Perl users worldwide (that was 1997 I believe),
many of whom are commercial users, it involves a larger chunk of each
program written.

I **LIKE** moving from $array[1] to @array[1] if that's where we're going.
It makes more sense to new users than @array and @array[1..2] but $array[1].
Heck, it makes more sense to me. But that and its hash counterpart breaks
every program I've written since 1998.

Michael, no, we don't have a miscommunication. I understand that Perl 6
should be able to read Perl 5 given a translator or separate parser. What
I'm addressing here is the plain and simple fact that we're inventing a new
language entirely, and compatibility is taking a back seat to kewlness.
Saying one thing and giving people information that would lead them to
"subconsciously" thinking contrary to fact is unworthy of Perl. (From
Larry's earlier message.) "Compatibility mode" is no way to program in a
corporate environment.

Peter, you don't have to "make so contentious a point". The point's been
made anyway. Perl 5 and Perl 6 are so fundamentally different that not only
do I think the names need to be changed, but I believe they may need to be
considered completely different programming languages else we're in danger
of blowing up our user base. perl (or perl.exe) may be able to handle
multiple syntaxes, but Perl will be changing fundamentally. Either of those
two changes need some kind of alert beyond a version change. I am not aware
of any change of this magnitude, in any language, without branching the
language itself. It's like trying to put Python grammar into the C language
and getting people to still "subconsciously" think it's still C.


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