* Larry Wall <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> [05/10/2001 11:57]:
> 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.

Don't get me wrong - I'm not trying to be melodramatic. Far from it.
However, one thing I worry we're losing sight of is *programmer*
migration. We can write all the translators we want, but the person
still has to learn Perl 6.

As long as we're getting clear bang for the buck, then we're probably ok.
But I continue to become increasingly worried that we're on a slippery
slope of changes that really aren't needed. This may sound blasphemous,
but I think we should try to change as few things as possible.

By that I just mean let's determine what really needs to be overhauled.
The $@% system? Yes. Apoc2 gets an A+ there. Bareword filehandles?
Absolutely. Better semantics for passing @ around? Yup. 

But I think we just need to realize that every change we make is a change
that thousands (millions?) of Perl programmers must now relearn. Since
Perl is all about being programmer-centric, I think we just need to bear
this in mind more closely when considering changes to such fundamental
tenets as <FILE> and such. I would bet many JAPHs don't even know that
you can say "readline(FILE)".


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