On Tue, Jan 19, 2016 at 9:57 AM, Tom Browder <tom.brow...@gmail.com> wrote:

> Last year I mentioned a letter-to-the-editor in Communications of the
> ACM which discussed the short-comings of Python as an introduction to
> programming for computer science students.  As a response to that
> letter, I suggested that the dissatisfied professor consider Perl 6 as
> it would meet his requirements.
> My casual look at the programming scene over the last decade seems to
> show that Python is regularly chosen as the language for open source
> projects and as a teaching language.  The Perl community on
> <perlmonks.org>  seems adamant that there are few, if any, business
> reasons for Perl 5 shops to use Perl 6, so the academic community may
> be the best place to aim Perl 6 marketing for the growth of a Perl 6
> community among young people.
> I have seen lots of blogs and on-line articles comparing the two
> languages, but I have not yet found one truly suitable for college and
> high school academic marketing and curriculum development.  The only
> article on Perl 6 I have found in the ACM archives was a 2007 article
> by Audrey Tang.  Its citation and access page is found here:
>   http://dl.acm.org/citation.cfm?doid=1190216.1190218
> Note the ACM reports that the article has been cited two times in
> other ACM articles, and has been downloaded a total of 524 times.
> I also searched the IEEE archives for Perl 6 and found nothing.
> Suggestion
> ========
> I suggest that a good move would be to produce a good, and current,
> scholarly article, aiming to be published in a suitable professional
> journal, with a detailed, objective comparison between Python and Perl
> 6.  I'm sure there are properly-qualified people in the Perl 6
> community that could do a very credible job, and it should be worth
> support from the Perl Foundation.
> Audrey Tang's article (based on information on the citation page only)
> doesn't seem to fit the specific comparison I think is needed, but the
> article may be useful background for any new author.
> Of course there may already be such an article in academia, but
> apparently not in the computer science education realm.

Good luck with your efforts. There is interest in the academic community
about Perl/Perl6 as evidenced by Larry Wall's inclusion in the HOPL III
round table discussion that I mention here,

The video for your pleasure is here; I hope the FBI does't raid me for
sharing this, but it's of interest to the community and I pay ACM enough
money annually to let me do this once in a while <grin>.  It's been a while
since I watched the video, but I recall Larry having to fend off a bunch of
academics who seem to envy/not-understand the widespread adoption of Perl
when their pet language is so nice and pure.

http://www.0x743.com/a4-fisher-h.mov (400MB)

I would think that while you're going to have a tough time selling Perl6 as
a teaching language, it should be (and probably is) of interest to the
those in programming language related SIGs.

I would target them, but in a more academic way - maybe organize some
efforts to discuss the interested/practical features of Perl6 versus some
of the more purely academic languages (where mental masturbation seems to

In regards to a teaching language, Python reminds me greatly of the role
Fortran used to play, but here wrt scripting languages. It's made great
inroads not only as a teaching language, but also as a language that HPC
just loves for days.

One reason may be that SciPy suite made such an impact on the HPC world
when it was first released, but there also seems to be some innate
qualities about Python that some science domains prefer. On the other hand,
we know when the domains that Perl dominates (bioinformatics, text
analysis, PDL, etc).

You can also try to impress the folks in communities like LtU - demonstrate
the interesting aspects of the language; compare with their lovelies and
show that Perl6 excels in practical environments. At the end of the day,
what will sell it is not arguing the merits of the language, but
overwhelmingly demonstrating them - again and again and again. And even
after that, they might still not see. Perl6 would not be the first language
to fail at this.

Again, I wish you good luck - and not in a sarcastic way. I appreciate any
and all efforts to make inroads into the academic world for Perl.


> Best regards,
> -Tom

Reply via email to