January 2009 Archives

All the Perl news that's fit to link

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There's plenty of news out in the Perl world that is worth noting, but doesn't get a full-blown write-up in Perlbuzz. Someone will send me something saying "Hey, this is cool for Perlbuzz," and it is, but I don't have anything to say about it, so I never run it.

I'm going to start posting more of those to the Perlbuzz Twitter account at http://twitter.com/perlbuzz. You can follow that feed, even if you don't have a Twitter account, because every Twitter account has RSS/Atom syndication.

I'm using App::BLT to do the posting. Makes it super simple for me to pop open a shell, type in

$ blt 'Blah blah Moose YAPC::EU Rakudo yada yada http://url.whatever'

So here's hoping I can get more news out there, without having to spend so much time doing it.

Hooray for the circling pundit vultures

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SD Times columnist Andrew Binstock has come out with another poorly informed column that says nothing more than "Perl hasn't updated in years, and therefore is irrelevant."

Let's look at his errors and FUD:

  • Not recognizing Perl 5.6, 5.8 and 5.10 as "major releases"
  • "Perl’s penchant for near-hieroglyphic syntax."
  • Quoting TIOBE as a meaningful indicator of anything.
  • "Perl 6 release is still a long way off" -- Can you tell us when it will be, Mr. Binstock?
  • "still five years later, we’re years away." -- Apparently, he thinks he can, and he's wrong.
  • "Perl has only the original Perl implementation plus an experimental version in Haskell under development."

So, although I wish he wouldn't have written such an error-filled column, I'm still glad he did. Why? Because he's showing that Perl is anything but irrelevant or doomed.

If Perl were truly doomed, and Perl 6 were never going to come out, then why would he bother writing a column about it? Why not write a column about how nobody uses COBOL or Forth? That Perl and the future of Perl is a topic for publication just shows that Perl is anything but dead.

For more about the bright future of Perl, including Perl 5, see Piers Cawley's excellent article "The Perl Future"

I see an active Perl 5 community, working on and with, excellent tools on CPAN... I see Perl 6 and Parrot hitting their targets. This isn't crystal ball gazing. This is what's happening now.... Perl isn't moribund. 2009 won't be a make or break year - I doubt we'll see fireworks, but I think that developments like Perl-On-A-Stick and Moose will continue to make life easier for curious newcomers, old hands and even returnees like me.

Perl::Critic is looking for help

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Jeffrey Thalhammer has posted about how the immensely helpful Perl::Critic system needs some help slogging through its backlog of bug tickets.

If you're a user of Perl::Critic, please consider pitching in and helping close some tickets.

If you're not yet a user of Perl::Critic, today's a great day to start. I hope you love it as much as I do.

Everyone's jumping in to the Perl 6 pool

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There have been many blog posts over the past few weeks with people writing Perl 6 code for entries to the Microsoft Winter Scripting Games.

Patrick Michaud's original call to action got a number of people blogging and posting to use.perl.org (example) with their Perl 6 soutions.

Dave Whipp posted his solutions, with some great explanation and commentary along the way. I just wish he'd used a fixed-width font for the code.

(I'd feel remiss if I didn't point out the silliness of referring to Perl and other dynamic languages as "scripting languages" simply because they don't require a behemoth like Visual Studio or a Java install to work with.)

Frozen Perl 2009 approaches

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Frozen Perl 2009 is in charmingly frigid Minneapolis, MN on February 7th. The schedule has some goodies on it of interest, like Steven Lembark talking about dealing with large datasets, and JT Smith talking about distributing a stack to avoid dependency hell.

One thing I like about about YAPCs & workshops is that the talks are usually about pet projects. They tend to be less about big overarching ideas, and more about "Here's why my little baby of a package is great."

Also I'll be giving the keynote address, and if you know what I'm going to be talking about in it, please do let me know.

I'd also like to mention how much I love that on the Frozen Perl site (and all the other mongeurs.net sites) I can mark sessions that I'd like to attend in the schedule, and make my own little schedule, and then see what other people are going to be seeing as while. Very nicely done.

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