Perl 6 is hurtling toward completion. The specification is nearly
complete, and Rakudo now passes 68% of the specification tests.
Applications like November are being written in Perl 6. Perl 6 is
no vaporware, and the day when Perl 6 is ready for widespread use
is coming quickly.
Perl 6 has been in development since 2000, and in that time many
people may have forgotten about the plans we’ve had for Perl 6.
There may be those who have never even heard about the plans for
Perl 6. Those of us who live in the Perl world are aware of the
great changes afoot, but there are plenty of people who are not.
I think that the time is right to help make those people aware of
Perl 6, and to remind them constantly of what’s coming. My proposed
technique is simple and it takes advantage of the key elements of
time and repetition to help remind everyone about Perl 6.
> **We need to stop referring to Perl 5 as “Perl” and start calling it “Perl 5.”**
Specifying the “5” in “Perl 5” calls attention to the fact that
there is more than one Perl. It makes the listener or reader who
is unaware of Perl 6 wonder why the 5 is specified. For the reader
who knows about Perl 6, hearing “Perl 5” reminds her that Perl 6
also exists.
I don’t think it will be too tough. All I ask is that, at the very
least, when writing about Perl 5 in your blogs or mailing lists
that you specify the version you’re talking about. It doesn’t even
need to be every instance. I’m guessing we’ll find that repeatedly
saying “Perl 5” in a long message will get tedious both for writer
and reader.
I think the way to look at it is that “Perl 5” is the formal name
for the language, and later references can refer to it as “Perl,”
almost like a nickname. Just that first reminder of “Perl 5” will
be enough to help lodge in the reader’s brain.
With enough time & repetition, it will get to be habit in our minds. With
enough time & repetition, the computing world will be reminded
of Perl 6 coming soon.