Posts in this category
- Current State of Exceptions in Rakudo and Perl 6
- Meet DBIish, a Perl 6 Database Interface
- doc.perl6.org and p6doc
- Exceptions Grant Report for May 2012
- Exceptions Grant Report -- Final update
- Perl 6 Hackathon in Oslo: Be Prepared!
- Localization for Exception Messages
- News in the Rakudo 2012.05 release
- News in the Rakudo 2012.06 release
- Perl 6 Hackathon in Oslo: Report From The First Day
- Perl 6 Hackathon in Oslo: Report From The Second Day
- Quo Vadis Perl?
- Rakudo Hack: Dynamic Export Lists
- SQLite support for DBIish
- Stop The Rewrites!
- Upcoming Perl 6 Hackathon in Oslo, Norway
- Pattern Matching and Unpacking
- Rakudo's Abstract Syntax Tree
- The REPL trick
- A shiny perl6.org site
- Creating an entry point for newcomers
- An offer for software developers: free IRC logging
- Announcing try.rakudo.org, an interactive Perl 6 shell in your browser
- Another perl6.org iteration
- Blackjack and Perl 6
- Why I commit Crud to the Perl 6 Test Suite
- This Week's Contribution to Perl 6 Week 5: Implement Str.trans
- This Week's Contribution to Perl 6
- This Week's Contribution to Perl 6 Week 8: Implement $*ARGFILES for Rakudo
- This Week's Contribution to Perl 6 Week 6: Improve Book markup
- This Week's Contribution to Perl 6 Week 2: Fix up a test
- This Week's Contribution to Perl 6 Week 9: Implement Hash.pick for Rakudo
- This Week's Contribution to Perl 6 Week 11: Improve an error message for Hyper Operators
- This Week's Contribution to Perl 6 - Lottery Intermission
- This Week's Contribution to Perl 6 Week 3: Write supporting code for the MAIN sub
- This Week's Contribution to Perl 6 Week 1: A website for proto
- This Week's Contribution to Perl 6 Week 4: Implement :samecase for .subst
- This Week's Contribution to Perl 6 Week 10: Implement samespace for Rakudo
- This Week's Contribution to Perl 6 Week 7: Implement try.rakudo.org
- What is the "Cool" class in Perl 6?
- Report from the Perl 6 Hackathon in Copenhagen
- Custom operators in Rakudo
- A Perl 6 Date Module
- Defined Behaviour with Undefined Values
- Dissecting the "Starry obfu"
- The case for distributed version control systems
- Perl 6: Failing Softly with Unthrown Exceptions
- Perl 6 Compiler Feature Matrix
- The first Perl 6 module on CPAN
- A Foray into Perl 5 land
- Gabor: Keep going
- First Grant Report: Structured Error Messages
- Second Grant Report: Structured Error Messages
- Third Grant Report: Structured Error Messages
- Fourth Grant Report: Structured Error Messages
- Google Summer of Code Mentor Recap
- How core is core?
- How fast is Rakudo's "nom" branch?
- Building a Huffman Tree With Rakudo
- Immutable Sigils and Context
- Is Perl 6 really Perl?
- Mini-Challenge: Write Your Prisoner's Dilemma Strategy
- Longest Palindrome by Regex
- Perl 6: Lost in Wonderland
- Lots of momentum in the Perl 6 community
- Monetize Perl 6?
- Musings on Rakudo's spectest chart
- My first executable from Perl 6
- My first YAPC - YAPC::EU 2010 in Pisa
- Trying to implement new operators - failed
- Programming Languages Are Not Zero Sum
- Perl 6 notes from February 2011
- Notes from the YAPC::EU 2010 Rakudo hackathon
- Let's build an object
- Perl 6 is optimized for fun
- How to get a parse tree for a Perl 6 Program
- Pascal's Triangle in Perl 6
- Perl 6 in 2009
- Perl 6 in 2010
- Perl 6 in 2011 - A Retrospection
- Perl 6 ticket life cycle
- The Perl Survey and Perl 6
- The Perl 6 Advent Calendar
- Perl 6 Questions on Perlmonks
- Physical modeling with Math::Model and Perl 6
- How to Plot a Segment of a Circle with SVG
- Results from the Prisoner's Dilemma Challenge
- Protected Attributes Make No Sense
- Publicity for Perl 6
- PVC - Perl 6 Vocabulary Coach
- Fixing Rakudo Memory Leaks
- Rakudo architectural overview
- Rakudo Rocks
- Rakudo "star" announced
- My personal "I want a PONIE" wish list for Rakudo Star
- Rakudo's rough edges
- Rats and other pets
- The Real World Strikes Back - or why you shouldn't forbid stuff just because you think it's wrong
- Releasing Rakudo made easy
- Set Phasers to Stun!
- Starry Perl 6 obfu
- Recent Perl 6 Developments August 2008
- The State of Regex Modifiers in Rakudo
- Strings and Buffers
- Subroutines vs. Methods - Differences and Commonalities
- A SVG plotting adventure
- A Syntax Highlighter for Perl 6
- Test Suite Reorganization: How to move tests
- The Happiness of Design Convergence
- Thoughts on masak's Perl 6 Coding Contest
- The Three-Fold Function of the Smart Match Operator
- Perl 6 Tidings from September and October 2008
- Perl 6 Tidings for November 2008
- Perl 6 Tidings from December 2008
- Perl 6 Tidings from January 2009
- Perl 6 Tidings from February 2009
- Perl 6 Tidings from March 2009
- Perl 6 Tidings from April 2009
- Perl 6 Tidings from May 2009
- Perl 6 Tidings from May 2009 (second iteration)
- Perl 6 Tidings from June 2009
- Perl 6 Tidings from August 2009
- Perl 6 Tidings from October 2009
- Timeline for a syntax change in Perl 6
- Visualizing match trees
- Want to write shiny SVG graphics with Perl 6? Port Scruffy!
- We write a Perl 6 book for you
- When we reach 100% we did something wrong
- Where Rakudo Lives Now
- Why Rakudo needs NQP
- Why was the Perl 6 Advent Calendar such a Success?
- What you can write in Perl 6 today
- Why you don't need the Y combinator in Perl 6
- You are good enough!
Sat, 31 Dec 2011
Perl 6 in 2011 - A Retrospection
The change of year is a good occasion to look back. Here I want to reflect on the development of Perl 6, its compilers and ecosystem.
2011 was a rather quiet year in terms of spec changes; they were a mixture of responses to compiler writer and user feedback, and some simplifications and cleanups.
Positional parameters used to be allowed to be called by name; this feature is now gone. That both makes the signature binder simpler, and removes accidental dependencies on names that weren't meant to be public. Read the full justification for more background.
A small change that illustrates the cleanup of old, p5-inherited features was the change that made &eval stop catching exceptions. There is really no good reason for it to catch them, except Perl 5 legacy.
say now uses a different stringification than
say is often used for
debugging. As an example, undefined values stringify to the empty string
(and produce a warning), whereas
say calls the
method on the object to be said, which produces the type name on undefined
An area that has been greatly solidified due to implementation progress is Plain Old Documentation or Pod. Tadeusz Sośnierz' Google Summer of Code project ironed out many wrinkles and inconsistencies, and changed my perception of this part of the spec from "speculative" to "under development".
Rakudo underwent a huge refactoring this year; it is now bootstrapped by a new compiler called "nqp", and uses a new object model (nom).
It allows us to gain speed and memory advantages from gradual typing; for example the mandelbrot fractral generator used to take 18 minutes to run on a machine of mine, and now takes less than 40 seconds. Speedups in other areas are not as big, but there is still much room for improvement in the optimizer.
With the nom branch came support for different object representations. It makes it possible to store object attributes in simple C-like structs, which in turn makes it much easier and more convenient to interoperate with C libraries.
Tadeusz' work on Pod gave Rakudo support for converting Pod to plain text and HTML, and attach documentation objects to routines and other objects.
Rakudo now also has lazy lists, much better role handling, typed
exceptions for a few errors, the
line options, support for big integers, NFA-based support for proto regexes
and improvements to many built-in functions, methods and operators.
It is hard to accurately summarize the development of Niecza in a few sentences; instead of listing the many, many new features I should give an impression on how it feels and felt for the user.
At the start of 2011, programming in niecza was a real adventure. Running some random piece of Perl 6 code that worked with Rakudo rarely worked, most of the time it hit a missing built-in, feature or bug.
Now it often just works, and usually much faster than in Rakudo. There are still some missing features, but Stefan O'Rear and his fellow contributors work tirelessly on catching up to Rakudo, and it some areas Niecza is clearly ahead (for example Unicode support in regexes, and longest-token matching).
Since Niecza is implemented on top of the Common Language Runtime (CLR) (which means .NET or mono), it makes it easy to use existing CLR-based libraries. Examples include an interactive fractal generator and a small Tetris game in Perl 6.
The presence of two usable compilers (and in the case of Rakudo, two viable but very different branches) has led to many questions about the different compilers. The new Perl 6 Compiler Feature matrix tries to answer the questions about the state of the implemented features in the compilers.
With Panda we now have a module installer that actually works with Rakudo. It still has some lengths to go in terms of stability and feature completeness, but it is fun to work with.
The new Perl 6 Modules page gives an overview of existing Perl 6 modules; we hope to evolve it into a real CPAN equivalent.
This year we had another Perl 6 Advent Calendar, with much positive feedback both from the Perl 6 community and the wider programming community.
We were also happy to welcome several new prolific contributors to the Perl 6 compilers and modules. The atmosphere in the community still feels relaxed, friendly and productive -- I quite enjoy it.
The year ends like it started: with a Perl 6 Coding Contest. This is a good opportunity to dive into Perl 6, provide feedback to compiler writers, and most of all have fun.