Perl to Be Polished

The creator of the Perl programming language, Larry Wall, said that the makings of a new version are underway, according to a statement released by O'Reilly & Associates Inc.

In a keynote address at the O'Reilly Open Source Convention last week in California, Wall, a researcher for California-based O'Reilly, laid out his vision for the future development of Perl 6.

Wall promised that Perl 6 will be better, stronger, and faster. Some of the primary, though still vague, goals of the effort are to improve syntax, create better version and installation management for Perl and its modules, and ensure a clear migration path from Perl 5 to Perl 6, which may include backward compatibility. Some of the older and seldom used features, typeglobs, for example, may be dropped.

Perl 6 will use a development model that draws from the lessons learned from perl5-porters and other large open-source projects such as the Apache Web server and Linux.

Although no actual coding will be done immediately, the near-term agenda is to draft a language specification, get feedback, and set up a documentation repository. A preview release should be available by next summer.

Perl 5 will not be abandoned, according to a statement, but the focus will be on fixing bugs.

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