2017.28 Rakudo is Hot

“A rose by any other name…”. It is the subtitle of Zoffix Znet‘s blog post The Hot New Language Named Rakudo, in which he describes his reasoning for wanting to tweak the name of the programming language “Perl 6” to “Rakudo Perl 6“. Which, in the view of yours truly, is not too different from earlier suggestions of tweaking the name of “Perl 5” to “Pumpking Perl 5” to differentiate Perl 5 and Perl 6 in the public eye. Some quotes from the blog post:

(Rakudo) is a young and hip teenager who doesn’t mind breaking long held status quo. Rakudo is the King of Unicode and Queen of Concurrency. It’s a “4th generation” language, and if you take the time to learn its many features, it’s quite damn concise.

Trying to market Rakudo language as a “Perl 6” language is like holding a great Poker hand while playing Blackjack—even with a Royal Flush, you still lost the game that’s actually being played. The truly distinguishing features of Rakudo don’t get any attention, while at the same time people get disappointed when a “Perl” language no longer does things Perl used to do.

Rakudo has many strengths but they get muted when we call it “Perl 6“. Perl is a brand name for a product with different strengths and attempting to pretend Rakudo has the same strengths for the past 2 years proved to be a failed strategy. I believe a name tweak can help these issues and start us on a path with a more solid footing.

The blog post sparked quite a few comments so far: blogs.perl.org, Reddit r/perl and Reddit r/perl6.

Yours truly appreciates the effort and thought that Zoffix Znet has put into this blog post (as he has done with many other excellent blog posts in the past). It is definitely food for thought for the marketing efforts of Rakudo Perl 6. And one can only hope it will get picked up!

Other blog posts

Other Core Developments

  • TimToady made sure the issue described in Do all Perl 6 quoting constructs have term precedence? now produces a much more awesome error message. And Zoffix Znet made sure it will still accept the more common usage.
  • After careful deliberation and discussion with TimToady, Elizabeth Mattijsen re-instated Baggy/Mixy semantics to the subset operator family ((<=) ⊆ ⊈ (>=) ⊇ ⊉) and proper subset operator family ((<) ⊂ ⊄ (>) ⊃ ⊅). Since these families now handle Baggy/Mixy semantics, it was deemed ok that the baggy subset operator family ((<+) ≼ (>+) ≽) will be deprecated for the 2017.07 release, and removed with the 6.d release of Rakudo Perl 6.
  • Samantha McVey added full Unicode 9.0 support to MoarVM: all Emoji 4.0 sequences are now considered to be a single grapheme. She also improved raw parsing speed and the speed with which files with Unicode are slurped.
  • Lloyd Fournier fixed a problem with exporting constants assigned to routines, with the help of Zoffix Znet.
  • Timo Paulssen fixed an issue with $*EXECUTABLE not being initialized properly when Rakudo Perl 6 was being run under valgrind. He also made sure that IO::Socket passes a list of newline separators, as well as preferring files with .pm6 extension over the ones with a .pm extension if they have the same basename.
  • Jonathan Worthington fixed an issue when opening a file with :enc<ascii> for writing, and an issue with coercers on sigilless variables. As well as being very busy with a lot of spesh / JIT refactoring under the hood of which we will probably see the result after the next release of Rakudo Perl 6.
  • Daniel Green made sure that (expensive) suggestions for method not found errors are only generated when actually needed.
  • Zoffix Znet fixed a problem related to unpacking of signatures and an optimizer issue (his first!) that would lose Boolification of a sub-expression with ||.
  • And many other smaller and bigger improvements and fixes.

Meanwhile on StackOverflow

Meanwhile on Twitter

Meanwhile on perl6-users

Ecosystem Additions

Winding Down

Feels like summer is heating up. Check here again next week for more news about Rakudo Perl 6!

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