Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Perl 6 Taking Off

I read masak's post yesterday, and nodded my head in agreement, but didn't really think too much of it. Then last night I realized I could really use a Perl script to analyze the (C++) bug I was dealing with for work. And I thought about it a second, gulped, and started writing it in Perl 6.

Now, this wasn't the first work script I'd done in Perl 6. About six months ago I did a very handy little TextMate script in it. But writing that was a nightmare -- in fact, it turned out the feature that was the reason I wanted to use Perl 6 for the script wasn't actually implemented yet. I stuck with it, and with a lot of trial and error got a script that worked, but it wasn't fun or easy.

What a difference six months makes! My project was night was a classic simple Perl script, reading a text file, processing it a tad, and writing it back out in another format. The script took only marginally longer to write than it would have in Perl 5. Part of it was my much increased familiarity with Perl 6, no doubt. But I never ran into Perl 6 limitations at all! Everything I wanted to use was implemented and worked like a charm. There was one error message that could have been clearer, and that was it.

Big kudos are due the Rakudo team for making so much progress this year! Things are getting very exciting in the world of Perl 6...

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