Perl 6 in a hands-on test

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Article from Issue 191/2016

Perl 6 gives the Perl 5 syntax a new paint job and introduces a genuine object system. Mike gives it a hands-on test based on a re-implementation of the old blackjack game.

You should never write off the old dogs: After decades of anticipation, Perl 6 finally seems to be taking shape. I found this out recently when I attended the grass roots Perl Conference YAPC 2016 in Orlando, Florida. About two-thirds of the talks were dedicated to Perl 5 topics, but to my amazement, more and more people in the community are seriously taking to the successor and problem child of many years standing, Perl 6.

No less than 11 years ago at the OSCON Conference 2005, Damian Conway seriously announced that the "endgame" of the development had started, but multiple setbacks and new beginnings ensued. Then, suddenly, at the end of 2015, the Rakudo virtual machine finally become operational, and although it does not exactly impress with its performance, it does at least reliably parse Perl 6 code.

What Is Perl 6?

To find out what you need Perl 6 for, it is helpful to analyze what Perl 5 lacked. Shortcoming number one was without a doubt a full-blown object system. In Perl 5, it was a makeshift affair, and no one in their right mind would have used the blessed hash structures, dubbed classes, without additional strictures in anything but toy-sized systems.


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