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Perl 6

 
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Perl 6

If you've spent much time in the Perl universe, you've heard about Perl 6. I won't be covering how to port programs to Perl 6 for a very logical reason: It doesn't exist yet.[3]

[3] Except for development versions that test some of the features that have been decided on recently.

A stable version of Perl 6 is still a few years away. When it emerges however, it will bear approximately the resemblance to Perl 5 that a Lamborghini Countach does to a Volkswagen Beetle (well, the new one, anyway). (Which is to say, backward compatibility has been prioritized beneath new capability for the first time in Perl development.)

Don't panic. Perl 4 hung around for an indecent time after Perl 5 came out and Perl 5 will be ported, maintained, and improved for many years after Perl 6 emerges. The recently started Ponie[4] project (http://www.poniecode.org) will enable Perl 5 to run on top of the Parrot engine underlying Perl 6. Your Perl 5 programs will quite likely keep working as long as you do.

[4] Ponie stands for Perl On New Implementation Engine (even though it isn't capitalized).

This book will be applicable in large measure to Perl 6 in any case; most of the Perl 6 magic involves not removing existing features, but adding cool new ones. If you want to find out more about Perl 6 anyway, see [RANDAL03].

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