[Python-Dev] copy, len and the like as 'object' methods?

David Ascher DavidA@ActiveState.com
Wed, 22 Aug 2001 11:44:36 -0700

Jeremy Hylton wrote:
> >>>>> "PP" == Paul Prescod <paulp@ActiveState.com> writes:
>   PP> My sense was "Second System Syndrome" but Damian Conway is
>   PP> confident that they don't have that problem.
> Isn't that one of the signs of the second system effect? <0.5 wink>
> Did he offer any reason for his confidence?

I think the fundamental source of their confidence lay in Randal's
answer when I challenged the claim that they would write translators
which would automatically translate 95% of Perl5 code to Perl6:  "If
we're smart enough to write Perl5, we can do this".  I think it glosses
over a lot of important issues, but this isn't the forum to discuss it.

Perl6 is being defined pretty much as the kitchen sink -- any cool
feature from any cool language is going to be supported.  Paul and I are
skeptical about the ability to make that a coherent whole, but then
again Perl doesn't really claim coherence, from what I can tell.

Perl6 will have generators, coroutines but not continuations,
higher-order functions, etc. etc.  At the same time, they're trying to
fix some of the issues which made Perl4/5 hard to learn, such as sigil
mutability, etc.  It's designed by committees (30 or so?), on the
assumption that integration is a smaller issue than designing each
'feature' well.  It's an interesting project to watch from the outside. 
There is also apparently a real split between people who are involved in
Perl6 and those who aren't at all.

I did have a very interesting chat w/ Damian Conway -- he said that
Perl6 is already succeeding because it's revitalized the Perl5
community, and that there are lots of high-quality modules added to CPAN
inspired by the Perl6 discussions.  It also makes me a little jealous --
Perl manages to be a place where significant progress is made in the
libraries as distinct from the core.  In Pythonia, there is too much
emphasis among the elite (us =) on adding features to the core as
opposed to library modules, IMO.  Related is the fact that much
'cutting-edge' work in Perl is written in Perl, while most of the
cutting edge stuff in Pythonia is done in C.  Some of that relates to
the almost infinite mutability of the Perl engine by Perl itself, which
is not a design goal of Python's -- we don't want 'just anyone' adding
new keywords, for example.  Still, there is room for exploration and
prototyping there which we don't have such easy access to.