I found this translation and podcast to be interesting and useful, thanks to all who put it together.
Since there seems to have been some disappointment that Perl 6 developers didn’t join in the discussions about “Perl 7″ earlier this year, and in the podcast I’m specifically mentioned by name, I thought I’d go ahead and comment now and try to improve the record a bit.
While I can’t speak for the other Perl 6 developers, in my case I didn’t contribute to the discussion because nearly all the things I would’ve said were already being said better by others such as Larry, rjbs, mst, chromatic, etc. I think a “Perl 7″ rebrand is the wrong approach, for exactly the reasons they give.
A couple of statements in the podcast refer to “hurting the feelings of Perl 6 developers” as being a problem resulting from a rebrand to Perl 7. I greatly appreciate that people are concerned with the possible impact of a Perl 5 rebrand on Perl 6 developers and our progress. I believe that Perl 6′s success or failure at this point will have little to do with the fact that “6 is larger than 5″. I don’t find the basic notion of “Perl 7″ offensive or directly threatening to Perl 6.
But I fully agree with mst that “you can’t … have two successive numbers in two brands and not expect people to be confused.” We already have problems explaining “5″ and “6″ — adding more small integers to the explanation would just make an existing problem even worse, and wouldn’t do anything to address the fundamental problems Perl 6 was intended to resolve.
Since respected voices in the community were already saying the things I thought about the name “Perl 7″, I felt that adding my voice to that chorus could only be more distracting than helpful to the discussion. My involvement would inject speculations on the motivations of Perl 6 developers into what is properly a discussion about how to promote progress with Perl 5. I suspect that other Perl 6 developers independently arrived at similar conclusions and kept silent as well (Larry being a notable exception).
I’d also like to remark on a couple of @sharifulin’s comments in the podcast (acknowledging that the transcribed comments may be imprecise in the translation from Russian):
First, I’m absolutely not the “sole developer” of Perl 6 (13:23 in the podcast), or even the sole developer of Rakudo Perl 6. Frankly I think it’s hugely disrespectful to so flippantly ignore the contributions of others in the Perl 6 development community. Let’s put some actual facts into this discussion… in the past twelve months there have been over 6,500 commits from over 70 committers to the various Perl 6 related repositories (excluding module repositories), less than 4% (218) of those commits are from me. Take a look at the author lists from the Perl 6 commit logs and you may be a little surprised at some of the people you find listed there.
Second, there is not any sense in which I think that clicking ”Like” on a Facebook posting could be considered “admitting defeat” (13:39 in the podcast). For one, my “Like” was actually liking rjbs’ reply to mst’s proposal, as correctly noted in the footnotes (thanks Peter!).
But more importantly, I just don’t believe that Perl 5 and Perl 6 are in a battle that requires there to be a conquerer, a vanquished, or an admission of defeat.