Perl 5 for the Future - The Enlightened Perl Organization
Posted in perl Wed, 14 Jan 2009 07:21:00 GMT
A number of people I know through the Perl community have come together to form The Enlightened Perl Organization (EPO). The goal is to modernize Perl 5 and make it competitive with new developments in programming languages, given that it's unknown when Christmas (the delivery date for Perl 6) will arrive.
My take on this is that while other organizations focus on ongoing development of Perl 6, EPO will seek to enhance Perl 5 and take it out of "maintenance mode." Enhancing Perl 5 will hopefully bring much needed modernization to the Perl 5 core that people can use sooner rather than later. One of the most exciting developments in the Perl community, which addresses some of the core criticism of Perl 5, is Moose, an object system that modernizes Perl 5. Unlike previous efforts efforts to enhance Perl 5's object system, this one seems to have gained a lot of traction with 136 current logins on the #moose IRC channel. Moose is different enough that some have even claimed that it is not Perl; however, this is clearly not the case as Moose and non-Moose objects and be freely intermingled within Perl projects. For some information Moose, check out this article by Jon Rockway. In addition to Moose, check out KiokuDB an interface for schema-less databases like Amazon SimpleDB and CouchDB as well as more traditional DBI for RDBMs. In addition to supporting projects, ideally Perl 5's core module list can be modernized so more people will be able to take advantage of and feel comfortable recommending modern approaches to Perl development.
At the same time, I'd also like to see them tackle a few more persistent issues, the most important of which is CPAN usability. There is no doubt the Perl community and the CPAN are very compelling; however, installing CPAN dependencies is more difficult than it needs to be. Installation often requires many interactive prompts and can take a long time for applications with many dependencies. There are typically no 5 minute installs like exist for WordPress, PHPbb, and MediaWiki. Some exceptions include qpsmtpd and Catalyst using Matt Trout's cat-install script.
I welcome EPO as another organization in the Perl community to keep Perl modern and vibrant.