Thoughtstream | Seminars

Perl 6: Specialization Is For Insects

To paraphrase Robert Heinlein: "A developer should be able to master everything from bit manipulation to set theory, from Boolean algebra to concurrency, from parsing grammars to graph traversal, from two's-complement arithmetic to higher-order functions, from sorting algorithms to multiple dispatch, from macros to closures. Specialization is for insects."

Perl 6 is a new multiparadigm language in the Perl family. It offers everything from low-level bitwise operations on raw bytes, to a full range of built-in system commands, to hygenic source code macros, to direct symbol-table introspection and manipulation, to run-time composition of multiply dispatched multimethods from mixins, to object-oriented grammars with hybrid DFA/NFA rules, to concurrent higher-order functions applied over infinite lists of pipelined arbitrary precision integers.

In other words, we stole the best features from 20 different languages, and then spent a decade working out how to put them together in a way that is clean, efficient, powerful, and still usable by actual human beings. And Perl 6 was the result.

In this presentation, Dr Damian Conway (one of the principle designers of Perl 6) will discuss and demonstrate some of the most interesting features of the language.