Perl 6 - the future is here, just unevenly distributed

IRC log for #rosettacode, 2012-06-01

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Time Nick Message
00:01 kpreid Perl 5 was my first introduction to modern programming (interactive*, memory-safe, high-level, object-oriented-capable)...
00:02 kpreid (* I first used MacPerl in the pre-Unix-Mac days, which was an integrated runtime and editor, so you could directly "run" the program you're editing, and interactive IO was just another window)
00:10 ClaytonB[RCo] Perl5 really opened my mind but I feel I've outgrown it a bit and - as much as I respect everyone who's worked on developing it - I was unhappy with the direction that Perl 6 ended up going. This is part of the reason I am writing Babel
00:52 TimToady yes, well, most of the RFCs for Perl 6 turned out to be based on the fact that Perl 5 is typeless, so I can see where you wouldn't like gradual typing
00:53 TimToady but take care not to simply create a harder-to-use Perl 5.  :)
00:54 TimToady for Perl 6 we decided that, while it's okay for the user to be confused, it's not so good for the VM to be confused too
01:02 ClaytonB[RCo] Well, the problem I keep running into is that you have to pick between one of two horrible things - either static typing (C->C++->Java->????) or you have to carry along all this meta-data with everything to keep track of types... or worst of all, both (C++ RTTID).
01:03 ClaytonB[RCo] For Babel 2.0, I plan to incorporate some kind of typing - dynamic variables will be (dynamically) type-able and basic-basic type info available at compile time (e.g. "this is a string" "this is a number" "this is a list") will be available to the dynamic run-time but I foresee no static type analysis.
01:05 ClaytonB[RCo] "take care not to simply create a harder-to-use Perl 5" --> I'll keep this in mind... I generally question the idea that types make things easier because it's not my experience that most or even a lot of code problems arise from consuming the wrong data-type
01:06 ClaytonB[RCo] And you can always manually check your data if it's that important
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02:00 mwn3d_canada [[Category:BabelLanguage]] needs some fixes. See the talk page. I'm on my phone so its more difficult for me.
02:00 fedaykin http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Category:BabelLanguage
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04:04 ClaytonB[RCo] hi
04:10 mwn3d_canada Hello
04:30 ClaytonB[RCo] [[BabelLanguage]] <-- worked up the courage to post this today. Warn me if I get annoying about it. :-)
04:30 fedaykin http://rosettacode.org/wiki/BabelLanguage
04:34 mwn3d_canada ClaytonB[RCo]: it should actually be at [[Babel]] and [[Category:Babel]]
04:34 fedaykin http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Babel (Doesn't exist.)  http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Category:Babel
04:34 mwn3d_canada Try to look at how other languages are set up
04:35 mwn3d_canada Normally I would help you fix it (I can move and delete pages) but I'm both on my phone and vacation :p
04:37 mwn3d_canada I forget all of the other people who are still active and can delete pages but if you just copy the content to the correct pages you can just add "{{remove}}" to the old ones. Someone will eventually come along and delete them for you.
04:39 mwn3d_canada Hmmm
04:39 mwn3d_canada I see the problem you ran into
04:39 ClaytonB[RCo] mwn3d: Well, I followed the instructions on the "create a page" wiki and when I searched Category:Babel, it came up with some LZW Compression library in Common Lisp
04:39 ClaytonB[RCo] yeah that
04:39 mwn3d_canada Apparently there is already something called Babel
04:39 ClaytonB[RCo] Well "something"
04:39 ClaytonB[RCo] not a language, though.... grrrrr
04:39 mwn3d_canada Yeah
04:40 mwn3d_canada Not quite sure how to handle that
04:40 ClaytonB[RCo] There IS a language called Babel at Lawrence Livermore National Labs but it's something completely different (common runtime between multiple languages... very icky IMO)
04:40 mwn3d_canada When mikemol comes back to the channel he might have some ideas
04:40 ClaytonB[RCo] Can we rename that one to "CommonLispBabel"?
04:41 ClaytonB[RCo] Since it's actually a Common Lisp library?
04:41 mwn3d_canada That's not really how we name things
04:41 mwn3d_canada Spaces are allowed
04:41 ClaytonB[RCo] Oh ok
04:41 mwn3d_canada And I don't think that's the best way to handle it anyway
04:41 ClaytonB[RCo] i'm used that that camel-case Wiki thing
04:41 ClaytonB[RCo] I think TWiki
04:41 ClaytonB[RCo] OK
04:41 mwn3d_canada We use mediawiki
04:41 ClaytonB[RCo] Personally, I'm in favor of my language being on THE "Babel" page but I'll defer to you guys of course
04:42 mwn3d_canada In the meantime you could write a little bit about it on [[Category Talk:BabelLanguage]]
04:42 fedaykin http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Category_Talk:BabelLanguage
04:42 mwn3d_canada That way the community might be able to come up with a solution
04:42 mwn3d_canada I don't think we've had this happen before
04:43 mwn3d_canada I don't suppose you had a back up name for your language? :p
04:43 ClaytonB[RCo] OK - I was unsure how much depth to go into
04:43 mwn3d_canada You can just say that you tried to do it the real way but there was already a library listed at [[Category:Babel]]
04:43 fedaykin http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Category:Babel
04:44 ClaytonB[RCo] Well, it's had a few names and I recognized the possibility of namespace-collision with this particular name but chose to stick with it anyway
04:44 mwn3d_canada And that you took a guess at how to handle it
04:44 ClaytonB[RCo] I believe in my heart-of-hearts that one day everyone will know that "Babel" refers to this Babel :-P
04:44 mwn3d_canada Heh I hope so. For now you have to fight it out with the other Babels.
04:45 ClaytonB[RCo] Yeah - it's OK
04:45 ClaytonB[RCo] I came across that language library before but never guessed it would have a page on Rosetta Code because it's not a language of any kind
04:45 ClaytonB[RCo] It's just a unicode library as I understand it
04:46 mwn3d_canada I think a long time ago we had a "Library" namespace (like "Category") but we wanted the library pages to work like categories
04:46 mwn3d_canada We have a bunch of library pages
04:46 ClaytonB[RCo] ah
04:46 mwn3d_canada Things as popular as GTK and things as obscure as....well Babel
04:46 ClaytonB[RCo] haha - yeah
04:47 ClaytonB[RCo] true, I suppose GTK deserves a page here
04:47 mwn3d_canada Yeah
04:47 ClaytonB[RCo] anyway, what really I really like about RC is the side-by-side task pages
04:47 ClaytonB[RCo] I want people to be able to see Babel side-by-side with other languages so they can get a feel for it
04:48 ClaytonB[RCo] Then I think they'll like it, or at least, some of the crazy ones will :P
04:48 mwn3d_canada Yeah its good for that. And that's the intention.
04:49 mwn3d_canada We like to give voices to minority languages and libraries and algorithms etc. So its perfect for both Babels (and any other ones that are out there).
04:50 mwn3d_canada In any case we have a bunch of smart people watching and using the site. We should be able to come up with a nice way to handle this situation.
04:50 ClaytonB[RCo] That's awesome and I enjoy browsing RC for all the weird tasks and programming languages I never heard of... especially the ones that look really strange like SNUSP. I'm also a fan of Esolang (I have an entry on that Wiki): http://esolangs.org/wiki/Muxcomp
04:50 fedaykin "Muxcomp - Esolang"
04:51 mwn3d_canada Oh yeah SNUSP blew my mind when it showed up
04:51 mwn3d_canada And Befunge
04:51 mwn3d_canada Have you seen [[RCSNUSP]]?
04:51 fedaykin http://rosettacode.org/wiki/RCSNUSP
04:52 mwn3d_canada That's also a good example of how to deal with programming examples that are really long
04:52 mwn3d_canada If an example is really large then its best to put it on its own page and then link to that page from the task
04:53 mwn3d_canada Just in case you have a huge Babel example to post
04:53 ClaytonB[RCo] Hmm, I'll keep that in mind
04:54 mwn3d_canada It helps with pageload times and mobile users (like me)
04:56 ClaytonB[RCo] yeah some of those pages can take a while to load even on a desktop
04:57 mwn3d_canada Yeah we haven't really come up with a system for pages with a lot of short examples
04:58 mwn3d_canada [[Fibonacci sequence]] is one that I know is rough on my phone
04:58 fedaykin http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Fibonacci_sequence
05:00 ClaytonB[RCo] I have a Babel fibonacci example on hand but it's not very elegant... :\
05:00 mwn3d_canada I don't think anyone in the RC Babel community will complain :p
05:03 ClaytonB[RCo] ha, true
05:03 mwn3d_canada Anyway I'm off to bed. Long day walking around the undergound city in montreal tomorrow.
05:03 ClaytonB[RCo] alright, gn
05:04 mwn3d_canada Add a note to the BabelLanguage talk page to see if we can get some help organizing these pages. Hopefully we can get some quick responses.
05:04 ClaytonB[RCo] OK, will do
05:04 ClaytonB[RCo] thx for the help
05:04 mwn3d_canada Otherwise keep trying here. Especially if mikemol is in.
05:15 * TimToady had to rename perl at the beginning because there was something already named pearl
05:16 eMBee hmm, Babel Library or CL Babel should be ok for that other babel somehow...
05:16 eMBee ClaytonB[RCo]: dynamic typing but basic type infrmation available at compiletime? that's like [[Pike]]
05:16 fedaykin http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Pike
05:16 eMBee which is my favourite language btw :-)
05:18 eMBee the killer feature i like is that i can recompile classes at runtime
05:26 ClaytonB[RCo] *looking at Pike
05:27 * ClaytonB[RCo] tries to do something
05:27 ClaytonB[RCo] ok,
05:27 * ClaytonB[RCo] looking at Pike
05:27 ClaytonB[RCo] TimToady: Are you LW?
05:28 TimToady Lawrence Welk?
05:29 ClaytonB[RCo] haha, no, the other one Larry Wall
05:29 TimToady there are 137 Larry Walls in the U.S. last I checked, and I'm only two of them.
05:33 ClaytonB[RCo] cool - well, Perl will be my 2nd favorite language once I get done with Babel ;-)
05:36 ClaytonB[RCo] There is really only one data type in Babel... the bstruct - it is comprised of one of three sub-types... an interior-array (holds only pointers), a leaf-array (holds only non-pointers) or a "hash-reference" which is just a hash suitable for lookup in the sym_table. Any other "type" will exist solely within the programmer's brain.
05:39 ClaytonB[RCo] By recursively connecting together the three sub-types according to specific rules, you can build something that looks a lot like Lisp conses
05:39 ClaytonB[RCo] Except with built-in support for indexable arrays and symbolic lookup
05:42 eMBee ClaytonB[RCo]: what don't you like about perl 6?
05:43 * TimToady lurks behind an RFC
05:45 ClaytonB[RCo] eMBee: Well, let me say what I do like about Perl 5 since I haven't used perl 6 enough to actually DISlike it; I like the typelessness of Perl 5 and I think it's a big part of what makes it so powerful, flexible and intuitive (for me). Perl 5 has started to add in some type-y stuff over the last several years and I have refused to use anything more type-y than a package (sorry, I don't even bless things if I can get away
05:45 ClaytonB[RCo] Perl 6 took it to the next level and it looks a lot like any other OOP language to me
05:46 TimToady actually, it took it about 2 levels further than that, but go ahead :)
05:46 ClaytonB[RCo] I liked that you *couldn't* say "this is an int" - Personally, I don't care what you plan to use a label to hold, that can always be noted in comments or ideally should be self-documenting
05:46 ClaytonB[RCo] :P Tim
05:47 TimToady that's "Toady" to you :)
05:47 ClaytonB[RCo] lol, ok Toady  (I warn that it's going to keep coming out as Today due to wetware auto-correction...)
05:50 ClaytonB[RCo] Though I guess I can use the original spelling...Towtdi :P
05:51 TimToady the P6 take is that you can't do decent extensibility without multi-dispatch, and you can't do multi-dispatch without decent types
05:52 TimToady and P6 is all about extensibility
05:53 TimToady otherwise everything must be defined operationally, and that tends result in languages that are defined by dynamic scope rather than lexical scope, which is a mistake
05:54 TimToady which you can get away with if you're not interested in extensibility, of course :)
05:55 TimToady if all your extensibility gets pushed out to libraries, you lose most of the ability to define DSLs
05:55 ClaytonB[RCo] Yeah I understand the p6 direction there, it just feels less swiss-army-knifey to me... perhaps it's just that old blanket of familiarity
05:56 * TimToady imagines the Swiss Army trying to fight a battle with only Swiss Army Knives®.
05:57 ClaytonB[RCo] I won't compare Babel to p6 b/c there's just no comparison (perl 6 has infinitely more awesome :P in it) but the idea with Babel is for libraries to actually wrap themselves in their own VMs
05:57 ClaytonB[RCo] The reason for this is that libraries are going to be treated as un-trusted
05:58 TimToady seems to me that trust is orthononal to libraryhood
05:58 TimToady you could have a scaling issue if you add artificial impediments
05:59 ClaytonB[RCo] Not if you're fetching your library from a remote source without involving the user in the import/install decision
05:59 TimToady well, but that's orthogonal to whether it's a library
05:59 ClaytonB[RCo] directly, that is
06:00 TimToady just sayin' that if you bundle orthogonal things, you can be disruptive in some dimensions, but won't scale to ecological niches where the dimensions need to be distinguished
06:01 TimToady platypuses do well in their niche, but they haven't taken over the world
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06:02 ClaytonB[RCo] I guess what I'm saying is that VMs is how Babel implements what would be a package in Perl; the VM implementation is ultra-lightweight
06:02 ClaytonB[RCo] And I do hear your niche caution... *sigh
06:03 TimToady well, as we say, have the appropriate amount of fun  :)
06:03 ClaytonB[RCo] If I talk to you much longer I'm going to end up back at the drawing boards... lol
06:03 TimToady horrors!  :)
06:03 ClaytonB[RCo] If you want to pollute your namespace with someone else's code, you are welcome to do so in Babel
06:04 ClaytonB[RCo] But there are downsides to that, as well
06:04 ClaytonB[RCo] As @EXPORT is ample evidence of ... :P
06:04 TimToady well, just make sure your language isn't just a clone of some other language, and I'm sure it'll find it's place in the world
06:05 TimToady "therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man" --GBS
06:06 TimToady *its
06:06 ClaytonB[RCo] For me, I think the most enlightening aspect of learning Perl was the idea of "optimizing to the programmer's brain"; I work in a large corporation and every internal tool we use could not be FURTHER from being optimized for human brains.
06:07 * TimToady unreasonably wants "it's" to become acceptable as a possessive...
06:08 TimToady well, I don't think postfix notation is optimized for the human brain, unless you happen to speak a postfix language like Japanese...
06:08 * TimToady wonders why Postfix and Forth weren't more popular in Japan...
06:08 ClaytonB[RCo] Yeah, I think there's a bit of an anglocentric bias there
06:09 ClaytonB[RCo] lol
06:10 ClaytonB[RCo] An article on slashdot sometime back explained that programming is actually dual-coding... a programming language is at once a machine and a human language. I am convinced that the benefits of forsaking infix to the regularity of the machine-aspect of the language of forsaking will pay off in the long run
06:11 TimToady well, Lisp tried that too :P
06:11 ClaytonB[RCo] s/of forsaking will/will/
06:12 ClaytonB[RCo] Yeah and Lisp has the benefit to English speakers of being prefix
06:13 ClaytonB[RCo] *shrug - I'll admit that the odds are against prefix
06:14 TimToady it's not prefix or postfix that's the issue, it's the search for a "perfect" language when human brains are optimized for something else
06:14 ClaytonB[RCo] Forth is the closest such language to being successful... as evidenced by all 10 Forth programmers :-P
06:14 TimToady one of my favorite books is The Search for the Perfect Language by Umberto Eco
06:14 TimToady and it's not about programming at all
06:14 ClaytonB[RCo] i'll take a look
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06:15 TimToady a good human language actually requires a certain amount of irregularity
06:16 TimToady at some point "similar things should look similar" breaks down, and for common stuff you need to get more into a "similar stuff should look different" mode of thinking
06:16 ClaytonB[RCo] Ooh, Chaitin has an entire article on the book...
06:17 TimToady that's Eco's point
06:19 TimToady note that in human languages, the irregular verbs tend to be the most common ones
06:19 ClaytonB[RCo] they definitely are be is ... :P
06:19 TimToady this is not just an accident due to overuse
06:20 TimToady it's where we need more redundancy in language
06:21 TimToady think how much more confusing English would be if instead of distinguishing am/are/is you had something like is/ish/izh
06:21 ClaytonB[RCo] But aren't programming languages only doing to a small extent what natural language does?
06:21 TimToady well, if you think the computer is the audience, sure
06:21 ClaytonB[RCo] They convey some meaning but it's actually a miniscule amount compared to, say, the works of Shakespear
06:21 TimToady but I'd rather optimize for the human
06:22 ClaytonB[RCo] Shakespeare*
06:22 ClaytonB[RCo] But even then, to the next person to read my code, I'm still only communicating about a very narrow subject
06:22 ClaytonB[RCo] This or that object hierarchy, this or that data flow
06:23 TimToady the more general your progamming language, the more that breaks down
06:23 ClaytonB[RCo] true
06:24 ClaytonB[RCo] pardon me while I break connection to get on the VPN...
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06:25 ClaytonB[RCo] *back
06:25 * ClaytonB[RCo] waits for the applause
06:25 TimToady everyone is waiting for your next trick
06:27 ClaytonB[RCo] dang, I guess my side-business as a stand-up comedian is doomed to bankruptcy...
06:28 TimToady anyway, solving a problem of a given complexity is going to need a solution of that complexity; if your language oversimplifies, you end up with long solutions like REXX; if your language undersimplifies, you end up with short programs like J :)
06:28 TimToady for that reason there will never be a perfect language for every job
06:29 ClaytonB[RCo] that I absolutely agree with... there is no perfect language
06:30 ClaytonB[RCo] but there are less bad ones... and Perl is definitely in that subset
06:31 TimToady it did some things right-ish, and other things not-so-right-ish
06:32 TimToady P6 is trying to make different mistakes :)
06:32 ClaytonB[RCo] lol
06:33 ClaytonB[RCo] here's a question I'm sure you've had a 1000x but I can't resist.... sigils: Would you do it all over again?
06:34 TimToady many human languages have noun markers, including English
06:34 TimToady $ vs @ is just singular vs plural
06:34 ClaytonB[RCo] fair enough
06:34 TimToady in P6 we've regularized them though
06:35 TimToady the business of subscripting @foo with $foo[$n] is nuts
06:35 ClaytonB[RCo] yes, that's nice, even one of the later Perl 5's (can't remember which) got sigil invariance which can be convenient
06:35 TimToady we also have a way of doing sigilless programming in P6 if you want that
06:35 TimToady but most people like the sigils
06:36 TimToady especially since sigils allow us to add a second character (called a "twigil") that documents strange scoping
06:36 ClaytonB[RCo] yeah I have yet to wrap my head around twigils
06:36 TimToady that's actually an idea stolen back from Ruby, which uses sigils to mark strange scoping rather than data structure
06:37 TimToady $.foo is always an attribute with an accessor, $!foo is the private storage for it
06:37 TimToady $?foo is always a compiler constant(ish) value
06:37 TimToady $^foo is a self-declared parameter
06:38 TimToady so instead of reserving $a and $b for sort, it naturally falls out if you say { $^a <=> $^b }
06:38 TimToady $*foo is a dynamic variable, like your ENV is to processes
06:38 ClaytonB[RCo] I'll have to look up self-declared parameter, not sure I understand that
06:39 TimToady ordinarily you'd write a lambda in P6 as: -> $a, $b { $a op $b }
06:39 TimToady you can just write { $^a op $^b } to mean the same thing
06:40 TimToady anyway, if you see a sigil you know it's a weird variable without having to remember all the declarations
06:40 TimToady *twigil I mean
06:41 TimToady and it turns out that with both FP and OO styles, the use of sigils to mark the head of noun phrase helps readability
06:42 TimToady because instead of a bunch of nouns all over, both of those styles tend more toward cascaded function or method calls
06:42 TimToady so marking the head of the $foo.bar.baz or bar(baz($foo)) helps to distinguish the actual noun from all the verbs
06:43 TimToady so it's a subtle encouragement to use more verbs and fewer nouns
06:43 * ClaytonB[RCo] hates late-night status reports... ugh
06:44 TimToady what TZ are you in?
06:44 ClaytonB[RCo] PST
06:44 ClaytonB[RCo] or P*T whichever it is right now
06:44 TimToady D I guess
06:45 TimToady I guess I'd better wander off to my own bed before I turn into a pumpkin
06:45 ClaytonB[RCo] I'm in the great state of OR
06:45 TimToady I've lived there
06:45 TimToady and WA, and CA...
06:45 TimToady OR is nice on average :)
06:45 ClaytonB[RCo] haha - well, I enjoyed the chat, gn
06:45 TimToady likewise, ciao &
06:46 * sorear would kind of like to be able to do pointless programming in perl6
06:48 TimToady .oO(if it's fun, it's not pointless...)
06:49 TimToady .oO(conversely pointless programming is kind of a pain sometimes...)
06:50 TimToady .oO(the human brain treasures both nouns and verbs for a reason)
06:50 TimToady .oO(zzz)
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13:01 eMBee "I view C++ like drinking from a beer bong: a little is nice, but if you don't control yourself it's easy to swallow too much and wake up the following day with a protected abstract virtual base pure virtual private destructor in your bed." from: http://sourceforge.net/mailarchive/forum.php?thread_name=45220438-0E0B-472A-B8AF-6DE1B363F9D4%40ridiculousfish.com&amp;forum_name=fish-users
13:01 fedaykin "SourceForge.net: The friendly interactive shell: fish-users" http://rldn.net/9G7n
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17:32 ClaytonB[RCo] is donal fellows (Dkf) here?
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20:50 mwn3d_canada ClaytonB[RCo]: looks like the naming situation has been fixed :)
21:09 ClaytonB[RCo] mwn3d: I know! I'm really glad... donal fellows fixed it for me
21:09 ClaytonB[RCo] [[Babel]]
21:09 fedaykin http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Babel
21:09 ClaytonB[RCo] I just put an Ackermann function up
21:10 mwn3d_canada Filling up nicely
21:11 mwn3d_canada You can also add some nice categorizations to the language page
21:11 ClaytonB[RCo] categorizations?
21:11 mwn3d_canada Look at [[Template:Language]] for a table of instructions
21:11 fedaykin http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Template:Language
21:12 mwn3d_canada Lots of them are used on [[Category:Java]]. You can look at the source to see how to add the arguments properly.
21:12 fedaykin http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Category:Java
21:13 mwn3d_canada It will automatically categorize the language and it will give people some clues about how the language works
21:14 ClaytonB[RCo] cool, I'll definitely add that
21:14 mwn3d_canada There are also programming paradigms that you can add to the page. Those are used in the language pages of lots of the popular languages. Just look around at other language pages to see if there are any cool things you can add.
21:17 mwn3d_canada Java, C, C++, Ruby, Perl...they should all make heavy use of lots of those kinds of features
21:17 ClaytonB[RCo] Yes, I definitely want to put that for Babel, it's multi-paradigmatic and I think it has a very interesting mix that people will want to try out
21:19 mwn3d_canada Once you get that all set up you can add a row to the [[Language Comparison Table]]. Once again...just copy an existing example and repurpose it for your language.
21:19 fedaykin http://rosettacode.org/wiki/Language_Comparison_Table
21:19 mwn3d_canada The "preview" button will be your friend :)
21:28 ClaytonB[RCo] yes I'm a huge fan of the preview button already ;)
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