Chris Wellons has an interesting comment on Guy Steele’s classic Growing a Language which made me think of Perl:
- The point about a more mature version of a language failing vs an earlier version can’t be right. For example, if Perl 4 and Perl 5 were released at the same time, which would people choose?
- On the other hand, obviously Perl 5 would not exist, because of the lack of evolution, if it hadn’t been for Perl 4. I think I saw a speech by Larry where he said he had tried to lay grass down (e.g. symbol table hacking) for others to turn into sidewalks (e.g object orientation).
- Perl 5 is nicely designed for evolution. Take the Try::Tiny module for example. How many commercially acceptable languages could you add Try/Catch/Finally too if it wasn’t already baked into the language?