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An -OFun prototype of an Ultra Modern Perl 5 written in Scala.

What is this??

It is simplest perhaps to start by saying what this project is not, it is not an attempt to create a production version of Perl 5 on the JVM.

Instead, this project is an /experiment/ to see what a cleaned up and slimmed down Perl 5 might look like. The key word here is "experiment", because no one knows exactly what that will look like, and I want to try and find out.

I will be running this project in the spirit of the Pugs project (Perl 6 on Haskell), which means it is -OFun (optimized for fun) and I welcome any and all contributors. This must be a community effort for it to have any chance of success.


A sizable portion of the inspiration for this project came from a talk given by Jesse Vincent called "Perl 5.16 and Beyond" in which he spoke about a slimmer Perl 5 core which no longer included things like formats, Unix group and user functions, sockets, etc. He also talked about the idea of breaking some backwards compatibility (in a very controlled and clean way) and allowing for new features to be added to the core language. This talk really struck home because I had discussed exactly this same thing with many people over the years.

This project is an attempt at doing a lot of what Jesse was talking about, but instead of trying to clean up the current Perl 5 core, I wanted to see what would happen if we started from scratch.

What about Perl 6

I believe that Perl 6 is ultimately the true future of Perl, and that the language that Larry is so carefully designing will be a really great and fun language to hack in. I got a taste for it when I worked on the Pugs project (Perl 6 in Haskell) and I have spent a lot of my time since trying to bring Perl 6 inspired ideas back to Perl 5 (Moose being the perfect example of this).

So why am I not directing my efforts towards Perl 6?

I believe that it will ultimately benefit Perl 6 to have a more modern Perl 5 that it can interface with. This was something that the Perl 6 folks understood as well, and was manifested in the Ponie project (Perl 5 on Parrot). Unfortunately the Ponie project did not succeed, however the crux of the idea I think is still a good one.

Additionally, I plan to work closely with the Perl 6 team to make sure anything we do make here is poised to mesh well with what the Perl 6 team is doing.

Wait, I have more questions?!?!

I have started an FAQ document to help answer questions about this project, I suggest you refer there. If your questions are not answered in that document, please either submit an issue or better yet fork the project, add the question, seek out an answer and submit a pull request.

Project Status

This is a very, very, very early stage of this project, so please do not judge too harshly. I have created a STATUS document that will describe in more detail where the project is and also start to lay out things that need to be done.

How you can help

As I said above, this project will be run "Pugs style", so I welcome any and all contributions. I should warn you though, there will likely be a lot of churn and duplicated efforts in the early days as this project gets its footing.

For To-Do items, refer to the wiki


Currently the best place to discuss this is in the #moe channel on Github issues are also a perfectly valid means of communication. As the project matures this all will evolve more, but this should be sufficient for now.

Hacking on this

From the command line

Here is what you need installed to get started.

To compile the code and run the test suite, you need only type the following at the root of the source tree.

sbt test

As is the convention with git based projects, please fork and send pull requests.

Using Eclipse

  1. Install SBT. It is available for all major operating systems.

  2. I think the latest version of Eclipse supported by the Scala plugin is 3.7, so install Eclipse 3.7 (Indigo).

  3. Install EGit from the available plugins.

  4. From the Install New Software form, add to the available sites (gotten from - this isn't a stable version, but the stable only supports up to Scala 2.9).

  5. Clone the project using git (separately from Eclipse) into your desired workspace.

  6. Use the instructions from sbteclipse and convert the moe project into an Eclipse workspace-friendly project.

  7. Import the project into Eclipse:

File -> Import... -> Existing Projects into Workspace -> <Browse to the project>

SBT should have pulled in ScalaTest, which you can set as your Run/Debug configurations for running the tests.


This software is Copyright (c) 2013 Infinity Interactive, Inc. and licensed under the MIT license. See the LICENSE file for more details.