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"Perl" in the name "Perl 6" is confusing and irritating #81

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lizmat opened this issue Aug 8, 2019 · 215 comments

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@lizmat
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commented Aug 8, 2019

Perl 6 was initially conceived to be the next version of Perl. It took way too long to mature to an initial release. Meanwhile, people interested in taking Perl 5 along, took back the reigns and continued developing Perl 5.

Having two programming languages that are sufficiently different to not be source compatible, but only differ in what many perceive to be a version number, is hurting the image of both Perl 5 and Perl 6 in the world. Since the word "Perl" is still perceived as "Perl 5" in the world, it only seems fair that "Perl 6" changes its name.

Since Larry has indicated, in his video message to the participants of PerlCon 2019 in Riga, that the two sister languages are now old and wise enough to take care of themselves, such a name change would no longer require the approval of the BDFL.

@lizmat

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commented Aug 8, 2019

I would therefore propose to change the name to "the Camelia Programming Language" or "Camelia" for short, for several reasons:

  • the search term "camelia programming language" already brings you to the right place. This means that changing the name to "Camelia" will have minimal impact on findability on search engines such as Google and DuckDuckGo.

  • the logo / mascot would not need changing: it's just that it now also becomes the actual name of the programming language.

  • "Camelia" in its name, still carries something Perlish inside of it.

  • The concept of "Camelia" being an implementation of a specification in "roast", still stands. The alternative, to use "Rakudo" as the name of the language, would cause confusion with the name being used to indicate an implementation, and would endanger the separation between specification and implementation.

  • Choosing yet another name, such as Albus, would mean having to start from scratch with marketing and getting the name out there. Hence my preference for a known name such as "Camelia".

  • The "Camelia" logo is still copyright Larry Wall, so it would allow Larry to still be connected to one of the programming languages that he helped get into the world.

@lizmat lizmat changed the title "Perl" in the name "Perl 6" is a source of confusion and irritation "Perl" in the name "Perl 6" is confusing and irritating Aug 8, 2019

@AlexDaniel AlexDaniel added the language label Aug 8, 2019

@AlexDaniel

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commented Aug 8, 2019

Because we don't have this type of tickets very often, here's a reminder of how it goes for solutions that require consensus, specifically for this ticket:

  • Changing the language name is a change to the language, so @jnthn will be directing the progress on this ticket.
  • Once a particular solution is chosen (e.g. Camelia), it'd need to be submitted as a pull request (once jnthn decides that the particular solution is worth trying). The pull request should at the very least tweak “Perl” mentions in the README.md, other requirements (if any) will be specified by jnthn.
  • Usually, more proposals are welcome right from the start, but I think in this case we should refrain from spamming more suggestions (something other than “Camelia”) unless jnthn really wants to look for a different name.
  • Everyone in this list will need to approve the change, and the idea is that as grown ups we should eventually get to the same decision through civil discussion. If you're not in that list but you're involved in this project and the change affects you significantly, you should submit a PR adding yourself.
  • This ticket will likely get a lot of comments, so please try to keep them small and on point.

Edit1: clarified that the PR is only needed later once jnthn is OK with the change
Edit2: recommend people to be short and on point

@nxadm

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commented Aug 8, 2019

I agree wholeheartedly with @lizmat. The name Perl 6 dates from a time when the project had a completely different scope and timetable. Today, people outside the Perl echo chamber can't differentiate between Perl 5 and Perl 6, besides making the wrong --but obvious-- assumption the former is the old version and the latter the new one. Perl 6 is a new language with a smaller community and ecosystem compared to Perl 5, and like every new language needs to find its own way to a wider usage. This needs to be acknowledged: there is only so far you can go on the shoulder of the older language.

On one hand, Perl 5 is damaged by the startup status op Perl 6, not only because of the squatting of the next major number, but also because the new language can't yet deliver on what people expect from a top 10 language. Why would they give Perl 5 a chance when the latest version has a very small ecosystem and not a lot of jobs available yet? On the other hand, there is no denying that the popularity of Perl 5 is decreasing. Why would you try this hip new language when the main implementation is loosing mindshare?

@lizmat bets of the success of both languages, and who know, maybe it can be still one meta-community.

@genehack

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commented Aug 8, 2019

The video from Larry referenced by Liz in the ticket description can be seen here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2e0xSOHd-0

@nige123

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commented Aug 8, 2019

Here are some criteria for a good language name:

  • distinctive
  • shortish (< 6 characters)
  • good Google find-ability
  • command-line type-ability
  • easy to read
  • straightforward to pronounce
  • easy to spell
  • avoid hardwiring version numbers into the name (e.g., red6)
  • not cause confusion
  • not used by other major software projects / companies
  • not trademarked already (in international classes: 9, 16, 41, 42)

"Camelia" ticks many of these boxes, although I prefer something shorter to type at the command-line. I wonder if we can come up with something shorter?

shell> camelia hello.cml
shell> cml hello.ca
shell> cm hello.cma
shell> ca hello.ca

"raku" and "ofun" were two names that ticked all the boxes above.

@RayMPerry

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commented Aug 8, 2019

I don't have much of a horse in this race - in fact, this is my first comment - but, regarding the previous comment, camelia doesn't necessarily need to be the name of the command-line tool. In D, they use either dmd/gdc/ldc or dub. Maybe the same concept could apply here?

@vrurg

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commented Aug 8, 2019

Perhaps Camelia must not be a command line tool. Perhaps it has to be:

$ rakudo -v 
This is Rakudo version 2019.07.1-126-g90ffa349c built on MoarVM version 2019.07.1-72-g352ae27e4
implementing Camelia 6.d.

Anyway, renaming would result in so many different sorts of problems ranging in severity from "nah, nothing to worry about" to "oh, f*!" that compiler's name could simply be ignored as irrelevant.

As to the name itself. I personally don't care about it as I care more about the language itself. Yet, Camelia I like more than any other proposal so far. Actually, I just like it.

@nxadm

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commented Aug 8, 2019

@vrurg That is pretty much what rakudo-pkg does for Linux packages (link "perl6" to "rakudo" and "raku"):

https://github.com/nxadm/rakudo-pkg/blob/master/docker/pkg_rakudo.pl#L64

@ajs

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commented Aug 8, 2019

Here are some pros and cons that I don't see discussed above:

  • "Perl 6" as a name has been around just shy of 20 years. It has a lot of history both inside and outside of the Perl community. There are documents like the one I just published today (Your Regex Here that aren't within the scope of anything this proposal will change, leading to potential confusion for years to come.
  • Given the above timeline, imagine the proposal in the mid-2000s to change the name of perl (then Perl version 5) to LarryLang. The fact that that's a terrible name would not be in my top 10 reasons to dismiss the suggestion.
  • But on the positive, a name change means, in some sense, a clean break with the history. There's a sense that Perl 6 is "never done" and when it is done it seems wise to draw that line in the sand.
  • On the other hand, is it done? There's a pretty high signal boost in a name change, and if that signal-boosts "not done yet" then that's what this name will mean in the public consciousness forever.
  • It does start with "C", and I personally like the call-back to C in our ancestry.
  • I never saw a good analysis of why "Raku" seemed to fall so flat on the broader community.
@wbraswell

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commented Aug 8, 2019

I have already been promoting "Perl 6 AKA Raku", and I will be quite happy to promote "Perl 6 AKA Camelia" in the future, if this proposal is accepted. I will even be willing to drop the "Perl 6" eventually and just talk about "Camelia" as a language.

For the record, I like both names "Raku" and "Camelia", although I tend to agree with most everything @lizmat says (in general), so if she thinks "Camelia" is better then I will support this proposal 100%.

@lindleyw

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commented Aug 8, 2019

The right proposal at the right time.

@tadzik

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commented Aug 8, 2019

Frankly, I don't think I agree.

The reality is confusing (and irritating) as you say – no doubt about that. In hindsight, it was probably a mistake to name Perl 6 “Perl 6”, or maybe it was a mistake to not actually replace Perl 5 in a reasonable timeframe. However, I think the damage is done and the ship has sailed. I think the confusion may be with us forever, and I really don't think that a name change is going to do anything about it.

I don't see how Perl 5 is going to benefit from this. We're freeing the name, yes. They're free to reuse the versions now in however way they like, yes. Are they going to name the successor to 5.30 “Perl 6”? Of course not – that would cause more confusion, make them look stupid and make whatever spiritual successor of Perl 6 we could think of look obsolete. Would they go up to Perl 7 with the next major change? Perhaps, but they can do that anyway: they're another grown-up language that can make its own decisions :)

I'm not convinced it would do anything to improve Perl 6's image either. Being Perl 6 is “standing on the shoulders of giants”. Perl is a strong brand. Many people have left it because of the version confusion, yes. But I don't imagine these people coming back to check out some new Camelia language that came out. They might however decide to give Perl 6 a shot if they start seeing some news about it – “oh, I was using Perl 15 years ago... is this still a thing? Is that new famous version finally being out and useful? I should check it out!”

Additionally, I think that aside from the potential benefits of the change we should consider the potential damage. Once the word gets out that “Perl 6 is no longer being developed”, do you think that this will do Perl 5 any good? The fact that their supposed replacement was “finally abandoned”? Then also, people who decide to check out Camelia years from now, aren't they going to think “oh, wait, that's that Perl 6 thing that was actually dropped” – or maybe “oh, that looks like some sort of a weird spin of this Perl 7 that came out recently”.

Especially considering the potential damage to both our languages and communities, I think at the very least the Perl 5 community should be consulted on this. I know some of them have previously expressed joy at the idea of “the freeing of the name”, often for dubious reasons, but I think the issue is bigger than just us and it's fair to consider the opinion of at least the Perl 5 pumpking – and ideally also the Perl 5 loosely defined “cabal” :)

Now, I get that this issue is brought up whenever a question or a myth or a problem of the popularity of Perl, 5 or 6, is brought up – and for an understandable reason. The name confusion is a marketing and a visibility problem. But is it really the problem? Isn't the renaming idea a micro-optimization of the image of Perl?

C and C++ don't seem to be bothered by it too much. Neither do C and D. Or C++ and C# (the latter of which I like to read as C-plus-plus-plus-plus ;)). Nobody doubts that C++ is alive, that C is still a thing etc. Nobody really considers either of them dead. And the reason for that, I think, is that both of them are very much visible in the programming world, and not just in their own bubbles (except for D, perhaps). There's still people who get confused at the idea of C and C++ – or Java and JavaScript – but those are not actual programmers who are interested in this thing. Nobody who follows the programming community (and the “market”) in any way would ever confuse any pair of these. I think that's because all of these languages have a strong enough presence that any name problem of theirs is not really a problem at all.

I feel like the name debate gets brought up – by both sides – as a scapegoat of bigger issues. The reason why Perl 5 is considered dead is because the overwhelming majority of those considerers haven't seen Perl 5 being used in the last 10 years – and probably haven't seen a Perl 5 programmer either. Same goes for Perl 6 – it's hard to argue that Perl 6 is finished and ready when a single hand is more than enough to count the real-world uses of it. These issues will not go away with the rename. Perl, the old Perl 5, will still need to prove itself as the “still alive and better than ever”. Camelia, the old Perl 6, will still need to prove that it's a relevant language in a saturated programming market – and this time without the existing brand recognition and legacy that it has. A new name is not a killer app.

I think the renaming would do more harm than good. I'm not convinced that it will by itself change anything in the public image – whoever cares about Perl already knows the difference, and whoever does not care will not even bother to read the renaming announcements. If the Perl family of languages are to make – and enlarge – their impact on the world it has to be done with code, not words – semantics, not syntax, if you pardon the awful pun.

In any case, if Perl 6 is indeed to be renamed, I'd rather if it took a side turn rather than teleporting completely elsewhere. A name like “Perlsix” would still, imho, pass all the tests in our naming test suite, while it would also show pride of our legacy rather than running away from it. The world and the market of programming languages is crowded and cruel. I think we stand a better chance as a two-headed monster than by marking one of us as “finally not even meant to be replaced” and hiding the other in the obscurity by essentially starting the branding effort from scratch.

I hope that you, the people who actually make Perl 6 a reality, don't mind my use of “we” on this wall of text :) I love you all, and I trust you'll make the right call, whatever that call might be. I just felt like reacting with more than a glorified “:/” emoji ;)

@jberger

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commented Aug 8, 2019

Are they going to name the successor to 5.30 “Perl 6”? Of course not – that would cause more confusion, make them look stupid and make whatever spiritual successor of Perl 6 we could think of look obsolete. Would they go up to Perl 7 with the next major change? Perhaps, but they can do that anyway: they're another grown-up language that can make its own decisions :)

I hope that this proposal, which I support, doesn't get derailed by how Perl 5 will respond to it. Clearly though, it will need to do some corresponding change to un-confuse the story from that side as well. Certainly the number 6 would never be used. I would propose doing what Java did and "promote" the "minor" version number. In that way Camelia could live in harmony with Perl 32 or whatever the current minor release is when it happens and there would be plenty of intellectual space between 6 and 32 or whatever that hopefully no one is confused by that going forward. Of course that's not my call either and it will be up to p5p to make whatever choice they feel will break the marketing log jam and help both languages assert their "not dead"-ness to the world at large, which I think we all agree, is the goal, even if we sometimes differ on how to get there.

@Grinnz

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commented Aug 8, 2019

Especially considering the potential damage to both our languages and communities, I think at the very least the Perl 5 community should be consulted on this. I know some of them have previously expressed joy at the idea of “the freeing of the name”, often for dubious reasons, but I think the issue is bigger than just us and it's fair to consider the opinion of at least the Perl 5 pumpking – and ideally also the Perl 5 loosely defined “cabal” :)

I will stay out of this except to say, from the side of the Perl 5 "cabal", I wholeheartedly support this proposal and the potential "damages" you cite to Perl 5 are in my opinion non-issues, especially compared to the damage that continues to be done by "Perl 6" existing officially. Proper marketing is everything.

@Kaiepi

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commented Aug 8, 2019

They might however decide to give Perl 6 a shot if they start seeing some news about it – “oh, I was using Perl 15 years ago... is this still a thing? Is that new famous version finally being out and useful? I should check it out!”

The language being called Perl 6 may be beneficial for swaying former Perl users to use it, but what about people that have never used Perl before? I find the opposite is the case most of the time; people don't want to try Perl 6 because they see Perl and think "oh that's that write-only language" when Perl 6 doesn't have that issue at all. Perl's a strong brand, sure, but we can't ignore the reputation it's gained among people that don't use it.

FTR, I'm still undecided as to whether or not I support this.

@vrurg

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commented Aug 8, 2019

Evolution vs. revolution... Such abrupt name change being done at once is a revolution. While sometimes revolutions bring changes for better, they're always harmful and painful. Evolution takes longer and may end up in a dead end, but it's usually more reliable process and provides more stable results.

Here is what I mean by that. Maybe we must do what was supposed to be done for Raku? Make it Perl 6 Camelia and just give it a chance. If over time Camelia takes over then this is how things are supposed to be. And if not – Perl 6 will thrive forever.

In either case, Perl 6 is occupied now and forever. It will most assuredly remain in the sources and many docs for long if not forever. Barely anybody would bother renaming their scripts and modules changing extensions – so, .pm6, and .p6, and alikes would stick around.

One things I know for sure: this proposal must be the last of its kind. This discussion itself brings in more harm then any name attached to the language.

@nxadm

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commented Aug 8, 2019

Here is what I mean by that. Maybe we must do what was supposed to be done for Raku? Make it Perl 6 Camelia and just give it a chance. If over time Camelia takes over then this is how things are supposed to be. And if not – Perl 6 will thrive forever.

If there is something I would oppose, is going for a do-over of a (well intended) failure. Rename and let both languages grow or, just do nothing acknowledge the consequences. But rehashing the same discussion every six months and picking non-solutions hasn't worked for many years, being narratives of broken analogies ("sister languages) or something that completely neglects to work on the problem ("a name with Perl in it").

@zoffixznet's alias plan made sense then because it was meant as a first step for a renaming when people's mind weren't open yet to the idea. Listening to the Perl 5 Pumpkin's talk at TPC-USA made one thing very clear for me: the Perl 5 people are moving on, and Perl 6 is not part of the roadmap.

@tony-o

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commented Aug 8, 2019

@nxadm the alias was a worst of both worlds compromise. We need to either rename the lang or stop discussing it, the cyclical [re]discussion is most of the damage at this point.

@tadzik's suggestion for a name (if we rename) lgtm but, whatever, not like I'm going to stop contributing either way.

@kentfredric

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commented Aug 8, 2019

I'm not raising any objections, however, 2 things to consider:

  1. Camelia is usually spelt with 2 "L"'s (with only one notable exception in wikipedia), not 1, and this could potentially be a place for repeated and predictable mistakes.
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camellia_%28cipher%29
@JJ

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commented Aug 8, 2019

@thoughtstream

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commented Aug 9, 2019

I'm long on the record as being in favour of a different name.

And I have no particular objection to the name "Camelia", which has good
searchability and strong associations with both Perl 5 and Perl 6.

But I'm nervous about voting on this proposal without at least a
brief discussion on the actual name we choose. It feels like we're
being offered a either/or choice: "Perl 6" or "Camelia",
without any consideration of other possibilities.

I don't mean to suggest that Liz hasn't considered those other possibilities,
or that there haven't been similar discussions previously, or that Liz's point
about starting from scratch with some other name isn't very well made.
And I certainly understand the psychological benefits of making this a simple
fait accompli.

But if this change is really happening, and if this discussion is going to
decide that, and if this language really is to be a hundred-year language,
then I still feel we ought to at least consider some alternatives as part of
this conversation. As, indeed, several other contributors have already done.

In particular, I think we need to discuss whether "Raku", the
alternative name Larry proposed, is a viable possibility. It is
substantially shorter than "Camelia" (and hits the 4-character sweet
spot), it's slightly more searchable, has pleasant associations of
"comfort" or "ease" in its original Japanese, in which language it
even looks a litte like our butterfly mascot: 楽. It also makes the
"Rakudo" compiler mean "The Way of Raku". On the other hand, Google
Translate claims "raku" means "sheep" in various African dialects,
"rags" in yet another, and "cancer" in Serbian. :-(

I fully agree that "Rakudo" itself is out-of-bounds, as it's already
firmly established as the name of the pre-eminent compiler for the language,
and we definitely want to preserve the linguistic distinction between
the language and its various implementations.

Liz also mentioned an alias I have previously used when teaching
Perl 6: "Albus". This is not Harry Potter reference (though the
"World's Greatest Wizard" association doesn't necessary hurt), but rather
it's the Latin word for a pearl (and also means "clean" or "shiny"
or "auspicious"). It's also shorter than "Camelia", more searchable
than either "Camelia" or "Raku", and has no negative connations that
I can find in other languages. On the other hand, there that "kindly,
old, slightly loopy eccentric" association from Harry Potter as well.

Another name I have previously suggested is "Zeta", which is the sixth
letter of the modern Greek alphabet, and also the name in many European
dialects of the letter 'Z': a fitting association for the "ultimate
programming language". Curiously, its numerical value in Greek is 7
(it was the seventh letter in Ancient Greek), but maybe that covers us
going forward too? It's short, has no negative linguistic associations,
but it's not especially searchable (being swamped by the Riemann Zeta
Function). It has a cool looking symbol (ζ), which we could claim was
pronounced "The Language Formerly Known As Perl 6". There's a slight
clash with the 1980s ZetaLisp programming language...though everyone who
cares about that is probably now either retired or insane. ;-)

There have been numerous other suggestions as well, of course.
I'm not for a moment suggesting that we particularly need to
debate all (or even many) of them, nor ultimately to choose anything
other than "Camelia". I just think that we ought to consider the
possibilities before we make so significant a change. Not my suggestions
especially, but at very least Larry's preferred alternative of "Raku".

After all, imagine if "Amazon" had persisted with Bezos' first choice of
"Cadabra", if "Friends" had gone with the pitched title of "Insomnia Cafe",
if "Black Sabbath" had stuck with their original "The Polka Tulk Blues Band",
or if "Brexit" had remained "TaxAvoidancexit", or "Bigotrentrance", or
"To(r)yStory", or "ShortingThePound", or "DroolBrittania"?

Seriously, though, rebranding and relaunching this 20-year project is a huge
opportunity...and risk. And, in this case, a vastly emotional and emotive
one as well. We're on the right course, in my opinion, but should take
all the time we need, and examine all the possibilities we can,
to ensure we get it right.

@FCO

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commented Aug 9, 2019

I like ofun

Sent with GitHawk

@nxadm

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commented Aug 9, 2019

I think a core part of @lizmat 's proposal (and the course of action proposed by @AlexDaniel) is short-cutting a hypothetical never-ending discussion about the name before a decision is taken on the principle. She plays it safe and provides a default choice in case we're paralyzed and stuck in choice discussion for ever. This way she acknowledges people that would be OK for renaming if most people agree, but are allergic to the expected bikeshedding and the corresponding stress and waste of energy.

I am not fond of the Camelia name myself because I am one of those people that dislike the mascot, but even then the name it's a good solution the problem in my eyes. @lizmat 's talk makes it also very clear she's OK with other names. So I would suggest, like @AlexDaniel, to try not converting this thread in a premature search of the best name (we've have had plenty of those in the past). Let's agree (or disagree) on the principle. So if you're OK with a rename, but object to the name (of have reservation), just state your stand and add a note that you would prefer further discussion on the specific choice.

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commented Aug 9, 2019

@nige123

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commented Aug 9, 2019

Honest brands are good. An honest brand means clearer communication, trust and authenticity.

The honest truth is Perl 6 is a dialect of Perl - and that's something not to be embarrassed about. I'd like to keep all those good Perlish associations (e.g., Larry, TMTOWTDI, whipupitude, expressivity, practicality etc) and retain Perl in the description of the language.

For example:

  • camelia is a Perl dialect optimised to make programming fun.
  • ofun is a Perl dialect optimised to make programming fun.
  • raku is a Perl dialect optimised to make programming fun.

I prefer ofun as it 'runs deep' in Perl 6 history and sums up what it feels like to use the language and it's slightly irreverent towards computational complexity - this is a language for humans first and computers second.

Edit:

ofun works well in combination with Camilia the butterfly mascot. The strong sounding raku is less of a match.

ofun takes less time to type than python, ocaml or go run.

Update:

After considering some of the thoughtful comments below - I've changed my mind regarding ofun and now prefer raku.

@duncand

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commented Aug 9, 2019

I would be quite happy with the name "Camelia", and I like it more than most other suggestions.

For anyone saying that's too long a name, I strongly disagree. This is only 7 characters and a single word, it is extremely easy to type and to say. I think trying to get under 6 characters such as @nige123 hopes for would dismiss too many good options without any gain.

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commented Aug 9, 2019

Perl 5 should just do what Java did early on when Java 1.2 was called Java 2, and so on.

Call the next major release Perl version 32, and so on.

@pjlsergeant

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commented Aug 15, 2019

@AlexDaniel someone will at some point soon need to draw a line under this discussion; there is an emotional cost and indefinite continued discussion is not free. I wonder if it’s time to ask the people who will need to agree the change if they have enough information?

@jnthn

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commented Aug 15, 2019

Can we please lock this thread? I fear that continued conversation at this point by non-project members will only serve to add to the confusion and rehashing of conversations.

It may, but on the other hand, I've read things in the last 24 hours that I found worth reading (and yes, I'm reading everything, many of them multiple times), and folks are being, overall, reasonable.

Obviously, we can't discuss forever, and perhaps most things worth saying may well have been said. At the same time, it's a weighty decision, and as somebody who will be voting on it, I find seeing a range of opinions - both those that match my current feelings, and especially those that don't - useful.

I won't, for now, lock this, but I will say:

  • Please, no more proposals for different names
  • If there's a post here already that largely matches your views, stick a 👍 reaction on it instead of repeating the same; I'm paying attention to those also
  • There's long been a broad consensus that Perl 5 and Perl 6 should peacefully coexist. There's no intent for that to change upon a rename. I don't believe anybody with a vote on the PR resulting from this issue wishes for it to change. So there's very likely nothing to debate on this matter.
  • Similarly, I'm not aware of any desire among those voting to either try to erase the Perl language family connections, or deny the Perl background of the language, as part of any rename. Some of us, myself included, will see that it is made clear both in the resulting PR, that there's a desire to continue having conferences involving the two languages, and continue the exchange of ideas that I believe has been of value to both Perl 5 and Perl 6. After all, as some have pointed out here, the languages have many shared values, even if the concrete ways they realize them in syntax and semantics may differ. (And, of course, I shall continue to advocate for this long after any rename that may happen too.) In short, if this is what you're worrying about, you needn't add a comment, because I - and others - already care deeply about this, and don't need more convincing.
@jdoege

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commented Aug 16, 2019

A few personal observations/opinions.

  1. Camelia is just a bit long and, at 4 syllables, longer that way than almost any other computer language name, that may be problematic.
  2. Raku is my personal preference. Short, easy to say.
  3. Ofun is a programmer's pun. Puns are rarely a good choice. Gnu got away with it but I don't think this community will.
@shadowcat-mst

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commented Aug 16, 2019

Back in '08 pmichaud and I were thinking that "rakudo, an implementation of camelia perl" and "pumpkin perl" were the right answer.

Didn't work out, given we're over a decade later.

If 'raku' has the majority, it doesn't even matter what I think. Good luck @jnthn and per my earlier thing my chainsaw is available to assist your work.

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commented Aug 16, 2019

At the risk of being knocked down again, I'd like to raise the subject of language competition.
I can see a future where the biggest threat to Camelia/Raku [nee.Perl6] could be a re-invigorated Perl5.
Similar ethos, mission values, similar strengths and features (probably there will be continuous cross-pollenation).
[...]

I haven't been replying in this thread (because others are making good enough points), but I have to call out the above-quoted message as being just completely antithetical to Perl 6 culture, or at least the way I've always viewed it.

  • This isn't a competition
  • It most especially isn't a competition with Perl 5
  • We've never touted "hold Perl 5 in check", nor is that a desirable outcome

I could go on and on... but I think this is sufficient.

Most importantly, if one believes that Perl 6's language capabilities aren't sufficient on their own -- that the only path to success is to make choices and moves intended to actively diminish the value of other languages and environments -- then as far as I'm concerned those beliefs don't accurately reflect Perl 6 culture, nor are they beliefs that I want to see accepted in Perl 6 culture.

Pm

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commented Aug 16, 2019

Slightly off-topic thought: I get the feeling that there is a fairly high level of agreement that Perl 5 and Perl 6 are both Perlish languages, so one simple solution to the conferences etc. might be: "Yet Another Perlish Conference", "The Perlish Conference in *", etc ;-)

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commented Aug 16, 2019

Remember how everyone said Apple was sucky and would never survive

I remember how people said people who bought apple had more money than sense... oh. they still say that.

(not saying its true as such, even if it is, just that people say it, regardless of truth)

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commented Aug 16, 2019

"The Perlish Conference in *", etc ;-)

Or like, "The Perl Family Conference". But eww, it sounds too friendly. "Bring your kids!".

Actually. Do bring your kids, maybe said conference should have child-friendly workshops.

Its not like Perl5 and Perl6 are the only members of this family now, you could consider:

  • moarvm
  • parrot (though its kinda an ex-parrot at this point)
  • nqp

To be members of this family.

There's nothing to say there won't be more members to this family.

If people want to implement new languages on top of P6/Moar/nqp, whatever, I don't imagine a "Perl Family Conference" would opt to exclude them. ( Though their perceived significance would probably affect the constitution of said conference )

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commented Aug 16, 2019

Slightly off-topic thought: I get the feeling that there is a fairly high level of agreement that Perl 5 and Perl 6 are both Perlish languages, so one simple solution to the conferences etc. might be: "Yet Another Perlish Conference", "The Perlish Conference in *", etc ;-)

Plus there are always several non-Perl* talks (some even explicitly about other languages like go, JS, etc) at our conferences, so I very much doubt that Perl/Raku content would be considered off-topic by orgas of a Perlish conference / event.

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commented Aug 16, 2019

"The Perlish Conference in *", etc ;-)

Or like, "The Perl Family Conference". But ...

TMTOWTDI- or TIMTOWTDI- or "Tim Toady"-Conference

(or TTBCon as in "TIMTOWTDIBSCINABTE", "Tim Toady Bicarbonate")

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commented Aug 16, 2019

people don't want to try Perl 6 because they see Perl and think "oh that's that write-only language" when Perl 6 doesn't have that issue at all.

Beg your pardon? The not-at-all-Perl 6 is way way more write only. Except that often it's not ever write-able since 99.99 % of people have no way whatsoever to produce those nifty Unicode characters.
Every single time I saw an sample of code in several languages including Perl6, the Perl6 version was the least readable. No matter how many other languages I never even heard of were included.

That experiment at throwing every programming concept into a big pot and cooking it for nineteen years ought to be renamed so that it can fail on its own, not confusing the world with similar-if-you-look-from-a-passing-train syntax and it's-just-the-next-version name.

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commented Aug 16, 2019

"The honest truth is Perl 6 is a dialect of Perl - and that's something not to be embarrassed about. "

It ain't ain't ain't ain't and ain't! It may have started as that those almost twenty years ago, but it's no longer true.
Perl6 is about as much a dialect of Perl as Finnish is a dialect of Hungarian. (The two languages are related, but got separated about 2500 years ago and are not mutually understandable the way dialects are ... after some getting used to and with an occasional confusion.)

Embarrassment plays no role in this, the issue is confusion and if you do not decide to rename the thing, then you get another discussion like this in a few months and then again and again and again and again. The recurring rename proposals and heated debates are the best proof a rename is needed. Long overdue, but the still necessary.

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commented Aug 16, 2019

@arnesom: As someone actively developing with Perl (5) and with no interest in Perl6/Raku permit me to assuage your fears on these points:

As to possible haters of Perl 6 on the Perl 5 camp, they could think that the damage has been done and nothing would change that.

The damage has been done but there is a simple way to mitigate and minimise future damage and that is to change the name as @lizmat has proposed here. By not changing the name the prevailing misinformed view that "Perl6" is somehow just the new version of Perl and everyone must upgrade would continue unabated. We don't want that.

A new name could even antagonise them further;

So long as the new name doesn't contain the string "Perl" then it won't. Trust me; it really, really, really won't. If this proposal is accepted, and by the old gods and the new I pray that it does, then we Perlers will have an almighty party - and you Rakuists will all be welcome.

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commented Aug 16, 2019

Seems the trolls are starting to come to this discussion :-(

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commented Aug 16, 2019

For the record, I like the "Perl" name in "Perl 6".

(Nothing in this comment is very new; I just wanted to state my opinion, since I'm on the reviewer list of a potential name change pull request, and don't want people to be surprised).

Perl 6 is a language in the Perl family, and it shows in many aspects: the familiar syntax with sigils, the focus on Regexes / text processing, the design principles of DWIM, simple things should be easy, hard things should be possible, Huffman coding of names and so on.

I came to Perl 6 through the Perl 5 community, and see the many benefits that come from that connection: easier flow of contributors and users, existing organizational infrastructure (TPF), conferences, workshops, forums and so on. (If we changed the name to something that didn't contain Perl, for how long can we take for granted that TPF will manage Perl 6 grants, for example?)

As mentioned in a previous comment, one of the criteria for a frequently-used name is that it's short. camelia has four syllables, so the new, proposed name falls short (pun intended). I haven't heard a name proposal that I like better though.

I'm well aware of the downsides and the historical baggage of the Perl name, but in my assessment, the positive aspects outweigh them.

Finally, we have tried a partial rename (by adding the raku alias) before, and the uptake seem to have been pretty low. An attempted rename as the risk of not sticking, thus not providing significant upsides, while still having some of the downsides (more name confusion, potentially being excluded from perl conferences / workshops / organizations).

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commented Aug 16, 2019

@moritz

If we changed the name to something that didn't contain Perl, for how long can we take for granted that TPF will manage Perl 6 grants, for example?

It should be noted that "The Perl Foundation" is in fact the "Yet Another Society" doing business as "The Perl Foundation". Initial thoughts about adding another "doing business as" named "The Raku Foundation" have been suggested by a TPF board member already. So I don't think anything needs to change there. Please keep in mind that the name change of "Perl 6" to "Raku" is just that. A name change. The Perl mindset heritage will never be disavowed.

Finally, we have tried a partial rename (by adding the raku alias) before, and the uptake seem to have been pretty low.

That's because using "Raku" as an alias (of which the precise intended use was never stipulated by Larry), is in a way the worst of both worlds: it is bad because it still explicitly links to "Perl 6", and it is bad because it still squats in the "Perl 5" name.

I've stated this before: I think we should treat the name change as a family member coming out of the closet. The person hasn't changed, the person can just show to be what they feel they are. In a good family, that should not change any of the other relationships.

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commented Aug 16, 2019

@lizmat

Please keep in mind that the name change of "Perl 6" to "Raku" is just that. A name change. The Perl mindset heritage will never be disavowed

I simply don't see how that works. Dropping the "Perl" from the language name is more like changing your family name than your given name -- it's explicitly disavowing the Perl heritage.

You have to do some real mental gymnastics to point at a pull request titled "Perl" in the name "Perl 6" is confusing and irritating and the same time continue to embrace the Perl brand, organizations and heritage. If Perl is so great, why is it confusing, irritating and needing to get rid of? Why associate with Perl in everything but the name?

I think you can't have it both ways, and if you try to have it both ways, chances are you lose both ways.

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commented Aug 16, 2019

Seems the trolls are starting to come to this discussion :-(

Please STOP right there. You don't know the history, and you don't use 'trolling' correctly. It is not trolling to disagree.

I have personally been accused in the last several years dozens of times of 'trolling' for saying the exact same things the author of this PR has finally stated. In many cases by her. You are triggering my PTSD just as I am trying to participate in as peaceful and harmonious a celebration as possible of this long overdue bifurcation.

I do not think Raku is very Perlish. I find the language itself unappealing. I do not think there is a single community (except for a tiny echo chamber). I think that TPF went off the rails and has been a large part of perpetuating the stalemate. I think "Perl" conferences need to be completely reimagined and returned to their roots, i.e. mostly focussed on teaching, training and sharing Perl, not socializing and yakking about other things that each have their own conferences anyway. I expect that once the rename is complete and Raku strikes out on its own at last, I and most working professional Perl programmers will have nothing more to do with it or its community than they do when needing to integrate to an app in any other language. I bear Raku and its community no further ill will, but I can't wait to see the back of it walking away.

If you think the above is trolling, rather than stating a dissenting opinion, then ... [invective snipped here]

@perl6 perl6 locked as too heated and limited conversation to collaborators Aug 16, 2019

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commented Aug 16, 2019

As @jnthn noted previously, many new comments still come with useful information, so locking the thread is somewhat unfortunate. That being said, I've been waking up to a pageful of notifications for the last few days and it's hard to keep up with this, especially when you're trying to find the good bits. I'm locking this thread temporarily, and I'll unlock it in about a week. Org owners (jnthn, lizmat, etc.) can still leave comments here, and I'm sure they'll keep us updated on the progress for this issue.

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commented Aug 16, 2019

Dropping the "Perl" from the language name is more like changing your family name than your given name -- it's explicitly disavowing the Perl heritage.

That's not the way I see it. The Perl mindset occurs in many places in the world. Many languages have taken Perl mindset features and incorporated them into their own. Regardless of their name.

I understand you are proud of the Perl heritage. So am I. But I would like to see many more people be users of the Perl mindset, and currently the "Perl" part is inhibiting that. So I'd rather change the name (which is just a label after all) and get more mindshare, then be proud of "Perl" with fewer and fewer people.

And this is apart of the squatting issue, which a rename will also solve.

If Perl is so great, why is it confusing, irritating and needing to get rid of? Why associate with Perl in everything but the name?

Did you read Damian Conway's, Peter Scott's or Curtis Poe's comments? I think they describe very well what we should achieve. And as Perl book writers, I have them in high esteem, as I do you!

I think you can't have it both ways, and if you try to have it both ways, chances are you lose both ways.

Yes, there are risks involved. Known and unknown risks. But if the comments have indicated anything to me so far, is that many people are at least willing to give the benefit of the doubt to a name change.

On the other hand, I only see the certainty of a further decline of the "Perl" brand in general, and a growing weight around the neck of the "Perl 6" name. And that's a certainty I for sure, will not longer be a part of.

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commented Aug 16, 2019

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commented Aug 16, 2019

@lizmat I still think the you can't have it both ways applies.

The reason for the rename proposal is a problem with general perception, which isn't very nuanced.

For this not-so-nuanced general perception, we have to make an either/or distinction: is Perl 6 still Perl, or isn't it? If we drop Perl from the name, then we decide against the Perl heritage in the public mind, even if a select core group of code historians know The Real Truth.

And I am fairly certain that if we do that, this decision will be used against Perl 6 even in the broader Perl community, and I don't think we have the clout to replace everything we lose through that backslash.

That said, I'm closer to changing my mind than I thought I would be. I'll try to keep an open mind.

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commented Aug 16, 2019

For what it's worth, I agree with @moritz. There are irrevocable consequences to dropping the "Perl" name entirely; that whether we intend it as "admitting defeat" or not, whether we intend it as "not being Perl any more", will surely be taken as such by a significant number of onlookers and people not in the Perl community. What's more, (I fear) it'll be a narrative we mostly can't control.

I'm still mostly OK with the rename, or at least amicably resigned to it. But "hey, Perl 6 decided to not be associated with Perl anymore and be a totally different language" sounds exactly like the kind of telephone game that would result from this. Maybe it can be mitigated by well-written blog posts. Maybe not.

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commented Aug 16, 2019

Perl 6 decided to not be associated with Perl anymore and be a totally different language

That's why I think the amicable "divorce" of the name, freeing the "Perl" name, should be emphasized.

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commented Aug 16, 2019

That's why I think the amicable "divorce" of the name, freeing the "Perl" name, should be emphasized.

What we emphasize and what we don't will get lost completely in the lack of nuance in awareness that most people will have about this.

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commented Aug 16, 2019

Source: every other thing that's happened inside of the Perl 6 community and been distorted and misrepresented by the outside.

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commented Aug 16, 2019

What we emphasize and what we don't will get lost completely in the lack of nuance in awareness that most people will have about this.

Perhaps.

every other thing that's happened inside of the Perl 6 community and been distorted and misrepresented by the outside.

But a large part of that was caused by unhappy Perl 5 community members. Which I hope, will not be the case this time, at least not at previously observed levels.

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commented Aug 17, 2019

Comment from @Juerd (via IRC, #perl6):

".code" is confusing with ".codes" on strings, and JJ is wrong that "rnd" is uncommon; it's a common extension for files with random data.

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commented Aug 17, 2019

@Juerd yeah, you're right, and as it says currently in the PR:

Renaming to .code currently clashes with CallFrame.code, and visually
clashes with the .codes method. Renaming CallFrame.code to
CallFrame.codeobj and .codes to .codepoints appears to be an option
to be discussed further.

And the rnd idea is just that, a new idea, it's not part of the PR (yet, and I guess it won't happen).

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