Disclaimer: this article is metaphorical and rather ironic and it should be taken as such. Any resemblance to real life islands is purely coincidental.
It’s sunny, it’s beautiful, almost like a paradise. It’s filled with people that love Perl. The community is thriving, but only on the island (concept inspired by Stevan Little’s presentation). It’s evolving, but it’s not growing. There’s also a new part of the island, a very small one that wants to be revolutionary, the Perl 6 of the island, but it’s not ready yet. It’s not for everybody yet.
The thing about an island is that it’s very hard for outsiders to get it and people who leave, rarely come back. In order for the Perl “civilization” on the island to thrive and prosper, it needs new people, new individuals that want to live and work on this island. Without these new people, the community, in time, will dwindle and lose importance. Getting people on the island is crucial!
So, how do you do that?
Yes, help is needed, but we’re not trying to leave this island, we’re trying to get people on it. Plenty of people know about the Perl island, but they just pass by and go visit other islands that are more attractive, that offer them more. Java island, PHP island, Node.js island and some people, whom we don’t speak about, Python island.
The Perl people are very good at what they do, they have plenty of experience, years and years of it, you can basically put Senior Senior in their job title. And that’s great. Trouble is, only a few of them are newbies, developers with less than 3 or 5 years of (experience) life on Perl island (from the preliminary survey data). And that’s where the going gets tough. Because if only a few new people come to Perl island, its community will slowly fade and the island will become deserted.
So what do we do? Do we build a boat?
Maybe something bigger?
That looks rather unsafe.
We need something more like this.
Much better. We need people to get on the boat and to come to Perl island. And we need them to stay. No, we need them to want to stay. We need to build a nice hotel on the island.
No, not this, something more like so.
In an earlier article I listed 7 features that I would like to have in Perl 5, alongside them there are plenty others that would help us build a very nice “hotel” on Perl island and attract new visitors that might become permanent residents.
Young developers will check out hot languages and established languages and Perl should be on their radar. Very few will settle with just one, most of us work on at least a few technologies. But to get them to try out the Perl island we need to have that nice boat and nice hotel to bring them in. Perl 5 is fast and easy to learn, something very important for new developers with a gradual learning curve. It gives you freedom because of TIMTOWTDI. But other islands also have very attractive features, so how do we keep developers on Perl island (once/if we do get them here)?
Is Perl 6 the answer? Is Perl 6 our nice hotel and boat? And if so, how will it bring new developers to Perl in time (not on Christmas)?Tweet