We, Wall, we, Wall, Raku: Perl creator blesses new name for version 6 of text-wrangling lingo

Perl 6 should soon be known as Raku, now that Perl creator Larry Wall has given his blessing to the name change.

On Friday, Wall approved a GitHub pull request to adopt the new moniker, citing a Biblical parable.

He wrote, "I am in favor of this change, because it reflects an ancient wisdom," before reciting:

Wall thus has ended a debate that has occupied the Perl developer community for the past few months and has been an issue for more than a decade. Back in August, Dutch software developer Elizabeth Mattijsen opened an issue in GitHub's Perl 6 repository seeking to rename Perl 6 because it's "confusing and irritating."

The problem - apart from Perl's dwindling popularity - simply is that Perl 5 and Perl 6 are separate, but related, programming languages. And when developers talk about Perl, they usually mean Perl 5. To give Perl 6 a chance to thrive on its own, the Perl community mostly agreed that a new name would be helpful.

Mattijsen initially proposed "Camilia," the name of Perl 6's butterfly mascot. Other suggestions included "Wall," in honor of Larry Wall, ofun, hiro, juro, kiln, mayu, pumpking, rafu, rapt, and raptor, among many others.

Ultimately, Raku, a reference to Perl 6's Rakudo compiler, won out. Perl 6 will become Raku, assuming the four people who haven't yet approved the pull request give their okay, and Perl 5 will become simply Perl.

Announcing the change in a post to the Hacker News forum, Perl programmer and book author Curtis "Ovid" Poe said, "This has been a huge deal for the Perl community."

"If I had my choice, I'd program in Raku because it's a lovely language addressing many pain points (including being one of the few dynamic languages with a working concurrency model). But it's not adopted widely enough yet for that to happen. Time will tell."

The arguably awful butterfly character Camelia will remain the Raku mascot. ®

Software News

Nov 22
On CallYou left your landline number in an error message, you doughnut
Nov 20
C# and XAML devs get path to what UWP promised but never delivered
Nov 20
Linux was a 'cancer' but Microsoft is now defending it
Nov 20
Coalition aims to help users spot and remove covert trackers
Nov 19
As well as managed nodes for K8s and new FireLens container logging service
Nov 18
Who, Me?... thanks to today's entrant in the Who, Me? hall of shame
Nov 16
The case that just won't die