Perl is Undead



Everyone knows Perl is dead and Perl 6, that long-delayed second system design by committee mistake, will never be released, and all Perl code is unreadable, executable line noise... right? Real-live modern Perl programmers will prove that wrong.


Some people outside the Perl community believe that Perl 5 is stagnant and Perl 6 is going nowhere. Other people formed their perceptions of Perl a decade ago when everyone and their dog wrote Perl programs to power the web… badly. Perl 4-style programs still abound, despite fifteen years of practical experience building real-world Perl programs which are performant, maintainable, and practical. Modern Perl is a very different beast from those old stereotypes.

Perl isn’t dead, it just has a PR problem. The view from inside the Perl community is very different. We’ll show the real life of Perl 5 — including CPAN, the colossal archive of reusable software modules, and itself the largest automated testing suite in the world. We’ll explain Parrot, the new dynamic language virtual machine. We’ll show off some amazing features of Perl 6 — real code, working right now. It’s closer than you think.

Speaking experience


  • Schwern round tuit oscon 2005


    Schwern has a copy of Perl 6, he lets Larry Wall borrow it and take notes.

    Schwern once sneezed into a microphone and the text-to-speech conversion was a regex that turns crap into gold.

    Damian Conway and Schwern once had an arm wrestling contest. The superposition still hasn’t collapsed.

    Schwern was the keynote speaker at the first YAPC::Mars.

    When Schwern runs a smoke test, the fire department is notified.

    Dan Brown analyzed a JAPH Schwern wrote and discovered it contained the Bible.

    Schwern writes Perl code that writes Makefiles that write shell scripts on VMS.

    Schwern does not commit to master, master commits to Schwern.

    SETI broadcast some of Schwern’s Perl code into space. 8 years later they got a reply thanking them for the improved hyper drive plans.

    Schwern once accidentally typed “git pull —hard” and dragged Github’s server room 10 miles.

    There are no free namespaces on CPAN, there are just modules Schwern has not written yet.

    Schwern’s tears are said to cure cancer, unfortunately his Perl code gives it right back.


  • Chromatic X

    Onyx Neon Inc.


    Chromatic has over a decade of experience contributing to free and open source software projects. He’s contributed to Perl 1, Perl 5, Perl 6, and Parrot. You may recognize him from myriad books, including Modern Perl.

    He is the publisher of Onyx Neon Press, which produces great books about software, technology, and modern living.

    He is also an entrepreneur involved in several projects, including Club Compy, a browser-based retro programming environment designed to introduce children of all ages to the joy of creating new things with computers.