perl5i: Perl 5 Improved



perl5i is a single module bringing together the best magic Perl programmers have to offer catapulting the basic language forward. Suddenly everything is an object! Functions return objects and throw exceptions! You don't have to load six modules to work with files! Perl 5 is fun again!


Perl 5 was designed in 1995, and because of its devotion to backwards compatibility, its largely stuck there. But Perl programmers have long since moved on advancing the state of the art in the form of CPAN modules. When you write a Perl 5 program you either have to use the outdated core language, or you have to find, install and use two dozen CPAN modules. This turns off newbies, they don’t know which CPAN modules to use, and annoys experienced programmers who are tired of having to DIY over and over again.

perl5i is a single Perl module to bring the best of CPAN together under one roof, working together under a sensible language design. Unlike Perl 6, perl5i is an evolutionary development, remaining compatible with Perl 5. Yet it can selectively and safely break compatibility… even with itself! Its released, well tested and intended for production use.

perl5i makes Perl fun again. It fixes the default behaviors. It makes references pleasant to work with. It embraces techniques like exceptions, autoboxing and objects in a way Perl 5 really never did. It solves the problem of backwards compatibility slowly strangling a language.

If you used to program Perl, come take another look.

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.


      • Title: How To Report A Bug
      • Track: Cooking
      • Room: Broadway
      • Time: 3:454:30pm
      • Excerpt:

        Bug reports drive Open Source, but too often it’s a hostile experience. As a user, how do you report a bug without being treated like you’re dumping a sack of crap on the developer’s doorstep? As a developer, how do you encourage users to report bugs? This is not a tutorial, but an examination of the social aspects of bug reporting.

      • Speakers: Michael Schwern
      • Title: Your Internets are Leaking
      • Track: Cooking
      • Room: Morrison
      • Time: 4:455:30pm
      • Excerpt:

        Using your computer on a public network is like having a conversation on a city bus: people you don’t know can hear everything you say. They’ll probably be polite and ignore you, but you still might not want to shout out your credit card number. Yet this is what your computer does. All the time. And you don’t know it.

      • Speakers: Reid Beels, Michael Schwern