Jan 05

Larry Wall: Programming is Hard, Let’s Go Scripting…

Perl, Tech with tags: , , No Comments »

Larry takes a high level view of the past, present, and future, to create a case for Perl 6.

I hope the future isn’t so far out that Will Smith is the only person alive to see it…. along with some Zombies.


But basically, scripting is not a technical term. When we call something a scripting language, we’re primarily making a linguistic and cultural judgment, not a technical judgment.

I see scripting as one of the humanities. It’s our linguistic roots showing through.


In Lua, an object is just a hash, and there’s a bit of syntactic sugar to call a hash element if it happens to contain code. Thats all there is. They don’t even have classes. Anything resembling inheritance has to be handled by explicit delegation.

Prototype vs. Class

Real organisms just copy their DNA when they reproduce. They don’t have some DNA of their own, and an @ISA array telling you which parent objects contain the rest of their DNA.

Functional or object-oriented

Of course, some of us can’t make up our minds whether we’d rather emulate the logical Sherlock Holmes or sociable Dr. Watson. Fortunately, scripting is not incompatible with either of these approaches, because both approaches can be made more approachable to normal folk.