Remember Parrot, the April Fool’s Joke, where I had Perl and Python
joining forces to create a new language? Well, there was a serious side
to that little prank. I recognised that the developer communities in
both languages came up against the same problems and discussed a lot of
the same issues; this would become especially important as people
started developing Perl 6 and Python 3000.
As an example, right now on python-dev, there’s a big thread about how
to handle Unicode characters; a couple of weeks ago on perl6-internals,
there was a big thread about how to handle Unicode characters. Every so
often on perl5-porters, there’s a big thread about how to handle Unicode
characters. Doubtless there’s similar threads on Tcl and Ruby
development lists. Maybe we should all talk about it together.
I also realised how much implementation experience there is in the
various lists. If your language is about to do something that’s
potentially non-portable, it might be useful to have Jarkko perk up and
say “You can’t make that assumption on the Cray” or whatever.
So I got talking with Nat Torkington
and Guido van Rossum about how we could encourage collaboration between
the developer communities.
As a result, I set up the language-dev mailing list to encourage collaboration between implementors of similar programming languages: we have representatives from Perl, Python, Ruby and Tcl subscribed.
Watch this space for news of how the collaboration pans out!