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Synopsis 1: Overview


    Larry Wall <>


    Created: 10 Aug 2004

    Last Modified: 31 Dec 2009
    Version: 8

This document originally summarized Apocalypse 1, which covers the initial design concept. That original summary may be found below under "Random Thoughts". However, these Synopses also contain updates to reflect the evolving design of Perl 6 over time, unlike the Apocalypses, which are frozen in time as "historical documents". These updates are not marked--if a Synopsis disagrees with its Apocalypse, assume the Synopsis is correct.

Another assumption has been that if we don't talk about something in these Synopses, it's the same as it is in Perl 5. Soon we plan to fill in the gaps with the Perl 5 details though.

Project Plan ^

Mostly, we're just a bunch of ants all cooperating (sort of) to haul food toward the nest (on average). There are many groups of people working on various bits and pieces as they see fit, since this is primarily a volunteer effort.

This document does not attempt to summarize all these subprojects--see for such information. What we can say here is that, unlike how it was with Perl 5, none of these projects is designed to be the Official Perl. Perl 6 is anything that passes the official test suite. This test suite was initially developed under the Pugs project because that project was at one point the furthest along in exploring the high-level semantics of Perl 6. (Other projects may be better at other things, such as speed or interoperability. This is fine; it is not necessary that all implementations be equally good at everything.) The official test suite is community property, and is intended to be platform neutral, so that Perl 6 is defined primarily by its desired semantics, not by accidents of history.

Another aspect of this is the Perl 6 compiler will be self-hosting. That is, the compiler will eventually compile itself, at least down to the point where various code-generating backends can take over. This largely removes platform dependencies from the frontend, so that only the backends need to worry about platform-specific issues.

But above all, our project plan is simply to help people find a spot where they can feel like they're creating the future, both for themselves and for others. Around here, that's what we call fun.

Random Thoughts ^

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