Should I just call it P6? or v6?

I’m working on chapter that I need to turn in to O’Reilly and I keep typing “Perl 6”. It’s annoying. But, what else would I call it? I’m not looking to change the name, just the nickname in the book.

I’m not annoyed because a previous language shares the name. No matter what I think that’s a done deal. I’m more annoyed that it takes some much typing and is repetitive. In Learning Perl, I often said things like “v5.24 does this” of “v5.10 did that” without saying the magic word. What if I said “v6”? For instance, the sentence, “In v6, the match operator immediately applies the pattern to $_.”

But, I think that also implies that it’s a change from earlier versions. What about “P6”? It’s the same thing. I could say “QP” for “Quite Perl 6” 😉

I’m talking about the language, not the implementation, so saying “Rakudo”, “Rakudo Star”, “R*” or the like aren’t right.

And, when are we going to get an implementation named Camelia? 😉


  1. IMHO, it seems too early to be detailing spec version numbers (v6.c, v6.d etc) throughout the text, in a book aimed at those new to the language. Maybe it would be best not to use the phrase “In Perl 6″ or similar, so often in the text [possibly use it at the start, and end of each Chapter only, when summarising]. I wouldn’t be in favour of using a nickname for Perl 6, though I often write it without the ” “. Personally, I’d like to see virtually no comparison with Perl (5) in the book, essentially treating Perl 6 as a completely new language. Hope this helps 🙂

    1. My goal is to pretend that Perl 5 does not exist. It’s not going to be a translation of Learning Perl with slightly different code.

  2. For what it’s worth, at our Perl Mongers meetings, such as they are, when the topic comes up, we tend to refer to the language in question here as simply “Six.”

  3. When talking about the language at large, it’s fair to use Perl 6 IMHO, especially if you want to mark a “page turning” (or better, “book changing”) with respect to Perl 5. Saying “v6” does convey a sense of continuity/smooth evolution instead.

    The “vX.Y.Z” stuff is for illustrating different behaviors across releases of “the same language”. As this is the first shot and you probably don’t know how things are going to evolve, you don’t need it in this iteration.

    Just 2c 🙂

  4. Hi Brian,

    As you may know, I have also been writing on the subject.

    I’ve decided to simply say “Perl” in most cases, after a warning in the early parts that whenever I say Perl without further qualification, I mean Perl 6. At the same time, I still specify “Perl 6” when the difference with Perl 5 (or earlier versions) is really significant.

    My two cents, for what it’s worth…

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