My good friend Tom Radcliffe, engineering director at ActiveState, will be chatting with me about Perl for an hour at 1 PM Eastern time on Wednesday, June 15. Admission to this online event is free and open to the public; please visit its event page ahead of time to register for it.

Under the title “A Long-Time Perl Hacker’s View of the Perl World”, I hope to bring my own perspective as one who has worked with Perl as a primary programming language for nearly two decades across a variety of fields and purposes. I started using Perl during its exciting ubiquity in the 1990s, and continued using it through its confused stagnation during the aughts. I have witnessed (if not directly participated in) Perl’s rescue by its own community, and its subsequent blooming into its current rich and multilayered state. I never really cared much whether the tech press has paid attention to these transformations, because — as they say — I’ve been too busy shipping.

Quoting the event’s registration page:

ActiveState is in a unique position in the Perl world, as both the creator of the first ever Perl for Windows distribution, and as the leading supplier of Enterprise Perl solutions. While the rest of the world sees Perl as a legacy language, and may even go so far as to claim “Perl is dying”, our Perl business is vibrant, alive, and growing. Leading companies such as Amazon, Boeing, and Cisco continue to demand Perl skills in their employment postings while Booking.com is investing in Perl as its core development language.

Why and how is it that a language that not even analysts are interested in talking about, continues to not just thrive but actually grow under the radar?

Join ActiveState Director of Engineering Tom Radcliffe and guest speaker Jason MacIntosh, founder of Appleseed Software Consulting and co-author of the O’Reilly book “Perl & XML,” as they discuss all things Perl. Why is no one interested in talking about one of the most influential modern programming languages? Why does it continue to be one of the most important technologies in the world? What does the future hold for Perl?

(Boy, it’s been so long since the Perl & XML days that I didn’t even think to include that in the bio-blurb I prepared earlier today for this event. Another friend did tell me that it helped them update a business-critical project as recently as this year, though, so apparently that skinny book still has its uses!)


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