Last Wednesday afternoon, I joined Tom Radcliffe for an hour-long ActiveState-sponsored chat about Perl: my favorite general-purpose programming language, and the tool I use to create the majority of the software I’ve built since the late 1990s. It was a lot of fun, and you can listen to the whole thing here.

It admittedly starts off a little wobbly (as I eagerly step on Tom’s self-introduction right out of the gate), and the recording doesn’t feature the original broadcast’s webcam pickups, so there may be some odd moments where I rely on body language made invisible here. Once we got going, though, it gets pretty good. I had fun!

I half-joked to colleagues before the talk that my baseline goal was not making an ass of myself before the conference I plan to attend in a few days, but I feel pretty sure we scored better than that. The conversation covered the modern programming tools and dialects I have used in recent years, such as Moose and Catalyst. I also got the chance to hold forth on my feelings and knowledge about the related but wholly separate programming language Perl 6, a topic that continues to (quite reasonably) confuse people with only peripheral knowledge of Perl. (Or, er, the Perls.)

It felt especially good to help aim recognition upon the brilliant volunteers who rescued Perl 5 from its slump several years ago, recognizing that Perl 6 had gone its own way and rejuvenating the older Perl with continued development and refinement through an annual major-release schedule. I received feedback after the fact from people who had no idea that the two languages had forked so completely, or that Larry Wall himself has focused all his attention only on the newer Perl (as is his personal-passion-following right) while an ever-circulating team has taken up stewardship of Perl 5.

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