Major Differences Between Perl 5 And Perl 6

Perl was originally developed as a general-purpose UNIX scripting language that can be used to facilitate report processing. But Perl, nowadays, represents a family of high-level and dynamic programming languages. Both Perl 5 and Perl 6 belong to this family. The commonly used Perl language is called as Perl 5, whereas Perl 6 is a completely different language. Also both versions of Perl language are not compatible with each other. Some of the core features of Perl 6 are also inspired by the recent Perl 5 development. That is why; a developer must understand the major differences between Perl 5 and Perl 6 to take the right decision.

Major Differences between Perl 5 and Perl 6

Specification: Unlike Perl 5, Perl 6 was started as a specification. So the language can be re-implemented whenever the need arises. The source code is also not authoritative enough to make the programmers avail concrete features. Despite describing the behavior of actual Perl 5 interpreter informally, the documentation of Perl 5 is considered to be excellent in terms of maturity and breadth. So Perl 6 lacks the documentation required to learn and train developers about an advanced programming language.

Objective: Both Perl 5 and Perl 6 are designed with specific and distinct objectives. Perl 6 also does not aim to displace the commonly used version of the programming language. At present, Perl 5 is being used by developers across the world to write CPAN modules. Perl 5 is also being supported by an active community of developers, users and contributors. But Perl 6 comes with a set of additional and improved capabilities to optimize the language and its implementation.

Hybrid Typing System: Perl 6 supports a number of static types, in addition to the dynamic type system of Perl 5. But the static typing is not mandatory. The programmers still have option to carry out the usual tasks without any explicit typing. Perl 6 also supports a hybrid typing system that enables developers to decide whether to use dynamic typing, static typing or both.

Basic Parameter Passing Modes: Unlike Perl 5, Perl 6 supports three parameter passing modes, i.e., positional, named and slurpy. The typical ordered list of parameters used by the programming language is considered as positional parameters. However, the parameters can also be named to pass without any order. The named only parameter can only pass by specifying its name. The named parameters never capture any positional argument. On the other hand, Perl 6 uses the slurpy parameters as a tool to create variadic functions.

Junctive Operators: Perl 6 also comes with a new concept called junctions. The term junction can be explained as the values that are composites of several other values. So the programmers can now create junctions by combining different values by using junctive operators. The junction can also be complex based on the number of values combined together. But the concept occupies a significant place in the overall design of Perl 6. Any action on the junction will equally affect the members of the junction, while the values will remain combined through the junctive operator.

Useful Error Diagnostics: Perl 6 also comes with useful error diagnostics to make it easier for programmers to migrate to the programming language. When a user encounters an error, he can see rectify the mistake through the error diagnostics. Instead of simply indicating that an error has occurred, the feature will provide detailed and additional information about the error to prevent the user from getting confused.

On the whole, despite belonging to the same family, Perl 5 and Perl 6 are completely different from each other as programming languages. The advanced version of the programming language further does not intend to displace Perl 5. So the community of Perl 5 developers will also differ from that of Perl 6.

NOTE: The keyword density of Perl, Perl 5 and Perl 6 exceeds 4%. But the density cannot be reduced due to the nature of the topic. If you are planning to hire service of Perl web programming companies, you must evaluate them to see if they are sufficiently agile or not! About the Author:
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