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On to the man pages

This week I’ve been working on the perlintro document found in the pugs repository, as well as porting Perl 5’s perlsyn. These are the most “basic” man pages about the language, and should be ported first (especially since many of the more specific bits in Perl 6 are still in flux).

As for perlintro, I can see a few more-than-trivial things that need changing. For one thing, the introduction to regular expressions is very casual, but Perl 6’s regex/grammar support has seen a major overhaul. Simply translating the examples to the Perl 6 equivalent seems to just make them longer, which gives the wrong impression. Focusing less on quick-and-dirty examples and more on the big picture might help the newcomer here, as grammars are integral to Perl 6, not just some special strings with weird syntax as they were in ol’ Perl 5.

A lot of special cases and “warts” have been replaced with new, exciting concepts that show up again and again in Perl (laziness, autothreading, all blocks are closures, everything is an object) that need to be touched upon. You could say that in Perl 6, the harmony / idiosyncrasy ratio has been lowered, and that’s a very good thing. Some of these can be saved for perlsyn, but nonetheless, they need to be introduced well.

In other news, I noticed that perldoc.perl.org has seen a facelift. I wonder if the software behind it might be used to power a Perl 6 doc site sometime in the future.

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