Carl Mäsak — 45 minutes 🦋
What drive and desperation leads a developer to create an entirely new scripting language, just to figure out how to put macros in Perl 6? Find out in this talk!
Starting more than 10 years ago, I dreamed of macros in Perl 6. Over time that dream became an impatient itch, a thing I was eagerly anticipating so that I could start using them in my Perl 6 programs.
And then, at a previous Perl conference, I realized that the war-cry of "well volunteered!" applies to someone who hopes as fervently as I did for a feature, and that if I wanted to see macros in Perl 6, I'd have to implement them myself.
The resulting investigation and implementation efforts have taken me on some Wonderland-esque adventures. This talk is about those adventures.
I have implemented a small language, whose whole reason for existing is to map out how we want to do macros in Perl 6. After four and a half years, I can now happily report that I know how. I won't say it's been easy; it's been interesting, as in "may you live in interesting times". Synaptic pathways have been occasionally re-wired. I'm not the same person as the one who asked the question all those years ago.
Macros weave a recurring pattern throughout the original Perl 6 Synopses — with them implemented, Perl 6 is a 100-year language, a language prepared not just for the needs of today, but for those of an unknown tomorrow. With them implemented, Perl 6 truly becomes the community's rewrite of Perl — as many times as we want.
I say we do it.