From Perl 5 to Perl 6
Perl is an excellent language which is going through a major update from "Perl 5" to "Perl 6" in the next couple of years. You need to ensure that you train your staff well in the current version of Perl in such a way that they can easily move to the new version when appropriate, and you should choose a training company that will be able to provide you with the necessary courses at each stage, and who's courses are already written with one eye to the future.
THE CHANGEOVER TIMETABLEThere's a lot of talk of Perl 6 and a lot of new syntax being described. Perl 6 will NOT be source code compatible with Perl 5. There will be ways of converting and running Perl 5, so the change over won't be as stark as it might appear from these statements.
We have already been involved with getting ourselves up to speed on Perl 6 and between us we have attended 5 training sessions or lectures to make sure that we know where Perl is going. Presenters of these sessions have included Larry Wall, Allison Randal and Damian Conway, all core team members, and have been held in various countries. We really want to train you for the future, so we've invested in our own learning already and will continue to do so.
As I update this page (late 2005) there is no official release or launch dates for Perl 6, but the best guestimates are:
• Summer 2006 - Alpha release
• Autumn 2006 - Beta release
• Very late 2006 / early 2007 - Production release
All our current courses and training are for recent versions of Perl 5 - covering 5.6.x and 5.8.x. It is really far too early to be providing training at the programmer level for Perl 6 since that knowledge would be unused and go stale before you had even an alpha release on which to do any testing. However, we are aware that our customers want to plan for the future and be trained secure in the knowledge that what they learn is good, so ...
PLANS FOR TRAINING PROGRESSION• Summer 2002 - we started talking about Perl 6 during our week-long courses (a session of 10 to 20 minutes) and included some 15 pages of notes that trainees can read up after the course / if interested
• Summer 2003 - some of our Perl 5 modules have been updated or rewritten to emphasise features which will become more important in Perl 6, and to introduce words and concepts such as Topicalization and DWIM which have been there for a long time in Perl, but not known by those names.
• As from October 2004 - we are adding in footnotes thoughout the training modules which point out where there will be changes in Perl 6. We are NOT obfurscating the main presentation with these footnotes, but for interested parties and references they will help people write code that will easily transfer with minimal fuss.
• From the alpha release being available, the footnotes will be extended to include complete worked and tested Perl 6 examples.
In our current view, it will be not usually be practical to teach Perl 5 and Perl 6 on the same course.
• When the Beta release is available, we'll offer conversion course(s) for existing Perl 5 programmers who wish to convert to Perl 6. These will cover the techniques and principles of the new features, as well as the mechanisms of the changes.
• Also when the Beta release is available we will write new Perl 6 courses which will be offered in parallel to our Perl 5 courses.
• We will continue to run public Perl 5 courses while there is sufficient demand, and we'll be able to run private courses even after the public courses cease around 2007 or 2008
• The public conversion courses will also cease around 2007 or 2008 but will continue to be available as private courses or as "Perl extra" days is required.
CURRENT PERL COURSESLearning to Program in Perl / Perl Programming - 5 days
Perl for Larger Projects - 3 days
Using Perl on the Web - 2 days
Perl Extra - 1 day
Private courses available at your office or at our training centre
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