This weekend I made my first contribution to an open source project, the Perl6 MoarVM. It was a very positive experience. I hopped on the IRC #perl6 channel and started asking around, following Perl 6 tutorials, but I found a bug almost immediately and submitted a bug report. It was fixed within minutes!
I found an easy ticket to fix on the MoarVM, it was a simple class rename. I checked out a branch in git, renamed it across all the files with sed, and fixed a compiler warning. With some more git gymnastics I submitted my first pull request. There was also bug reports from 2014 I noticed were fixed in the 2017.01 build of Rakudo.
While reading the Perl 6 documentation and listening to presentations, I realized that Perl 6 is a remarkably well designed language. I feel the same desire to learn about it as I did for Lisp and Haskell. It reminds me of something Bjarne Stroustrop once said, that C++11 feels like a new language, and the pieces just fit together better than before. I feel the same way about the jump from Perl 5 to 6.
Although it’s been in development for a very long time, it’s only been little over a year since version 1 of Rakudo was released. A programming language is more than a laundry list of features. Larry Wall understands that better than most anyone, so I’m optimistic about Perl 6.
Honestly, I no idea this TimToady guy I’ve been messaging this whole time was Larry Wall himself.