> My dark suspicion is that Perl6 isn't finished because it isn't finishable.
I was a Mozilla contributor in the dark days of doom before Firefox shipped so I'm familiar with such suspicions. :)
> Some simple kick-the-tire microbenchmarks still indicate >10x slower performance than perl5
I'd say 10x is generous even given the >. Many folk would say >100x slower. It was *another* 100x or so slower 2 years ago. 100x was a good rule of thumb a few months ago. SSSSLLLLOOOWWW!
The Perl 6 team has been disciplined in sticking to their overall strategy: get it working, make sure it works right, then speed it up. They are just beginning serious speed up work. In the last few months they have begun regularly landing changes that significantly, sometimes dramatically, speed it up or shrink memory usage.
> releasing it as a very slow and bloated language would be just embarrassing.
Heh. They've already released it. There have been over 60 monthly releases. There are Perl 6 apps that have been running for years. (Slowly.)
> But on the longer term, it can't be kept in this "still in development" limbo forever, either.
Right. I've watched what Larry Wall says since the 90s. He has specifically and repeatedly refused to set a release date for Perl 6 for over a decade. And then, last year, he said it was time to "productize" it over the next "year or two" and a few weeks ago he revealed he's planning to publish his first Perl 6 book in the next year or so. I think that will likely mark 6.0.0.
> I think chromatic once said that rakudo's generated PIR is so register heavy that it will bring any register allocator to its knees. But, this being undated information it may now be obsolete.
I recall seeing someone else mention that recently. But my googles are only turning up this thread. Aiui chromatic hasn't been working on Parrot for at least a couple of years.
> I do struggle to see what role Perl has left
Language development is over! C# to see out the end of the world! :P
I recall folk suggesting lisp had no role left in the 80s.
> I would find it unlikely for Perl to retain its role as unix system glue if the future holds no native implementation.
Do you mean no VM? Perl 5 has a VM.