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Good article Perl has been listed as one of the Engineering and technology good articles under the good article criteria. If you can improve it further, please do so. If it no longer meets these criteria, you can reassess it.

Move to "Perl (programming language)"[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was not moved. --BDD (talk) 17:45, 25 March 2013 (UTC) (non-admin closure)

PerlPerl (programming language) – Move this article to "Perl (programming language)", same way as "Python (programming language)" - and others - are. This "Perl" page comes from a time when there was no disambiguation, and I do not see a reason why Perl should be treated other than many other programming languages on WP. Currently, there is a redirect Perl (programming language) -> Perl. It should be the other way round.

I hereby volunteer to do the change and janitoring. I am aware of, but the situation has changed meanwhile. The Perl community has turned its attention to Wikipedia mentioning significantly less the term "Perl programming" than - say "Python programming".

This is a direct result of the ommission of "Perl (programming language)" contrary to other languages. Please have a look at the german Wikipedia (which - BTW - is for this topic a far better reference). -> disambiguation page.

LinguistManiac (talk) 20:10, 18 March 2013 (UTC)

This suggestion came up years ago. The consensus was that Larry Wall already found an unambiguous name with no collisions with other languages. Why fix what isn't broken?
It's actually not about an unambiguous name with other languages. It's about: a) inconsistencies between different WP languages (and I again repeat my claim, that the german WP is the more evolved here - thus reference) and b) about ambiguities to other "Perl" topics not just in the area of programming languages but in overall semantics (see for at least 5 other meanings for Perl, names not included). And yes, you are right, the same topic was here for discussion "years ago". My point is, that the situation has changed. It may not be totally broken now, but it is going to be broken as all WPs get more and more extensive (thus covering more and more meanings of that term) please have a look not only at the german WP, but also at some other WPs (french, dutch, etc.). I think the English WP should be reference again. Therefore my offer to do the "janitoring". LinguistManiac (talk) 08:20, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
It is possible that Perl became less of the duct tape of the internet because of JavaScript. But it is hardly causal that the article name caused any lessening of the usage of Perl. I notice that JavaScript is coming up against its own walls of deployability /understandability (at LOC in the millions), which is another possible factor in this phenomenon. It is more likely that other languages took notice of the successes of Perl and took the language features they could implement (viz., regular expressions, closures, here documents, etc.) which then affected the usage of Perl. But the other languages are also experiencing their own problems /limitations. So it's a two-way street. --Ancheta Wis   (talk | contribs) 22:08, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
Would you care to elaborate on how "the situation has changed meanwhile"? As far as I can see there is still only one article on a small German town that could possibly contend for this name. —Ruud 22:15, 18 March 2013 (UTC)
Sure. You are right, that there currently is not much disambiguation in the English WP, but look at the disambiguation page at the German WP ( - 5 distinct articles about "Perl" + 16 articles about people with "Perl" in their name. If you want to make the way free for a better extension of the English WP for the term "Perl", you should adopt the german way. Methinks. Perl (programming language) would then also be equivalent to Perl (Programmiersprache) and not as inconsistent as it is now. And I repeat here my offer: I volunteer for doing the janitoring after such a move. LinguistManiac (talk) 08:20, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Oppose since the main argument is for consistency with the German Wikipedia, which requires a disambiguation page. German is a different language, with different words and different ambiguities, so it's going to require different disambiguation pages from those of English (or indeed of any other language). There isn't (so far as I can tell) a general Wikipedia policy of disambiguation pages matching across languages, so there isn't any need to do that here. (There's also no reason why German should be a special-case for the English Wikipedia; if that argument is followed then anybody making a disambiguation page in any Wikipedia should then immediately also make that same sequence of letters be a disambiguation page in every single language's Wikipedia.) I reject the premise “If you want to make the way free for a better extension of the English WP for the term "Perl"”; if other topics which would naturally be named ‘Perl’ have articles written about them, that would be the time to look at this again. But there's no need to do that in advance: it creates ‘space’ where there isn't yet a need, and where there has never been one. It's entirely possible that no such pages will ever exist or be deemed to have equal status with programming language for the use of the term ‘Perl’ in English: the name was specifically chosen as not a known English term, so clashing isn't likely. That makes it similar to the pages for JavaScript and COBOL, also unique names. That contrasts with Python (programming language) and Ruby (programming language), both of which were named after existing and well-known English words, and which therefore naturally require disambiguating. Smylers (talk) 11:04, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
  • PRO The disambiguation is because in German are much more Terms named Perl but yes it would be clearer with the suffix. (PS had login problems yesterday) (PPS i am main maintainer of german Perl article and have some XP with the general problem behind and found out over years, its a good thing to force disambiguation in links, there are so many misleading links because of too general lemata and for this kind of works are here several times more hands to help than for actual content work) Lichtkind (talk) 15:24, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
You also wrote above that: The Perl community has turned its attention to Wikipedia mentioning significantly less the term "Perl programming" than - say "Python programming". This is a direct result of the ommission of "Perl (programming language)" contrary to other languages. Please have a look at the german Wikipedia (which - BTW - is for this topic a far better reference). -> disambiguation page. Do I understand you correctly that you're saying more Python articles have been written than Perl, because the Python article has "programming language" on the end of its title? If so, then can you please cite some evidence for this? Thanks, Captain Conundrum (talk) 10:18, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
I can provide the evidence - of course. But is this evidence for you (you're requesting it) or for someone else? As you already voted I see no point in that request. I could of course argue that you are blocking the attempt to prevent a programming language genocide ([1]) - and if you'd care you'd find the (if not THE, then at least a big fat one) root of this exactly here in this topic. Actually that is the reason why the Perl community is turning its attention to WP, and that's the reason some 50 templates and ~100 articles done by various people got reverted. Mostly by you I might add. LinguistManiac (talk) 11:03, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Yes, I have voted to oppose for the reasons I cited above, and not because it would be impossible to prove that Perl use is in decline mainly because of how it's disambiguated on Wikipedia. The purpose of Wikipedia is not to prevent the "genocide" of a programming language, nor to promote its use, as noted in WP:NOTADVOCATE. And I reverted links to redirects in 7 templates, not 50. May I ask: are you also using the account Komarov om to edit? Captain Conundrum (talk) 11:36, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
This account belongs to me, it is named after my real name, and LinguistManiac is a different person. I don't deny that my edits were motivated by the idea you were refering to further. These edits are explained by lack of WP infrastructure knowledge: if I had known that such changes had been to be made automatically once the voting had been held, I wouldn't have done these edits in the first place. Also I've read the article naming policy more carefully now and I can see your point. Komarov om (talk) 18:46, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
That's OK, and thanks for saying so. Welcome to Wikipedia: I'd be happy to work with you on adding more Perl programming articles, or articles on any FOSS topic. Captain Conundrum (talk) 10:18, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
You may ask and no, that is not me. And yes, you may experience more of these to come. I am aware of WP:NOTADVOCATE and I am not proposing any advocacy whatsoever. I propose a rectification and normalization. I do have the WP goals on my mind. Up there in the discussion only Python and Ruby are mentioned. There is no problem finding dozens of others. Let's stick to those comparable: Unique name with very few disambiguation. Ok? How about [2]? Please tell me why that should not - according to your logic (or some WP:ANOTHERRULE) - be renamed back to just Erlang. [3] not more disambiguation there also. [4] and so on and so on. Do you really want me to continue or do you see it now? LinguistManiac (talk) 12:00, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
None of the examples you've cited (nor Scala, Scheme, Guile, etc.) are words for which the programming language is the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC. In English, when someone writes about "Perl" or "PHP" they are almost certainly writing about the language. Captain Conundrum (talk) 12:25, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
None of the examples you've cited ... is the WP:PRIMARYTOPIC That is a false claim. Erlang - the programming language - is the primary topic in todays society. Please type in "Erlang" in your favourite browser. You will get the mathematician? Or the units of measures he invented? No. You will get the Erlang home page. Then the WP entry for the 'programming language'. Erlang is a 'perfect' counterexample to your arguments. Which clearly shows you've made up your mind and are neither interested in arguments nor consensus. LinguistManiac (talk) 12:40, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
I am opposing the proposed move, but would happily change my vote if new information came to light. You may be right about Erlang, although I'm not sure whether a web search alone is the best gauge of primary usage. I also see that most of the undisambiguated links to Erlang are programming articles. So for now I would support a move of Erlang to Erlang (disambiguation) over the current redirect, and then moving Erlang (programming language) to Erlang as the primary topic. Please do propose it at the respective talk pages if you agree. Captain Conundrum (talk) 12:55, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
Ok, just give me a day or two to think that over. In terms of consensus, I am that far that moving Erlang is a viable alternative, because - honestly - these two languages behave in that respect the same. I still think it's the worse of the two alternatives (the other being move Perl), because I keep finding PRO arguments. Perl Island (Alaska) anyone? LinguistManiac (talk) 17:22, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Comments and questions 1) I'm sorry if I'm misunderstanding LinguistManiac, due to a language barrier or other communication issue, but the insinuation that the naming of this Wikipedia article has any correlation whatsoever with the suggested decline in popularity of Perl sounds, quite frankly, absurd. 2) The contributions by Komarov om and comment by LinguistManiac that "you may experience more of these to come" raises the question the if there is some outside (of the English-language Wikipedia) canvassing going on regarding the naming of this article. 3) I personally do see some small advantages in defensively linking to the Perl (programming language) redirect in case this article should ever be moved in the future or to more easily detect mistaken links that should in fact have gone the the small German town. However, this is currently impractical to implement as a) it causes an ugly "(Redirected from Perl (programming language))" to appear in the article for anyone following such as link and b) as this goes straight against current community practice other editors and bots will eventually bypass those redirects again. 4) The fact that there are a few people with surname Perl is not so relevant, as surnames only rarely (only, say, if they happen to be Obama or Einstein) make for primary topics or sources of links. 5) Erlang most likely should be a disambiguation page as it, unlike Perl, does have some fairly important other meanings outside of computing. —Ruud 16:49, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
    As per your comments and questions. ad 1) I simply presented the TIOBE long term popularity index for the perl programming language [5]. This index shows a decline. If you care to look at how this index is computed ([6]), you will find that WP is going with 15% into that index. If you compare the terms "Python programming" vs. "Perl programming" you will see a 1:2,5 ratio. The correlation is fact and not absurd. Sorry. And of course that fact is not WPs problem and also no criterium for any decision. I was just mentioning that fact to point out one particular problem. ad 2) At least in the Perl community, yes. Again, it would not be any of WPs business if - and that's my personal viewpoint - the Perl vs. XXX (programming language) discrepancy/inconsistency would not be a valid issue. ad 3) Then we agree in the topic of "defensive linking". What you perhaps do not see (yet) is, that the english Wikipedia is not complete itself. There are at least 9 other articles about other Perls I could write. I assume I will have to. ad 5) Please search for Ruby in Google - what do you get? Same as Erlang: the homepage followed by Ruby (programming language)! Ruby, the programming language is far more prominent on the web (and yes, Wikipedia is part of the web, deal with it) than Ruby the stone. What now? Rename "Ruby (programming language)" to "Ruby" and rename "Ruby" to "Ruby (stone)"? I certainly hope you see the absurdity of that. LinguistManiac (talk) 17:22, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
    Alright, I'm beginning to see the issue here. TIOBE apparently released the following statement this month: "Ruby has taken over the ninth position of Perl. Thanks to this Ruby is now the third interpreted programming language that leaves Perl behind. The other two are PHP and Python. Is Perl on its way out of the top 10? Time will tell." And TIOBE is of course long rumoured to measure popularity by the number of Google hits for "X programming language". I can only say that 1) TIOBE's measurement is generally considered to be flawed (and if the naming of this article would influence the ranking it truly is) and 2) Wikipedia('s community) will not give any consideration to this issue in the naming of its articles. —Ruud 17:53, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
    1) I do not dispute TIOBE flawedness. 2) I go absolutely d'accord, that this should not be any basis of any WP decision. My point is 3) - Because of this issue I stumbled across the inconsistency which is in WP. And you must see that inconsistency by now. If you search for almost any "significant/relevant" programming language just by name, you will get in one of the 1st positions (any search engine) the Wikipedia article, which mentions the programming language. Ruby, Python, Erlang, and way too many others. In my opinion there are only two ways to deal with this (assuming you WANT consistency across WP). First, you can move Perl to Perl (programming language). (If it is on such a rapid decline - so what - then loosing some PRIMARYTOPIC specialty will not hurt it.), the other alternative is to rename/move all those Ruby (programming language), Erlang (programming language) and myriads others to PRIMARYTOPIC. And there lies insanity IMHO. Ok, third alternative is to let things as they are and live with the inconsistency. And to make absolutely clear, I equally strongly propose the movement PHP -> PHP (programming language), because that's the same case. Only my time is limited. ;-) — Preceding unsigned comment added by LinguistManiac (talkcontribs) 19:47, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
    But we are being very consistent here, in that we apply WP:PRIMARYTOPIC here just as we do for all our other articles. You apparently like to use a different, incompatible, definition of "consistent" that say that "if one article in a class uses a disambiguation tag, than all the article that class should," but this would quickly become a self-contradictory definition, when an article belongs to multiple classes. —Ruud 21:22, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
  • PRO To me this proposal makes sence. Even if, compared to other languages, the English Wikipedia is currently a bit thin on people, brands and abbreviation Perl, this doesn't have to stay that way. As for computer things I am always a strong advocate of consistency. All else sooner or later leads to chaos. (talk) 22:13, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. Wikipedia has clear rules regarding the disambiguation of article titles. The most common is by determining a primary topic. If a primary topic exists, it may take the plain title. Per Perl (disambiguation), there are only two subjects on Wikipedia that may lay claim to the plain title "Perl" - the programming language and the German town. According to article traffic statistics, the German town receives an average of less than 20 hits per day, and the programming language about 1800 a day (90 times the traffic). Doing a web search for "perl" using Google, Bing, or any other search engine yields pages of results for the programming language before the German town is even mentioned. Perl the programming language is clearly the primary topic for the term "Perl", and should remain at the plain title. (Compare this to "python", for which numerous topics are equally notable, or "ruby", for which the gem is the primary topic.) Moreover, I see nothing else in a prefix search of the article namespace that would warrant moving this article. Mindmatrix 22:46, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: BTW, according to traffic stats, on de:, the programming language (240 hits per day) receives 5-6 times as much traffic as the town (50), and more than 20 times the traffic of Perl (Schriftmaß) (12) and Perl (Band) (5). According to the de: disambiguation policy, the programming language should be at the plain title. Irrespective of this, policy on other language WP does not affect interpretation of English WP policy. Mindmatrix 23:08, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
    Thank you for bringing up traffic stats. According to these, Ruby (programming language) has been viewed more times, than just Ruby ([7] vs. [8]), which means, that the former should become Ruby and the latter Ruby (mineral) or so. I mean if that's not insane... Please compare also ([9] versus [10]) Which means the programming language is PRIMARYTOPIC. But it's not handled that way. Neither Ruby nor Python. But Perl and PHP are. Totally bogus, inconsistent. LinguistManiac (talk) 00:13, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
    Oppose The Ruby disambiguation page mentions many places, people etc. called Ruby in some way, and the Ruby (programming language) entry features a logo of a gem-cut ruby. The Python disambiguation page mentions snakes, guns, missiles, Monty Python and other python-related topics; the Python (programming language) page features a logo that looks like two snakes entwined together. In contrast, Perl is not called Pearl, and so far (to a first approximation - apologies if I missed any) a few people called Perl and a small town in Germany are the only homonyms people have found. I'd say that anyone searching for Perl is almost certainly looking for the programming language, in the same way that anyone would be searching for JavaScript, Intercal, Befunge or C++. Skington (talk) 02:53, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
    Traffic stats were one component; another was results returned by search engines. Searching for "ruby" in Google etc. will return results for the programming language and the gem as the first two hits. Moreover, both python and ruby have plural forms which must be considered, whereas Perl does not. Mindmatrix 15:18, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose - there's no need for disambiguation here (on the English WP - other languages of course should manage their own namespace appropriately), and hence adding the bracketed text to the title is just pointless cluttering here. Denny de la Haye (talk) 08:44, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment: One final note, for the purposes of using the plain title, only entries in the disambiguation page that would be specifically named "Perl" should be considered. Subjects such as Gisella Perl are irrelevant to this discussion, as the article for that subject would never be titled "Perl". Those entries are only included on the disambiguation page as a convenience for readers. Mindmatrix 23:16, 19 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose For pretty much the same reasons as everyone else. And, as a Perl programmer, I like the fact that Perl needs no disambiguation in English. Davorg (talk) 09:21, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose Because of the following: "A topic is primary for a term, with respect to usage, if it is highly likely—much more likely than any other topic, and more likely than all the other topics combined—to be the topic sought when a reader searches for that term. A topic is primary for a term, with respect to long-term significance, if it has substantially greater enduring notability and educational value than any other topic associated with that term." I think it's fairly clear that the programming language is more likely than not what people mean by "Perl", and that there's little prospect of this ceasing to be the case. jkg (talk]) 11:59, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose It feels like you're asking to make Perl less specialized than it already is. It is currently on WP(en) the one true result for "Perl" and you'd like it to instead be (only) the result if people are searching for programming languages.. This seems a bit backwards. This doesn't need to happen until/unless there are other significant things named Perl that might have reason to be the more likely thing people were looking for. Schiffbruechige (talk) 12:17, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose This is a transparent attempt to boost the TIOBE ratings of Perl, and per comments above referencing primary topic policy, this article is appropriately named as it is. Klortho (talk) 12:39, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose For the reasons stated by Klortho. Wikipedia is supposed to be an encyclopedia, not a platform for search-engine poisoning in order to game a third-party's ranking criteria. Qell (talk) 14:19, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Comment there is a long thread going on at PerlMonks, titled Improve Perl's marketing position by making Perlmonks more discoverable for automated "popularity contests", first started on 15 March. (I won't link to it here, but just search for "perlmonks tiobe".) In one comment on that thread, a well-meaning contributor posted: "... And because you are not, you see the necessity of action. Here, on CPAN, on Wikipedia and others where we can do something about it.". Captain Conundrum (talk) 16:17, 20 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose After giving the matter some more thought, I retract my original proposal. While still believing it would be the right thing to do, I see that this issue touches far deeper topics - namely problems with WP:PRIMARYTOPIC definition - which will have to be resolved first. The time for this move may be more ripe than it was in the 2009 discussion (where I did not participate), but evidently not ripe enough. LinguistManiac (talk) 08:30, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose. We do not add clarification to titles for the sake of clarification, unless it is necessary for disambiguation with other uses of the same name on WP, which in this primary topic case, that is not the situation. The concept of "primary topic" is firmly ingrained in the titling of WP articles; challenging that would be an enormous undertaking. --B2C 22:50, 21 March 2013 (UTC)
    I agree regarding the "enormous undertaking" estimate for challenging the concept as such. Therefore I like to think for now more of a "proposal for refinement". Where would be the best starting point to bring that forward? Talk page of WP:PRIMARYTOPIC? I'm asking here, because I would like to refer to this talk when bringing it forward there (wherever). LinguistManiac (talk) 09:40, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
    Yes, WT:D. But before you do, PLEASE review the archives for countless previous discussions about primary topic, including fairly recent ones. --B2C 22:30, 22 March 2013 (UTC)
  • Oppose but I have nothing extra to add. peterl (talk) 09:32, 24 March 2013 (UTC)
The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Dynamic, weak typing[edit]

Why there is no information about weak/strong typing? Should be "Typing discipline: Dynamic, weak." — Preceding unsigned comment added by Ishmygol (talkcontribs) 19:54, 17 January 2014 (UTC)

Is Perl a "C family" programming language?[edit]

Please see Wikipedia:Categories_for_discussion/Log/2014_October_24#Category_talk:C_programming_language_family. Andy Dingley (talk) 12:19, 24 October 2014 (UTC)

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