what happened to perl 6

Perl 6, initially known as Perl 6.0, is a significant redesign and reimplementation of the Perl programming language. It was developed as a separate project from Perl 5, with the goal of addressing certain limitations and incorporating new features.


The development of Perl 6 began in 2000 with a specification called "Apocalypse" by Larry Wall, the creator of Perl. The design process involved extensive discussions and revisions within the Perl community. The development effort aimed to create a modern, powerful, and scalable programming language that would coexist with Perl 5 rather than replace it.

Name Change

In October 2019, the Perl community decided to change the name of Perl 6 to "Raku" to distinguish it from Perl 5 and alleviate confusion regarding the relationship between the two languages. This decision was made to emphasize the significant differences between Perl 6/Raku and Perl 5.

Features and Improvements

Perl 6/Raku introduced several notable features and improvements over Perl 5, including:

  1. Object-oriented programming: Perl 6/Raku provides a more robust object system with support for classes, roles, and multiple dispatch.

  2. Enhanced syntax: The language introduced a more structured and consistent syntax, with improved support for grammars and parsing.

  3. Concurrency and parallelism: Perl 6/Raku offers built-in support for concurrent and parallel programming, making it easier to write efficient and scalable code.

  4. Unicode support: The language has native support for Unicode, making it easier to work with non-ASCII characters and internationalization.

  5. Grammar-based pattern matching: Perl 6/Raku introduced a powerful pattern matching system based on grammars, allowing for more expressive and flexible string manipulation.

  6. Gradual typing: The language supports gradual typing, allowing developers to choose the level of type checking they prefer.

Current Status

As of November 2023, Perl 6/Raku has seen active development and adoption within certain communities. It has its own ecosystem of modules and tools, separate from Perl 5. However, Perl 5 remains the more widely used version of Perl in production environments.


Perl 6/Raku was developed as a significant redesign and reimagination of Perl, aiming to address limitations and introduce new features. The language has undergone a name change to Raku and offers several improvements over Perl 5. While it has gained a dedicated following, Perl 5 remains more prevalent in production environments.