Yapsi and Tardis

(I meant to do this post a few days ago; ah well)

Recently I worked on Tardis, adding some extra stuff to the command line (`help’, `rewrite’, `unwrite’, and ‘pets’ commands, to be more specific.) You can see what I did at https://github.com/lue/tardis. Along the way, I hacked on the beginnings of string functionality for Yapsi (which is in there now, yay!). Working on Yapsi was more fun for me in the ≈10-20 minutes I spent on coding it than all the time I’ve spent messing with Rakudo, and I think I know why:

Rakudo sucks for beginners.

WAIT DON’T KILL ME! Let me explain. Rakudo is great, it’s fun, it’s awesome, and (in my opinion) anybody wanting to code in Perl 6 has to start with Rakudo. I’m talking about coding it. The problem is is that it’s at a high level of maturity (but not enough to be considered ready for the ‘general public’, whatever the general public means in the coding world), which makes everything that needs fixing insanely complex.

The way I see it, there are two types of things to code on in Rakudo. The first is the insanely complex NYI features that requires you know a fair bit about the codebase. The second is bugfixes, best found in the RT. The bugs nowadays tend to be bugs that require an even more detailed knowledge of the codebase than #1, as the bug will likely be one weird line of code in src/core/Temporal/Time/WibblyWobbly/grandfunction63.pm (that file is made up, in case you can’t tell).

From what I’ve heard, coding in Rakudo is really quite fun, and I don’t doubt it. For me, however, the times I tried diving in, the wind blew me into the hard dirt surrounding the pool. The one time I did code something in Rakudo (:= binding), I felt like in the end I was just transcribing, on account of all the questions I asked. Maybe the codebase is really complex, maybe I’m just too impatient to learn the codebase (I call being a programmer as my excuse if that’s why), or maybe it’s just that I was too inexperienced to fully comprehend the codebase at the time (it’s been a while since I last tried). * the case, I felt refreshingly happy working on Yapsi, and I can’t help but wonder if that’s the same feeling I’d get working on Rakudo. Maybe it’s time to try again.

(PS: Any p6’er out there willing to challenge me on anything I said, feel free.)

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