Reflections on the Perl6 logo
Posted by dlandgren on 2009-09-26
She: Oh… uh, isn’t that new?
He: Yes it is. Do you like it?
She: Well… what is it?
He: Uh… “New Young American Primitive”.
She: I have a new young American sister. She’s only three and her stuff is really primitive.
—Joan Chandler and John Dall, Rope (Alfred Hitchcock)
It would appear that Larry Wall has (his heart) settled on a logo for Perl6, and he’s been thinking about it for quite some time.
I would also like to make it clear that I’m a just a little tired of these “rounds”; more importantly, that I’ve been mulling over this particular issue for many years.
Which brings us to:
Woah, my eyes, talk about Angry Fruit Salad. Of course, this comes from the man who considers chartreuse to be a suitable background colour for a web page…
There is a textual representation of the logo as well, and in fact, it’s only after seeing the text version that the above makes any sense at all:
Or if you have Unicode and decent typesetting software:
Now the meaning becomes clear, it’s meant to be a riff on Perl6’s hyper-operators. Well, fair enough, but really, those bug eyes, that crooked smile, the P and 6 in the wings, that’s supposed to be what? And what will that look like to a colour-blind person? Is this a peculiarly American need, to have a mascot? I’m baffled.
But seriously. In the 10th State of the Onion, Larry suggested that Perl 4 was a pre-teen, and Perl 5 was an adolescent. Perl 6 is when Perl grows up and becomes an adult. And the language is coming along nicely. There are lots of lovely features going into that is going to make it a fascinating language to work in over the next couple of decades. And now this curiously infantile regression.
The biggest problem is that I would have a hard time advocating the language without people snickering at me. I am reminded of Jamie Zawinskie, when he announced his resignation from Netscape, some months after the company was bought out by AOL.
…someone from the New York Times asked me what it would be like working for AOL, given that they represent (in her words) “all that is cheesy and mainstream about the net.” She asked if AOL had lost that stigma. I disengaged my brain and answered,
I think AOL still has all the stigma that it always has, as far as image goes. My friends keep saying email@example.com and then laughing uncontrollably…
I envisage a conversation at work when I would suggest that Perl6 would be a secret weapon that would boost programmer productivity and give us the edge that allows us to roll out new applications faster and better, and the other people in my team rolling their eyes and laughing. “Hey guys, let’s break out the acrylic paints and do some fingerpainting!”
The language scene is a lot more crowded these days. Perl is going to find the going a lot harder this time around. Not to mention the rise of worse is better and the likes of PHP.
I can’t see how this is going to help matters.
I just can’t take any of you seriously
Fire up the batmobile, ’cause I gotta get outta here …
—Liz Phair, (Fire Up The) Batmobile
So please, anyone, anywhere, come up with a better one, before it’s too late, ok?