At the end of the year, writers and editors want to take time off, so they throw together silly top n lists to fill pages quickly. I planned to write The Year 2010 in Perl, but garu's 2010 Filled with Perls did a great job for Perl in general, and Moritz's Perl 6 in 2010 covered Perl 6 very well.
Instead, here are the three most important stories in Perl from 2010, from my perspective:
- Perl 5.12 released on time, with little fuss or mess. The change to monthly development releases and yearly stable releases settled down to a well-understood project heartbeat. Perl 5.14 is a few months away, which should allow the graceful ending of support for all Perl 5 versions older than 5.10.1. Welcome to the age of modern Perl, everyone.
- Moose reached version 1.0. After several years of rapid development, all of the pieces were in place to replace Perl 5's default object system with something more powerful, more concise, more correct, and easier to use and to explain. Moose isn't quite the de facto object system in Perl 5 yet, but with ancillary projects adopting Moose-compatibility while providing additional features (quicker startup, less memory usage), it's clearly the right way to write modern OO Perl 5.
- The first Rakudo Perl 6 Star release came out. While various Perl 6 implementations had been available since 2003, Rakudo Star was the first distribution release intended for end users to play with. Development continues on the Perl 6 specification and Rakudo, but the monthly releases of Rakudo demonstrate that Perl 6 is useful and usable today and improving regularly.
There are plenty more great projects to mention—cpanminus, perlbrew, plack, Catamoose, CPAN testers upgrades, and a couple of good books—but these three are the most important in terms of the long term health and vitality of Perl. With them, the Perl community has a firm foundation for a great 2011.