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Chapter 3. Design Philosophy

Today's practicality is often no more than the accepted form of yesterday's theory.

—Kenneth Pike, An Introduction to Tagmemics

At the heart of every language is a core set of ideals that give the language its direction and purpose. If you really want to understand the choices that language designers make—why they choose one feature over another or one way of expressing a feature over another—the best place to start is with the reasoning behind the choices.

Perl 6 has a unique set of influences. It has deep roots in Unix and the children of Unix, which gives it a strong emphasis on utility and practicality. It's grounded in the academic pursuits of computer science and software engineering, which gives it a desire to solve problems the right way, not just the most expedient way. It's heavily steeped in the traditions of linguistics and anthropology, which gives it the goal of comfortable adaptation to human use. These influences and others like them define the shape of Perl and what it will become.

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