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Chapter 4. Syntax

Language serves not only to express thought but to make possible thoughts which could not exist without it.

—Bertrand Russell

Perl 6 is a work in progress, so the syntax is rapidly changing. This chapter is likely to be outdated by the time you read it. Even so, it provides a good baseline. If you start here, you'll only have to catch up on a few months of changes (starting with the design documents after Apocalypse 6), instead of several years worth.

Pretend for a moment that you don't know anything about Perl. You heard the language has some neat features, so you thought you might check it out. You go to the store and pick up a copy of Programming Perl because you think this Larry Wall guy might know something about it. It's the latest version, put out for the 6.0.1 release of Perl. It's not a delta document describing the changes, it's an introduction, and you dive in with the curiosity of a kid who got a telescope for his birthday. This chapter is a first glimpse down that telescope.

There's plenty of time later to analyze each feature and decide which you like and which you don't. For now, take a step back and get a feel for the system as a whole, for what it'll be like to work in it.

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