[Purdue-pm] Raku (Perl 6) study group

Mark Senn mark at ecn.purdue.edu
Sun Aug 2 12:42:27 PDT 2020

|  Dear Mark,
|  Mathematica and MATLAB are apples and oranges.
|  Mathematica and Maple are much better for symbolic computing than
|  MATLAB, but I think MATLAB is much, much better suited than either of
|  these for numerical computation, i.e., for numerical work with pde's,
|  computing on a mesh, etc.  These are totally different types of
|  tools.  As different as a saw versus a hammer.
|  It seems like Raku and Perl 5 are shaping up to be pretty different
|  tools too, right?  Perhaps much more similar to each other than
|  Mathematica and MATLAB.
|  Mark

I no longer use MATLAB.  Everything I did in MATLAB I now do in
Mathematica.  It seems to work fine for me for everything I've tried.
Mathematica was much harder to learn than MATLAB but the payoff has been
much bigger.  I wish Mathematica had LaTeX-based notebooks though.  I
really like all the data conveniently available from Mathematica, see
for more info on that.

Raku and Perl 5 do basically the same tasks in my opinion---Perl 5 has a
lot more authors and modules in CPAN (Comprehensive Perl Archive
Network) than is currently available for Raku.  Raku has everything I
need now plus some stuff I don't use now but doesn't get in the way
because it doesn't conflict with what I do use.  One big feature of Raku
that is not built-in to Perl 5 is grammars (see
https://docs.raku.org/language/grammars).  I've done a very simple test
using those but expect to use them for real work later.  My guess is
that will greatly reduce the amount of work I need to do.

In short I'd characterize the problems that can be solved using MATLAB
as a subset of what can be done in Mathematica.  I haven't done
benchmarks to see which is faster.  Same for Perl 5 and Raku.  Raku has
lots of odd things that were in Perl 5 fixed.  Raku has invariant
sigils.  For example in Perl 5, @array is an array and $array[1] is the
second element of @array.  In Raku, @array is an array and @array[1] is
the second element of @array.  A lot of things are easier in Raku,
it has more and more flexible syntax.


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