Larry Wall

Welcome Inside the Head of Larry Wall

Creator of Perl programming language

To design a new programming language is a pretty crazy endeavor, so what goes on inside the head of a programming language designer?

How to Design a Programming language - All you have to do, is decide on a class of problems for which your new programming language will be better suited than any other programming language. Then you have to implement your language - show that it is better than other languages, popularize it and get a few tens of thousands of people to use it. This is, of course, a crazy activity that is doomed to failure.

In this conversation Joe Armstrong will try to dig out what goes on inside the head of a programming language designer - as the co-inventor of a programming language himself, Joe will ask Larry the question, so, are we just crazy, or is there a method behind the madness?


Larry Wall is the creator of the Perl programming language but what do we really know about him apart from that his favourite colour is chartreuse (a sort of green)?

We know that Larry is always right, even when he was wrong!

Yes the two following points will explain:

  • Larry is always by definition right about how Perl should behave. This means he has final veto power on the core functionality.
  • Larry is allowed to change his mind about any matter at a later date, regardless of whether he previously invoked Rule 1.

Larry oversees development of Perl and serves ‘as the benevolent dictator for life of the Perl project.'' Perl’s increased flexibility and potential was brought on by its Perl 6 redesign, offering world-class support for Unicode, FP, OO, concurrent, and reactive programming.

Twitter: @TimToady