After releasing Perl 5.32 earlier this month, the Perl community is already looking towards the next release of the language, which will be Perl 7.

According to a blog post written by Perl book author brian d foy on the Perl website, “Perl 7 is going to be Perl 5.32, mostly.” What this means is that functionality is very similar to Perl 5.32, but Perl 7 will offer more modern defaults. Foy went on to explain that Perl is a “Do what I mean” language, which worked well in its early days, but after years of adding new features and the technical landscape becoming more complex, it’s not so simple anymore. Perl now requires a lot of boilerplate code to get started, and the new defaults in Perl 7 should hopefully eliminate some of that. 

There aren’t a lot of new additions to Perl 7 other than making certain features default. Some of the features likely to be removed include indirect object notation, bareword filehandles, fake multidimensional arrays and hashes, and Perl 4-style prototype definitions. 

“Perl 7 will make it easier to attract new developers and add quality-of-life improvements for existing developers while maintaining broad compatibility with existing codebases. This paves the way for future major versions enabling further and more significant improvements to the language,” Stuart J Mackintosh, president of the Perl Foundation, wrote in a post.

When Perl 7 comes out, Perl 5 will go into long-term maintenance and will likely stay supported for the next 10 years, said foy. 

The first release candidate for Perl 7 is expected in about six months, and the final release is expected within the next year.