Perl on App Engine?

I am a Perl hacker. I have written parts of the core, created CPAN modules and written tons of perl code. In fact I am addicted to it ; or rather, CPAN. I have been wanting to play around with Google App Engine, but I haven’t had time to get up to speed in Python. Today at OSCON I met up with Brad Fitzpatrick, who told me he had permission from Google to talk about and work on a Perl on App Engine project.

He makes it clear that,

I’m happy to announce that the Google App Engine team has given me permission to talk about a 20% project inside Google to to add Perl support to App Engine. To be clear: I’m not a member of the App Engine team and the App Engine team is not promising to add Perl support. They’re just saying that I (along with other Perl hackers here at Google) are now allowed to work on this 20% project of ours out in the open where other Perl hackers can help us out, should you be so inclined.

The plan is to harden Perl (one layer of defense in App Engine’s hardened environment); implement Protocol Buffers and stubs of the backend services, so people can write App Engine applications on their local servers.

There is more information at Brad’s LiveJournal, as well as the the Perl-AppEngine project. Capturing the creative spirit here at OSCON, Brad and I hacked together a new module that emulates a protected environment, Sys::Protect (generally good idea for any web application).

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  • This is good news, but as a reformed Perl hacker myself I’d suggest giving Python a try in the meanwhile. My guess is you’ll be a convert by the time AppEngine Perl support is launched.

  • Not interested in a language argument. I am not specifically staying for the language, I am staying for CPAN.

  • Paul

    Good luck, probably won’t happen.

  • Jason Purdy

    Wow, where’d the haters come from? ;)

    Seriously, this is GREAT news! Anything to keep Perl alive & relevant, I say!

  • John

    What’s a “20% Project” ?

  • Matthew Musgrove

    A “20% Project” is a perk of working at Google. They allow you to spend 20% of your work time on a pet project.

  • I thought he’d have to re-implement most of the API. Brad is of course way smarter than that: he just wrote a proxy.

    So most of the work is indeed probably going to be hardening.