Perl 6 Design Documents

The Synopsis documents are the design documents used to guide Perl 6 language, compiler, and test development. As design documents, they're frequently subjected to the rigors of cross-examination through implementation and use in practice. In other words, they may change slightly or radically, but the expectation is that they are ``very close`` to the final shape of Perl 6.

In the past the Synopses have often been referred to as "the formal Perl 6 specification" and "specs", but this usage is being deprecated in favor of treating tests from the "roast" test suite as official specifications. This is consistent with Synopsis 1, which says "Perl 6 is anything that passes the official test suite." [Read more...]

Note that documents marked DRAFT are really just that. They are often written by random people, and may be speculative as much or more than "official specification".

The documents here mostly correspond with the chapters in the Camel Book, that is, "Programming Perl, 3rd Edition". However, a few chapters of that book will no longer be relevant, and those numbers will be resused for other things. At the moment, this refers to section 7, whose synopsis is "Iterators", but whose Exegesis is about the module Apocalypses and Exegeses were only written for some of the early sections; the later sections have no corresponding apocalypse/exegesis.

Most changes to these specifications have been discussed on the perl6-language mailing list or the #perl6 FreeNode channel on IRC. Additionally, Larry Wall has created an implementation of the parser for Perl 6 (but it doesn't do any of the backend stuff), and that is usually regarded as authoritative.

While the Apocalypses and Exegeses are linked here for reference, note that they are historical documents, whereas the Synopses are kept more up-to-date and are the primary recommended reference.

(Specification)         (Syn pod) (Justification) (Explanation)
1 Overview Synopsis S01-overview.pod Apocalypse
2 Bits and Pieces Synopsis S02-bits.pod Apocalypse Exegesis
3 Summary of Perl 6 Operators     Synopsis S03-operator.pod Apocalypse Exegesis
4 Blocks and Statements Synopsis S04-control.pod Apocalypse Exegesis
5 Regexes and Rules Synopsis S05-regex.pod Apocalypse Exegesis
6 Subroutines Synopsis S06-subroutines.pod Apocalypse Exegesis
7 Lists and Iteration [DRAFT] Synopsis S07-lists.pod
8 Captures and Parcels [DRAFT] Synopsis S08-capture.pod
9 Data Structures Synopsis S09-data.pod
10 Packages Synopsis S10-packages.pod
11 Compilation Units Synopsis S11-modules.pod
12 Objects Synopsis S12-objects.pod Apocalypse
13 Overloading Synopsis S13-overloading.pod
14 Roles and Parametric Types [DRAFT] Synopsis S14-roles-and-parametric-types.pod
15 Unicode [DRAFT] Synopsis S15-unicode.pod
16 IO / User / Group [DRAFT] Synopsis S16-io.pod
17 Concurrency Synopsis S17-concurrency.pod
19Command line interface [DRAFT] Synopsis S19-commandline.pod
21 Calling foreign code [DRAFT] Synopsis S21-calling-foreign-code.pod
22 Distributions, Recommendations, Delivery and Installation Synopsis S22-package-format.pod
24 Testing Synopsis S24-testing.pod
25Portable perl(TBD)
26 Documentation Synopsis S26-documentation.pod (HTML rendering of S26 is known to be incomplete)
27Perl culture(Draft)
28 Special names Synopsis S28-special-names.pod
29 Builtin Functions [DRAFT] Synopsis S29-functions.pod
30Standard perl library(TBD)
31 Pragmatic modules [DRAFT] Synopsis S31-pragmatic-modules.pod
32Setting library [DRAFT] 
Basics+ [DRAFT] Synopsis Basics.pod
Callable* [DRAFT] Synopsis Callable.pod
Containers* [DRAFT] Synopsis Containers.pod
Exception* [DRAFT] Synopsis Exception.pod
IO* [DRAFT] Synopsis IO.pod
Numeric* [DRAFT] Synopsis Numeric.pod
Rules* [DRAFT] Synopsis Rules.pod
Str [DRAFT] Synopsis Str.pod
Temporal+ Synopsis Temporal.pod
33Diagnostic messages(TBD)
99 Glossary Synopsis S99-glossary.pod


S32 Key

* = Document related types as well
+ = Not a type name, but documents a group of types

Differences from Perl 5

The Differences document is stored in docs/Perl6/Perl5/Differences.pod in the mu repository, if you'd like to make updates to it. Your changes will automatically appear on feather in less than 1 hour.

Further reading

For further information on Perl 6, links to examples, tutorials etc. please visit, the official Perl 6 homepage.

About this page

The HTML version of Synopses contains code snippets from the official test suite. In other words, the .t files from the test suite are divided into pieces and inserted after corresponding paragraph of the Synopses. The job is done by the Perl 5 script util/ living in the mu repository. It runs once every hour, and is triggered by the file util/ in the mu repository. It runs as user on