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.
Why is Google making this open? Turns out, according to Google, that they don’t have enough Perl hackers internally, as this is not one of the core supported languages within the company. An inside view of Google once noted their focus is on C++, Java, and Python. “[T]he handful of Perl enthusiasts here who want to see this happen are also spread pretty thin,” Google’s FAQ on the subject explains.
This Perl version would need to be “hardened” – for instance, it would be able to open files but not write them. Another language contender for the Google App Engine may be PHP, at least if you go by popularity, though what people may need most right now to start serious GAE development is to buy their way beyond the base quota (Google already announced an expected pricing they say would become effective later this year).
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