Perl 6 Essentials is a sneak-preview of Perl 6, the widely-anticipated rewrite of the Perl programming language. Still in development, the Perl 6 project is a community-based effort to keep Perl vibrant well into the 21st century. This book covers the development not only of Perl 6 syntax but also Parrot, the language-independent interpreter developed as part of the Perl 6 design strategy. Although Perl remains a vibrant language with a fiercely loyal following, it has undergone many changes to keep up with new technologies and applications that were not anticipated when Perl was first introduced in 1987. Through its community-based development model, Perl has kept up with changing times and remained fresh when other languages might have stagnated. Internally, however, there have remained kinks and stumbling blocks that developers have needed to sidestep, long-abandoned features that have been maintained only for backwards compatibility, misdirected phrasings that have hindered more intuitive syntax structures, and a cacophony of modules that sometimes work well together, but occasionally don't. Perl continues to have a strong following devoted to its development, but in the meantime, a group of core Perl developers have begun working on Perl 6, a complete rewrite of the Perl language. While Perl's creative philosophy and common-sense syntax are sure to remain in Perl 6, everything else in the language is being re-examined and recreated. Perl 6 Essentials provides an overview of the current state of Perl 6 for those who await its release. Written by members of the Perl 6 core development team, the book offers an explanation of the various stages of the project, with reference material for programmers who are interested in what changes are planned or who may want to contribute to the project. The book will satisfy their curiosity and show how changes in the language will make it more powerful and easier to use. Perl 6 Essentials is the first book that offers a peek into the next major version of the Perl language. This book is essential reading for anyone interested in the future of Perl.