Google App Engine sort of getting Perl support

Google today supports only the Python language in Google App Engine. But one Googler is working on an unofficial--so far--expansion that could use Perl, too.

Stephen Shankland
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Google programmers are adding support for the Perl programming language to its App Engine service for hosting Web applications, but so far it's not really an official project.

The work is the project of Google employee Brad Fitzpatrick, who disclosed the project on his blog Tuesday. But he's not a member of the App Engine team, and Google isn't promising Perl support, he said. By going public with the project, he hopes to intercept other Perl fans' work in the area.

"I (along with other Perl hackers here at Google) are now allowed to work on this 20 percent project of ours out in the open where other Perl hackers can help us out, should you be so inclined," Fitzpatrick said. (Google permits engineers to spend 20 percent of their work time on pet projects.)

"Here at Google...it's not one of our big languages so I don't get to write as much Perl as I used to. I'd still like to run my personal Web apps on App Engine, though, and I'd like to write them in Perl," he said.

Google plans to add new languages to App Engine, but hasn't yet said which. Perl ranks fourth on the list of desired App Engine languages, after Java, PHP, and Ruby.

Check Fitzpatrick's post for details on the roadmap and what he thinks is necessary to make Perl a full-fledged part of App Engine.