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ajt (2546)

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UK based. Perl, XML/HTTP, SAP, Debian hacker.

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Journal of ajt (2546)

Tuesday January 13, 2009
03:07 PM

Perl Versions

[ #38277 ]

I don't do that much Perl these days. Though I've done more Perl development work in the last 3 months than the last 2 years probably. At the moment I'm doing some more fun Perl/SAP work at work and SAP is more mentally stimulating with Perl than without it!

Yesterday I was thinking, "Is now the time to start taking advantage of things in Perl 5.8?". For a long time I tried to avoid using anything from Perl 5.8 that couldn't be used on older Perls, I'm now thinking it's time to move on and start actually using stuff from 5.8 that can't be used in 5.6 - and dropping anything that is on it's way out in 5.10 and beyond.

I know that stuff was introduced into the 5.8 core but I didn't really bother with it as we still use 5.6 at work and initially a lot of people were still running 5.6. Time moves on and I think it's time to re-read my PerlDelta docs and starting doing new things. I know that there are lots of cool things in 5.10 but I think they are a bit new yet to use given the number of 5.8 and older systems.

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  • Given that 5.8.9 is the last in the 5.8 series, it's probably time to start thinking about migrating to 5.10.

    • Well my Debian boxen are already running 5.10 and I'm quite happy with it. Our work boxen are a bit more problematic as the machines themselves are due for the scrap heap but time pressures and such have trapped them as unsupported hardware, running an unsupported version of Red Hat with very old and obsolete applications...

      In theory it's not my problem but in practice it is. The problem is I just don't have any spare cycles to do anything about it.

      However on a lighter note, I do plan to start taking advant

      -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
  • I'd be very interested in hearing more about your Perl + SAP experiences, since I'm in the early phases of a giant 2 year SAP project.

    Also, given that Unicode is "stable" at 5.8.5, it's a pretty reason "next" back-compatibility target.

    • SAP is a bad tempered proprietary monster, but you can call in and out of SAP using the SAP::Rfc (old SAPs) and sapnwrfc (new SAPs) libraries which is really useful. Via the SAP RFC interface you see SAP methods as Perl native structures or you can expose Perl programs to SAP as SAP native structures - it's really useful.

      In the worst case you can also call executables directly on the OS from SAP programs...

      I really, really need to write up some SAP/Perl success stories....

      -- "It's not magic, it's work..."
  • On work servers and home I use 5.8.8 exclusively and have 5.10.0 installed at home.
    For me main features of 5.8 is Unicode and open from/to string.

    • Unicode I look forward, it's a real pain to deal with in 5.6.x. You can sometimes cope with it in 5.6 but it's a lot of grief, not having to worry about it in 5.8 and above will greatly simplify my code.

      -- "It's not magic, it's work..."