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chromatic (983)

chromatic
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Journal of chromatic (983)

Thursday December 27, 2007
01:19 PM

Perl 6 Schedule Frequently Asked Questions [Satire]

[ #35215 ]
  • When will Perl 6 be ready?

    When it's done.

  • That's not an answer! Seriously, when will it be done?

    When the number of volunteers working on it have completed the amount of work remaining.

  • How long will that take?

    How many volunteers are there now? How many will there be tomorrow? How much work will they do in the next n days, weeks, and months? If you can solve these three equations simultaneously (without knowing n), you'll have your answer.

  • You're just making excuses! Why can't you give a straight answer?

    I just told you. We know roughly how much work remains, but we don't know how many available volunteer resources we'll have over what periods of time. We do know how many full-time paid resources we have, and we can predict how much full-time paid work we'll get in the near future, but that's zero. Still, there's a statistic for you.

    I suggest this helpful riddle. If one full-time paid programmer can do forty hours of work in one calendar week, and one volunteer programmer can do two hours of work in one calendar week, what do I have in my pocket. (Hint: not twenty times as many programmers for volunteer projects.)

  • People want to know! What should we tell them?

    There are no magic code fairies.

  • People won't believe that!

    Some people think professional wrestling is real and driving around in circles 500 times is a sport. I suggest smiling, nodding, and backing away until you can run. Under no circumstances should you make eye contact or engage them in serious conversation.

  • According to the Gunthedral and the Bizarre, you can just release your source code to the Internet and millions of people will magically download it and send patches and improve it and that's why Netscape rewrote their web browser into Firefox into two weeks under the code name "fetchmail" so Microsoft wouldn't find out.

    We were all surprised by that wealth.

  • Oh. Why don't you just work harder?

    We like to pay our mortgages and buy food and do things like sleep and groom ourselves.

  • Why don't you hire more people?

    We don't have any money.

  • Why don't you have any money? Surely the huge O'Reilly corporate monolith that joined into a sinister conspiracy with ActiveState, the Warren Commission, and DHH's Hair Cream for Men to promote Perl 6 just long enough to publish a lot of low-selling Ruby on Rails knockoff books in order to immanentize the eschaton has very deep pockets. I think they call it Projekt Majestik or something.

    O'Reilly allows the Perl 6 design team to use a conference line an hour a week, for which we're very grateful, but the guy who empties the trash cans of the interns who sit near the DLR team in Microsoft gets paid more than anyone working on Perl 6.

  • You should go after businesses to pay for Perl 6 development.

    That's a great idea. We'll pull our top coders off the project right away. They're really good with people, and I'm sure that threatening to delay the release of a free software project until we get money will go over very well.

  • Well TPF could I mean.

    Take that up with TPF.

  • But I want to use Perl 6 now! *whine*

    You can't possibly want to use it more than the people who are working on it, otherwise you too would give up nights and weekends once in a while to, you know, actually make it happen.

    Alternately, you could have downloaded and built and tested the source code any time in the past few years, or played with Run Perl 6 Now, or tried evalbot in #perl6, or....

  • You're a big meanie, and if you don't give me what I want, I'm going to go off and use some other language! See if I don't!

    Have the appropriate amount of fun. I'm sure they'll love to have you.

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  • Somewhere between "It'll be done when it's done" and "You'll have it on February 12th, 2009", there's a middle ground. All we have to do is find it.
    --

    --
    xoa

    • All we have to do is find it.

      If you can find the magic formula to predict:

      • Unknown unknowns and their impact on the schedule
      • Known unknowns and their impact on the schedule
      • The availability of as-yet-unvolunteered volunteers
      • The availability of current volunteers

      ... and solve for a target date within a few weeks either way, I'll personally nominate you for a Fields Medal.

      • I'm not looking for a date. At this point I'm looking for orders of magnitude assessment of how far along P6 and Parrot are. 10%? 90%? I suspect it's much closer to the latter, but there's nothing to back that up.

        People want dates, we can't give them dates. That doesn't mean we leave them with "I dunno." That's what I'm working on.

        --

        --
        xoa

        • At this point I'm looking for orders of magnitude assessment of how far along P6 and Parrot are.

          In my mind, that's a far different question. Fortunately, it's much more answerable. I thought Allison had a Parrot roadmap somewhere in the tree, but I couldn't find it with a quick search (and I don't remember if she checked it in, or just sent it to the release managers as a draft).

          • In my mind, that's a far different question.

            It's different, and yet it still lets people have some idea of where things are. If after 7 years, we're 10% along, that says very different than if we're 80% along. It also is the first step to SOMETHING looking like a time estimate, but that's way down the road.

            There's a ROADMAP.pod that covers a lot of it, but not everything. The "what's left" is what pmichaud and I are going to be working on today.

            --

            --
            xoa

  • The Q/A here, and especially in the comments sounds like what a lot of us here from management, eg. predictions, then request to change prediction, then complaining when the problem of limited resources is explained. What if one of the answers included a link to TPF donation site? If people claim they really want something done the answer "then help out" is the right one. However, most people can understand money conversion very readily. That is, if you want it done faster, help fund it (or contribute i
    • I've never been a part of TPF as anything other than a member of the Perl community, so I can only speak for myself here. I prefer to have someone contribute a question or a bug report or a smoke test result and perhaps some debugging on a platform I don't run, as the immediate practical benefit is a nice motivator. A weblog post saying "Hey, this is cool, and here's what I did with it" is nice, as is a thank you. Updating a page on the Perl 6 or Parrot wiki is very helpful too.

      Donations are nice thing