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mpeters (5802)

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Journal of mpeters (5802)

Thursday July 16, 2009
08:05 PM

What Perl can learn from OpenBSD

[ #39304 ]
Will all the talk about trying to improve the Perl core development and release process it's interesting to see what other (non-commercially backed) open source project are doing -

From the slashdot overview:

Twelve years ago OpenBSD developers started engineering a release process that has resulted in quality software being delivered on a consistent 6 month schedule — 25 times in a row, exactly on the date promised, and with no critical bugs. This on-time delivery process is very different from how corporations manage their product releases and much more in tune with how volunteer driven communities are supposed to function.

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  • Damn it I hate YouTube. Useful technical talks are hidden away on a social media website blocked by almost all government departments, schools and large companies. :(

  • They do make enough from CD sales, donations, for some time a grant from the US DoD, etc to pay for Theo to work full time, and to give other hackers some resources to work with. It is amazing how much it helps having full time employees to do the boring grunt work of, for instance, regular releases.

    • I remember the DoD grant. The OpenBSD donations [] page suggests that most donations go toward maintaining infrastructure, obtaining hardware, and producing hackathons, not funding developers. Are you aware of other resources which provide more specific details?

      (I'm not disagreeing with your premise, but I'm not personally aware of any widespread funding.)

    • While not employing anyone full time, Perl is not without resources. Grants are given out all the time to do things that wouldn't normally get done. Besides the small development grants, there's Richard Dice's new grant to do organizational work for TPF (and it's my understanding that he's working full time on this) and then Dave Mitchell's grant to release 5.10.1.

      But money is not enough to make things work well. We need process changes.

  • Michael,

    Thanks for that link. Word to whoever clicks on it: While the video quality is poor during the first 30 seconds, it becomes tolerable thereafter.

    While I've read a lot about the Perl 5 release process in the past two weeks, I have no personal familiarity with it. I can, however, make some comparisons with the Parrot project.

    Like OpenBSD, Parrot believes in releasing on pre-announced dates, though Parrot works on a monthly cycle rather than OpenBSD's 6-month cycle.

    While we don't submit