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schwern (1528)

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Schwern can destroy CPAN at his whim.

Journal of schwern (1528)

Saturday February 24, 2007
04:55 PM

Climbing the mountain

[ #32496 ]

Recently on p5p there was a lot of heat and noise about an experimental fork of Perl 5 being written by Gerard Goossen which was given the unfortunate label "Perl 7" (its now the "Kurila" branch). The name sparked quite a bit of controversy, overshadowing the value of Gerard's experimental branch and the power of Sam Villian's new git repo for perl 5. At one point I likened declaring his branch Perl 7 now to planting a flag at the bottom of the mountain and then arguing about how many stripes it should have. Climb the mountain first. Worry about flags if you get to the top.

At the end of the discussions, Sam Villian posted this pleasant little view that I thought was worth repeating.

    You said you want to climb the mountain to the top of Perl 7, an
    admirable goal, but you appear to be walking along a perpendicular road
    towards a set of peaks off to the side, the ranges that feed PHP valley.
    I bet it's a beautiful view from those mountains, and that Kurila Perl
    would be a fine name for them. We don't know exactly where the top of
    the Perl 7 mountain is, but we're fairly sure that we'll get a view to
    spot it from the top of the gargantuan Perl 6. That's little dot in the
    air near the top is Audrey hangliding in from Haskell crag. Look below,
    that little hive of activity is the base camp, Jesse's there running the
    kitchen, Larry's off leading the day-walkers and there's Patrick and co
    laying the railway system. Sure there aren't any trains running yet, not
    all the way to the top anyway.

    Maybe one day Larry will look at the view from the top and look back
    towards the Kurila ranges and dub it Perl 7. He's done crazier things in
    the past. So by all means, climb!

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  • Here's a similar metaphor of progress in computer science and software engineering, but emphasizing conflict and self-promotion, rather than serene aspirations, planning and cooperation.

    People are trying to climb a hill, but the hill is a living, struggling mass of bodies, each body being of a person trying to climb the hill on the backs of the others.

    What we support is no more and no less than what we think will help us scramble to the top.

    If I did not see further, it was because those on whose shoulders I