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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • perl 3 was a language that was useful for production work.

    Through the point releases of perl 3 and perl 4 that language got extended drastically - always in a 99.9% backward compatible fashion for each step, and always being useful for production work.

    perl 5 was only 99% backward compatible, but turned the language upside down and extended an order of magnitude, and, after the first couple of point releases worked the kinks out, was useful for production work (in an order of magnitude larger number of areas of application).

    It's only the last 10 years or so in which there haven't been ongoing constant changes that add totally new major capabilities with amazingly little breakage to existing code - instead there have been smaller, mostly less visible changes in the language with much of the dramatic new capability appearing instead in CPAN and modules (as was the design intent of perl 5).

    The only difference with the proposed Rakudo Star and the "traditional" perl release model is that now there is a spec, so the pieces that aren't there yet are known and missed, rather than being happy surprises when the next release comes along. Surely people can be taught to live with that.