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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • Was this blog post just a troll against perl5 development? Confused.

    • It's a serious question.

      Very few people use Perl 6. Hundreds of thousands of people use Perl 5. Many businesses depend on it. (Yours does. Mine does.)

      Why are Perl 6's developers able to make and meet commitments to release software and Perl 5's developers unable to do so?

      There are many possible answers. Perhaps no one wants new releases of Perl 5. Perhaps it's impossible or infeasible to release stable versions of Perl 5. Perhaps publishing a ROADMAP or a rough schedule of Perl 5 releases is a bad id

      • by Ovid (2709) on 2009.05.29 2:07 (#68834) Homepage Journal

        These are just people's general opinions, from what I can tell. All these things can slow down development.

        • Perl 5 has years of cruft built on arcane internals.
        • Perl 5 bugs have a greater risk of breaking more people's code.
        • Perl 5 has a lot more in the core and thus more to manage.
        • Perl 6 can and does make changes to backwards compatibility without impacting their user base significantly. P5P argues long and loud (thank goodness) about risking this.

        I could probably come up with several more reasons if I thought about it. At the end of the day, P5P has a huge responsibility and if they get it wrong, they will cause a lot of grief. Reasonable people can come to different conclusions about what the right answer is here.

        • All these things can slow down development.

          Be careful not to fall into the trap of thinking that the pace of releases must precisely match the pace of development or vice versa. I have no objection to slow development nor careful development. I object to unsustainable development.

        • Taking a look at the OpenBSD Timeline [wikipedia.org] I count 18 stable releases since summer 2000, with the releases usually coming on a regular schedule. Please note that OpenBSD has more code to deal with than Perl, its development is more cautious than Perl, and it has a better reputation for quality than Perl does. Admittedly it is used by fewer people and has to work in fewer environments. But still it shows that a regular release cycle is possible for a project on that scale.