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All the Perl that's Practical to Extract and Report

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  • by Matts (1087) on 2009.05.29 1:10 (#68831) Journal

    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

      • 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 t

        • 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.

      • Well Perl6's development process is new, and thus nimble and agile. Perl5's is slower because it has a lot more history.

        Is it changeable? Probably.

        Is it totally broken? Not really, though I do wish to see 5.10.1 some time soon!

        A regular release is a nice thing to have, but it doesn't always create the most stable platform or the most confidence.

        It might interest you to note that SpamAssassin has the same problem right now - it's been forever since the last release.

        One thing I did think about with perl5 is t

        • One thing I did think about with perl5 is that the number of required test platforms for all tests to pass is too high.

          I've come to the same conclusion. Platform-specific porters there do great work that I often don't understand, and I mean no disrespect, but sometimes the delay between making a commit and getting sufficient feedback from one of those platforms to have confidence in that commit is exceedingly long. I believe that's a function of a low number of available porters.

          This problem seems to af