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Re: Dropping 5.5 support from my modules.

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From:
Michael G Schwern
Date:
November 20, 2007 11:47
Subject:
Re: Dropping 5.5 support from my modules.
Message ID:
474339B7.8010003@pobox.com
Slaven Rezic wrote:
> Michael G Schwern <schwern@pobox.com> writes:
>> Why make this change now?  I've always been frustrated at being hamstrung from
>> using "new" features of perl.  The Perl Survey results is what pushed me over
>> the edge. [1]  Only 6% of the respondents say they used 5.5.x as their
>> *minimum* version of Perl in the last year and 0.5% said 5.5.x was their max.
>>  As we didn't get specific about what they used those versions for, I suspect
>> there's a lot of CPAN testers that reported it as their min.  I rarely get bug
>> reports from actual 5.5 users, they're almost always from CPAN testers.  Thus,
>> it's not a large enough population for me to spend my unpaid time and effort
>> on and to delay new features.
> 
> There are exactly *two* CPAN testers using 5.5.x. And at least one of
> both did not specify 5.5.x at all at the perlsurvey.
> 
> I find 6% surprisingly high. Isn't perl supporting operating systems
> with a much lesser popularity?

VMS would be the major one there.  Yeah, a lot of effort goes into VMS, but
that's because we have a small core of dedicated VMS folks who do most of the
work.  And VMS is still an actively developed, viable operating system with
good reasons for using it in its particular niches. [1]  And I personally get
some enjoyment from working with VMS, it's like visiting another planet.

Compare with, say, supporting Windows 95 which has no future, no good reason
to use it, no dedicated developers within Perl and is no fun.

I admit the numbers from the Perl Survey aren't the strongest argument, but
it's really not my reason.  The survey results are just a proximal cause to do
something I've wanted to do for a long time.  If there is some hidden, silent
cache of dedicated 5.5 users out there, maybe this announcement will flush
them out.


[1] http://www.informationweek.com/news/showArticle.jhtml?articleID=202801794


-- 
The interface should be as clean as newly fallen snow and its behavior
as explicit as Japanese eel porn.

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