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Postings from November 2000
Re: Critique available
From: Nathan Torkington
November 2, 2000 09:50
Re: Critique available
Message ID: firstname.lastname@example.org
Simon Cozens writes:
> > http://www.perl.com/pub/2000/11/perl6rfc.html
> Agree 100% to every point.
I don't. A constructive critique of the Perl 6 RFC process might be
useful. This onslaught of negativity is not.
The Perl 6 RFC process got people talking about the future, and we
have a staggeringly large number of suggestions for improvements to
the language. Most of them solve real problems, some of them cause
more problems than they solve. Some of the solutions are bogus, some
If you want every proposal to be either perfect or knowledgably
killed, you really do need to go through an IETF-like process with
strong editors and a lot of time. We don't have strong editors and we
didn't have the time.
Right now, Larry has an idea of the kinds of things people will want
to do with perl6 that are hard to do with perl5. I think it's pretty
unrealistic to have come up with much more than that.
And Mark's article is hardly an accurate picture. Yes, many of the
implementation sections were deficient. Is this the earth-shattering
catastrophe it's made out to be? No. Guess what--many were just
fine. And by focussing on the people who fought opposition to their
proposal, Mark completely ignored all the people who *did* modify
their RFCs based on the opposition of others.
But what really pisses me off is that the harshest critics are people
who bowed out or were silent during the stage where we were setting up
the RFC process. I'm sorry. We all did our best, and if you want to
suggest ways that we could do better next time, then please do so.
But squatting and taking a big steamy dump over all that we
did--that's just wrong.
Not only is it wrong, it's also hurting our chances. When an article
in perl.com is so overwhelmingly negative about the work so far, do
you think that stirs confidence in what we're doing? Do you think
that people will read the article and think "yeah, I want to write
code for *that* project". Will they think "I'm looking forward to
perl6!" No, of course they won't. They'll think "it's a typical Perl
And that's what frustrates me. In reality, it's highly premature for
people to be saying we're doomed, but the article doesn't give that
impression at all.
What would I have wanted to see in the article's place? One of two
things. Perhaps something showing why language design is hard, of
which there was a little in the article. But it was lost in the "but
they were all idiots or assholes" message. Or perhaps something
suggesting how to do things better next time, of which there was very
little. I'd have loved to have seen either of those two articles.
So, I'm disappointed and a little frustrated. But life goes on.