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Re: Variant perls (was Re: Working Group Proposal)

Christopher K. Oei
August 1, 2000 12:26
Re: Variant perls (was Re: Working Group Proposal)
Message ID:
Andrew Greene wrote:

>Perhaps we could adopt a TeX-like strategy: 
>  * Any executable called "perl" must be 100% conformant, standard,
>    passes the "trip tests."
>  * Any modified version of perl -- whether because certain features
>    have been omitted or because certain modules are "compiled in" --
>    must be called something else. "siteperl" or "microperl" or
>    what-have-you.

I think this invites the same situation that Java has.  Although
anything that is certified as 100% pure Java code is supposed to be 
portable across platforms and certified Java implementations, it isn't.

One of perl's great strengths is its portability; this approach will
weaken it somewhat.

Also, it opens perl to attacks like Microsoft's attack on Java;
some company might be tempted to create an implementation of
Perl that isn't quite compliant (or they may be lazy testers) and
still call it Perl.  And then we don't have the resources to sue them 
like Sun sued Microsoft (for alleged breach of the Java license).
Besides, an evil programmer can always kludge their pseudoPerl code
to pass the automated test while violating the spirit of the test.

Perl4 and Perl5 are already on just about every platform, so I don't
see the advantage of allowing multiple vendors/multiple implementations.

Chris Oei

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