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Re: use octets; and "escaping the piranha's"

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Mark Mielke
February 11, 2000 09:53
Re: use octets; and "escaping the piranha's"
Message ID:
On Fri, Feb 11, 2000 at 12:38:08PM -0500, "Sam Tregar" wrote:
> On Fri, 11 Feb 2000, Mark Mielke wrote:
> > > 1)	MajorDomo you've heard of and are familiar with.  Therefore, I
> > > deduce, you are using it.  Thus, it is useful.
> > It was useful. Now, anybody with any sense of project management would
> > never choose it as a mailing list agent BECAUSE it is no longer being
> > maintained. Ever heard of having too many dependencies? Especially ones
> > without any sort of guarantee on them?
> This type of arguement is the chief problem with p5p.  Since it is utterly
> obvious that many people use majordomo, you turn to the idea that anyone
> who uses it is an idiot.  Yes, I know, you didn't say "idiot," but *I'll*
> be the one to say that anyone with absolutely no sense of project
> management is an idiot.


> Being an idiot in no way excludes a person from using Perl.  They are
> still our users, and we have a responsibility to them regardless of what
> we might think of their usage of Perl.  In fact, allowing them to be
> idiots, that is - not highly literate computer nerds like us - is part of
> what Perl seems to be about.

> No use of Perl even a quarter as widespread as majordomo can be ignored or
> dispensed with as stupid.  These are our users and our success is tied
> directly to their sometimes foolish usage of Perl.

The thing is... at some point the ties can be broken and should be
expected to be broken. It is quite wonderful that many perl4 scripts
will run completely unmodified under perl5, but I don't think it should
be expected for perl4 scripts to run unmodified under perl6. (or 7, or 8)

As somebody else pointed out... :-)


That being said, where it isn't necessary to break backwards compatibility,
it is beneficial to avoid breakage. (This is all obvious... nothing new)

And as a side note, most perl4 code I've seen within the last month
actually does require a re-write. It's broken all over the place, has
been patched dozens of times to "make it work" by dozens of different
people all with different levels of skill, but mostly a lack thereof,
and sheesh. The cut + paste generation scares me... just _recently_
somebody asked me what the following code does: (in a perl4 script)

     $content =~ tr/[\001-\011][\013-\037]/[\012*]/ds;

I actually _assumed_ intelligence here and consulted the manual to see
if there was something happening that I didn't understand... but not...
The code doesn't do anything really... hehe well it garbles the string
up in a way that was prob'ly not expected, and because the occurrence
of control characters in an HTML form is rare (and uses of the ']' char)
it "apparently" worked fine all this time... :-)

No, not an argument against perl4, and argument against code that is
still being used that was written when perl4 was popular. Such as majordomo.


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