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RE: 5.6.0 ready for prime-time?

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David Grove
April 1, 2000 01:41
RE: 5.6.0 ready for prime-time?
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> That's fine.  People advising "users" very rarely advise an instant
> upgrade to a new and unproven version of a complicated program.  The only
> exception is when the old version is unworkable - which 5.005_03 is
> certainly not.
> The cautious are well served by never upgrading *any* software to a
> verison less than a few months old.

True. This is a lesson I thought I'd learned. I didn't let my teams upgrade
to Delphi 5.0 when it was released because "we don't know what bugs there
are in it yet... it needs some time to mature and build a community of
users". I wish I'd remembered that when I upgraded from NT to 2K. If I'd
known that any slight change in network settings would require a
reinstall... grrr... some security feature.

I'm not expecting perfection in the latest, greatest release of Perl, but I
do think that the subcommunities that we represent would be better served by
releasing after a real _public_ beta period, longer than say a month, with
realistic time given to bring some of the modules up to date... at the very
least the most important ones on a given platform, like LibWin32 and Tk.

> > and from what I'm seeing the most
> > important modules to Win32 users are not ready for 5.6 internals and
> > therefore do not compile.
> No surprise there.  Module authors are really a lazy bunch when it comes
> to making patches for development versions.  I maintain a few packages and
> only one of them works with 5.6!  I'll be releasing 5.6 versions soon
> enough and I'm sure I won't be alone.

I wouldn't say lazy, really, just overworked, tired and with more joy
hacking and coding than maintaining; especially maintaining something when
the rug is pulled out from under you. I'm wondering whether the term
"backwards compatibility" has escaped us.

> > IS Perl 5.6 considered stable?
> Yes, I believe I've heard Sarathy state at least a few times that it is.
> Among other things, 5.6 is a bug fix release.  5.005_03 is not exactly bug
> free, I hope you realize!
> > I am at the dawn of the first official release of CodeMagic, Perl's
> > only world-class editor at this time
> That's a joke, right?  Have you heard of Emacs?  That's my "world-class"
> Perl editor of choice.

Heh, yeah I guess it's a religious issue. But realize that CodeMagic is
actually a Perl editor first and foremost, built by (a) perl programmer(s)
for perl programmers. The support for other languages just evolved as a
natural counterpart of some free scripts that came with a third-party Delphi
control. It's certainly not just a generalized editor as far as perl itself
is concerned. It wasn't just thrown together like the host of Win32 editors
like an overmarketed notepad.exe.

For ages Win32 folks have been screaming for a Win32 IDE/Editor for Perl. AS
hasn't said an audible word about "Visual Perl" since they failed to deliver
in spring, summer, fall, and winter 98. (I eventually lost track of the
promises.) Several general-purpose editors have _support_ for Perl, but none
are built upon and around it. None use Perl as its scripting/api/macro
language. My greatest hope for it is that it be a catalyst for more
corporate entities to embrace Perl because of it, because, if for no other
reason, it has buttons. ;-))

It's my baby and my contribution. It represents thousands of hours of work
and contribution, despite Tom's rant contrawise. Forgive a bit of earnest

> > I have user who are going to question this, and I don't have an answer
> > for them.
> Repeat after me - "I recommend holding off upgrading for at least a month
> or two.  A number of important modules don't work with 5.6 yet, but they
> will soon."
> Is that really so hard?  Do you think it could have been any other way?

Point taken. Normally this is a given. This is unfortunately not true on
Win32, however, where people are being told that 5.6 is stable and fork()
works and all of this is brought to you by the kindness and generosity of
[insert your favorite corporate-monopoly-want-to-be here].

I understand that it will take a while to catch the modules up. I'm
anxiously awaiting that moment. At that point in time I can go on with my
work and not have to deal with a deceived subcommunity hungry for a stable
and complete Win32 port that fork()s and comes with stable modules.

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