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Re: More patching! Less whining!

From:
Gurusamy Sarathy
Date:
April 1, 2000 19:56
Subject:
Re: More patching! Less whining!
Message ID:
200004020354.TAA03079@maul.ActiveState.com
On 01 Apr 2000 10:32:22 GMT, Simon Cozens wrote:
>Okay. I'm now sick of the bullshit.

Me too, but I think you could have guessed that without my saying so.  :-)

>First, let me say I don't want to take anything away from Sarathy. He's
>done an *excellent* job as pumpking, and I can't praise him enough. This
>release has needed a lot of nurturing, and he has given time and energy
>above and beyond the call of duty to do exactly what has been required
>at all times. Sarathy, thank you.

You're welcome, I'm sure.

>What improvements can we tell the user community about? To justify a
>move off the 5.5 track, it's got to be something big.

"Big" is in the eyes of the beholder.  5.6.0 is "big" in various ways.
If you choose to ignore them, I guess you get what you choose.

Besides, I think making decisions based on whether something is "big"
or not is a lousy way to make decisions.

>Ah, yes. Unicode. But after two years of work, the one thing that users
>will want to do - open and read Unicode data - is still not there.
>Who cares if stuff's now represented internally in Unicode if they can't
>read the files they need to.

This is a "big" (as in "huge") disappointment for me as well.  I hope
we'll do better next time.

>The compiler dumps core less often. I could say that. I don't think
>it'll give the right impression.

Why not?  I think we _do_ want to give the correct impression, whether
we feel good about it or not.  The fact is that the compiler isn't quite
there yet, and we had better admit it.  (I might say I consider it a
failure of the community that it isn't "there" yet, but that isn't a very
productive observation.)

>Threading. We've got this brand new threading model but - sorry folks,
>you can't actually use it. The only thing it does at the moment is give
>fork() to those systems which don't have it. The only significant group
>of users this affects are Windows users: ActiveState's customers.

Er, not all Windows users are ActiveState's "customers".  In fact, a tiny
proportion of the people that use ActivePerl are ActiveState's customers,
in the sense that they don't pay a thin red cent for what they get (and
often, take for granted).

And I should add that Windows users _are_ a significant portion of the
Perl user community.  (You seem to think otherwise in that last sentence.)

>This shouldn't be an issue, as there are other PC ports around. But support
>for Cygnus now requires a development snapshot to work.

This was a choice made by the Cygwin port maintainers, and I don't quarrel
with them if they think that's the best choice.

>                                                DJGPP people
>have been reporting failures as well.

I don't think this is entirely true.  Laszlo Molnar, the maintainer
of the DJGPP port, reported success.  That's why the announcement had an
entry for DJGPP.

>                                       This may be due to inadequacies in
>DJGPP - which we failed to work around. The only PC port that's held it
>together has been - guess.

If you're insinuating that the Windows port is the only one that ever gets
maintained, you'd be judging all the people who worked on the other
ports rather harshly.

>Hey, don't draw the wrong conclusion here - this just means Sarathy has
>been working harder and better than the rest of us. But it's still
>pretty odd. Especially since we've allowed things like AIX to lapse as
>well.

This also appears to be incorrect information.  I will be charitable and
not call it FUD. :-)

>But besides, for the purposes of selling a new version to the users,
>I've been trying to find things that'll be significant for them, not us.

I don't "buy" the notion that every new version of Perl has to be "sold"
to users.  Tell them like it is, and let them judge.  (I trust perldelta
and the announcement did that adequate justice.)

>Take Unicode tuples. Great stuff, but they've caused a whole bunch of
>confusion among the porters - the very people who ought to understand
>this stuff better than anyone else. If we can't grok it, I can't really
>push it as new and exciting.

Maybe you shouldn't "push it" at all then.  Maybe you're just looking
for what's wrong rather than what's right, and that might also make you
the wrong person to be "pushing it".

>We were overdue a new release. I accept that. And it's merely a new
>subversion, not a brand new version. Fair enough. 

I'd say this is mere semantics (as in "it's all in your head") but I
guess you could retort with "so is everything else under the sun!"

>I also accept this wasn't Sarathy's fault. If it was anyone's fault, it
>was my fault, because I didn't work hard enough to get the things I
>cared about on the Todo list done. I hope each one of you can honestly
>say the same.

I'm perfectly willing to shoulder any portion of the blame for 5.6.0, as
long as there is fairness in it.  So far, I haven't seen any evidence
of that.

Maybe being unfair is in fashion these days.


Sarathy
gsar@ActiveState.com



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