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RE: 5.6.0 ready for prime-time?

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Andy Dougherty
April 3, 2000 06:53
RE: 5.6.0 ready for prime-time?
Message ID:
On Sun, 2 Apr 2000, David Grove wrote:

> I've only made one claim on my own, that Perl 5.6 is out of compatibility
> with major CPAN modules. Evidence is simple:
> 1. Take a Win32 machine (I wouldn't risk my linux systems on this right
> now). Follow the instructions, configure the make file, nmake. Ok, fine,

Please note that following the instructions includes reading loud obvious
warnings and workarounds about the POLLUTE issue.  This was not an
accident, it was not a mistake, it was a deliberate desicision.  If you
failed to read the instructions, there's little else we can do.

If we had PERL_POLLUTE=1 as the default, then some modules would break on
some systems (e.g. conflicts with system headers or conflicts with other
#defines in those modules or supporting libraries) and that breakage would
be very hard to fix in a general way.  If we had PERL_POLLUTE=undef as the
default then some other modules would break on some other systems due to
mis-matches in symbol names, but at least we could document an easy quick
fix.  So we did.

There was no obvious perfect solution.  None.  Every solution we
considered could cause problems.  I would be delighted if you could prove
me wrong by providing a perfect solution.  Absolutely delighted.
Patches welcome.

So what to do?  Since you have apparently ignored this information the
first time I presented it, I will not waste my time repeating it, but we
built in both binary compatibility by default (so many folks don't have to 
rebuild anything) and source compatibility by two different optional
routes.  We did this about 16 months ago so CPAN authors might have time
to catch up and adjust.

What else could we possibly have done?

Yet despite all that hard work and countless hours of volunteer effort put
in by others, you insist on being extremely critical.  This makes me sad.

> breaks a significant number of libraries... at the very least not without
> stern and obvious warnings about them. This is virtually something that
> needs a big red flashing light. A few little mentions don't cut it.

Please suggest a specific patch to the INSTALL file to change make the
warning sufficiently big.

    Andy Dougherty
    Dept. of Physics
    Lafayette College, Easton PA 18042

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