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Save a few hunderd kilobytes or a few hundred perl users?

Dan Kogai
April 30, 2002 08:34
Save a few hunderd kilobytes or a few hundred perl users?
Message ID:
Mark, and FreeBSD committers,

   I am deeply disappointed by the recent move to drop some of the files 
(, et al.) in perl distribution /usr/src/contrib/perl5.  By saving 
a few hundred kilobytes, you are risking losing a few hundred perl 
hackers that run FreeBSD thereon.

On Tuesday, April 30, 2002, at 11:06 , Mark Murray wrote:
>> BTW, I develop perl scripts using CGI on systems that don't have
>> apache, or any web server installed. It's not a requisite of,
>> and it allows users to enter variable/value pairs on stdin when not
>> running inside of a CGI environment.
> What is wrong with installing the port (which is usually more
> up-to-date that the one bundled with perl)?

Definitely nothing wrong for FreeBSD the Operating System and Perl the 
Programming Language.  Nevertheless, that is dead wrong for Perl the 
Community and FreeBSD the Community in turn.

To prove my point, let me quote the few from Perl5 porters.

On Tuesday, April 30, 2002, at 09:50 , Christopher Masto wrote:
> Seeing this happen makes me sad.  It seems to go against the spirit of
> the Artistic license.  People who use "Perl" that comes with FreeBSD
> won't be getting the standard Perl package.

On Tuesday, April 30, 2002, at 10:25 , Chris Nandor wrote:
> *ALL* of those files are in perl-5.6.1.  Sys::Hostname and Sys::Syslog
> certainly are; they are in ext/, however, and copied to lib/ when being
> built.  The others are a part of the CGI package.  Please inform him
> that he is incorrect.  And please make sure that it is documented that
> perl in FreeBSD is *not* the standard perl and is missing some key
> pieces.  :/

Of course, FreeBSD is not the only OS that chose to castrate Perl.

On Tuesday, April 30, 2002, at 11:32 , Rafael Garcia-Suarez wrote:
> Other vendors (debian...) also cut down the perl-5.6.1 package
> to something more basic. I think that's OK to distribute CGI separately,
> as it can be found on CPAN (as long as it's properly documented). 
> However,
> cutting off packages that have no dual life on CPAN is more 
> questionable.

I think castration is allowed when you MUST and when you CAN;  Perl's 
Artistic License definitely allows you to castrate (and even mutilate if 
you will!).  But that does not mean perl wants to be castrated at all.

Like FreeBSD, perl is developed and maintained by a large team of 
individuals.  Perl is not just a programming language as FreeBSD is not 
just an Operating System.  By dropping or others that is harmless 
for base functionality does hurt the community.

I hate to tell you this but I believe FreeBSD has already paid the price 
for disregarding the community.  Are you--we (because I am part of the 
FreeBSD community, at least for the time being) going to repeat the same 

Rafael Garcia-Suarez also wrote:
> Wait, vendors will soon have to struggle with the Borgified 5.8.0 
> release...

Now please allow me to get a little personal.  I happened to maintain 
Encode, the largest module in Perl 5.8.0 by far.  If you are to 
castrate, this will definitely the first one to be.  The sad fact is 
that I develop this very module on FreeBSD!

Since Encode is a part of Perl 5.8.0, I can't choose to license it so 
that you can't castrate.  But that will disappoint me so much that I may 
join those who kissed FreeBSD good-bye like many others who have chosen 
to do so for the lack of regards.

Because, I, for one, rather choose to be a part of a community than a 
programmer if I have to choose.

Dan the *BSD advocate AND Perl5 Porter
_____  Dan Kogai
   __/ ____   CEO, DAN co. ltd.
  /__ /-+-/  2-8-14-418 Shiomi Koto-ku Tokyo 135-0052 Japan
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P.S.  I would rather choose the NetBSD way of detaching Perl from core 
distribution altogether.  That is far more politically correct. Perl Programming lists via nntp and http.
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