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Re: Its time we set the score straight on Perl 5 and Perl 6 and debunk our own self-generated FUD.

Chip Salzenberg
June 19, 2006 21:18
Re: Its time we set the score straight on Perl 5 and Perl 6 and debunk our own self-generated FUD.
Message ID:
On Mon, Jun 19, 2006 at 06:50:14PM -0700, chromatic wrote:
> On Monday 19 June 2006 18:36, Chip Salzenberg wrote:
> > You win the thread.  Old software doesn't so much die as creak and grind
> > slowly to a halt, and that's what's been happening to the users' view of
> > Perl 5 for a while now.
> Did you both *find* and *ask* a user?  'cuz said user isn't me, Chip, Abigail, 
> Yves, or pretty much anyone reading or responding to this thread.

Indeed, but that only serves to make my point, albeit in a roundabout way, as
an illustration of self-selection bias.  Of *course* current Perl users (and
especially those who participate in p5p) don't care about the slow pace of
core development, because the ones who -do- care have wandered away, perhaps
to Ruby or some other language; or, partly due to lack of buzz from friends,
they never arrived.  Your observation is like holding a vote as to whether
Thursday night is a good time for meetings, on Thursday night.

I didn't suggest "Perl 5 is dead" or even "dying"; I think that can't
possibly happen for decades, even in a worst-case scenario.  OTOH, "Perl 5 is
perceived as stagnant by too many potential users, and the user base is no
longer growing much, if at all" I suspect is already true to within epsilon.
The earlier anecdote about publishers saying that the book market for Perl is
played out is, IMO, a significant warning sign.

Meanwhile, in CPAN the user community is quite remarkably active, which is
wonderful of course.  But without active user-visible feature deltas to the
Perl core, the psychological momentum that draws people to the language is
reduced, entirely because Random::Module doesn't get the press.  More press
on CPAN modules could be much of a cure, assuming I've got the right diagnosis.
Chip Salzenberg <> Perl Programming lists via nntp and http.
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