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Re: Future Perl development

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Jan Dubois
February 7, 2007 16:04
Re: Future Perl development
Message ID:
On Wed, 7 Feb 2007 23:41:19 +0000, Nicholas Clark <> wrote:

>On Wed, Feb 07, 2007 at 03:32:44PM -0800, Jan Dubois wrote:
>> This is probably the main reason some big enterprise users stick with
>> Perl 5.6.1.  I've seen several companies approach ActiveState, desperate
>> to get help in moving to 5.8 while maintaining their application
>> performance.  Unfortunately there is not much you can do to help them
>> beyond the "avoid using Unicode strings, and downgrade every time a
>> module returns stuff in Unicode" advice.
>It is a shame that it is not possible to harness the intent and desires
>of these companies and turn it into cold hard funding for development
>work sufficient to deliver what they need. Particularly as your description
>makes it sound like the cost would be pooled.

The problem is that "they" always want something "now" (within months,
not years).  So they didn't want fast Unicode in 5.10 or 5.12 with an
unknown release date, they wanted a fast 5.8.x for deployment in 3-4
months. This also makes the "pooling" of funds problematic.

I remember that I've forwarded at least some details privately to some
P5P developers (including you), and that there was consensus that there
was no way to satisfy the unrealistic expectations.

>It's very frustrating to me that (it seems) that lots of firms make (or save)
>lots of time and money using Perl, but that never gets translated back into
>development effort. Perl seems to be a one way flow, from us to them.
>They rarely even say thank-you.

Indeed. Surprisingly there seems to be more industry funded Tcl
development work than there is for Perl.  I'm just guessing here, but my
feeling about it is that the Tcl (enterprise) users know they have a
small community, so stuff they want won't get done unless they pay
someone to do it.  For Perl there seems to be a huge community, so the
expectation that something might get done anyways is that much higher.


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