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Re: Future Perl development

Nicholas Clark
February 7, 2007 16:19
Re: Future Perl development
Message ID:
On Wed, Feb 07, 2007 at 04:02:00PM -0800, Jan Dubois wrote:
> On Wed, 7 Feb 2007 23:41:19 +0000, Nicholas Clark <> wrote:

> >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.

Yes. One can't get fast Unicode in 3-4 months unless it's possible to do it
and remain binary compatible.

We have a problem if they have a problem with 5.8.x.
Because getting trapped on 5.6.1 means that migrating to not-Perl soon
becomes as easy an option as migrating to newer Perl.

> 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.

That case I feel was slightly different, in as much as even given years
(such as getting it in by the 5.12 release) it would not have been possible
to do what they wanted. (I won't disclose details as you are not)

What's asked for here seems possible, given time.

> >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.

Problem is that whist stuff is getting done eventually, it's getting harder
to get it done. Compare the count of the number of changes Sarathy or Jarkko
made with anyone subsequent.

5.8.9 is only happening because I'm working on it full time. Previous
$employment wasn't compatible with getting stuff done on it. *
5.8.8 only happened (again) because I did it full time between jobs (because
$employment before then had become incompatible with getting stuff done.)
This isn't sustainable.

And it's concerning me that whilst there seem to be a lot of firms using
Perl (and a lot of people who contributed to this thread who seem to be
concerned), there don't seem to be (m)any firms that actually provide
jobs compatible with a bit of hacking on Perl. It's not like I'm not

Nicholas Clark

* There's a lot more to it than that. It wasn't the only issue, and I wasn't
  the only person voting with my feet. Perl Programming lists via nntp and http.
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