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Re: Perl 5.16 and Beyond.

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Tim Bunce
September 19, 2011 11:34
Re: Perl 5.16 and Beyond.
Message ID:
On Mon, Sep 12, 2011 at 12:28:47PM -0400, Jesse Vincent wrote:
>    Much of my thinking about the future of Perl 5 stems from the following principles:
>            * New versions of Perl 5 should not break your existing software
>            * Backward compatibility must not stop Perl 5 from evolving
>    Pay particular attention to "should" and "must" there. It is critically important that we not alienate
>    the people, communities and companies who have invested their time and money in Perl 5. Pulling the rug
>    out from under them isn't good for them and isn't good for us. Wherever possible, we need to preserve
>    backward compatibility with earlier versions of Perl 5. At the same time, it could be argued that _any_
>    change to Perl 5 breaks backward compatibility. ("But I was depending on that segfault!") If Perl 5 is
>    going to continue to flourish, we're going to need to be able to change the language.

s/ Wherever possible, / Wherever practical, /

I read the above as effectively meaning longer deprecation cycles for
some changes. So, where practical, code that would otherwise break can
continue to run on later releases. And continues to run on later
releases only until it ceases to be practical to keep it running.

I'd suggest that a lifespan of one extra major release would be a
reasonable minimum goal for this mechanism.

The decision on how practical it is to support versioning for any given
change must be in the hands of those who would implement and maintain
the versioning.


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