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Postings from October 2012
Re: What happened to the whole "small core" idea?
From: Peter Rabbitson
October 28, 2012 08:58
Re: What happened to the whole "small core" idea?
Message ID: 20121027193935.GB7042@rabbit.us
On Sat, Oct 27, 2012 at 09:15:55AM -0400, James E Keenan wrote:
> On 10/26/12 10:41 AM, Peter Rabbitson wrote:
> >So, now the longer version. What continuously keeps bugging me is that
> >the brilliant strategy championed by Obra (Jesse Vincent) almost 4 years
> >ago turned out to be nothing more than a couple of well executed
> >presentations (not his fault). It has been 4 years, and still precious
> >time is spent discussing how to cram yet another *very* controversial
> >and complex piece of syntax directly into the core. What happened to the
> >“ship it on CPAN and see” mantra? What happened to making perl smaller
> >and less complex? Why after smartmatch and $_ localization and
> >auto-deref (which has not yet backfired, but it will), is this still
> I'm not sure I heard the presentations you refer to of four years
> back, but I do know that "smaller core" has been a concept I've
> heard leading P5Pers speak about in person in recent years.
> I do recall Jesse's presentation at YAPC::NA::2011 in Asheville in
> which he called for pragmas that would give the user the
> functionality specific to a particular version of Perl. This was
> reinforced by Stevan Little's keynote at the DC-Baltimore Perl
> Workshop in April of this year.
These are all more or less the same thing (i.e. the same idea was
presented multiple times, and went through some evolution, but the core
remained the same). So yes, you've listened to what I was referring to.
Note that I have major reservations towards Stevan's MOP plans, but this
is an entirely separate load of fish to fry, and I won't de-focus the
> But I agree with you that I don't see very much discussion of either
> of those aspects of "the vision" on P5P, at least not in relation to
> the general volume of discussion. My impression is that people get
> a tremendous rush from "getting my feature into the next version of
> the core" -- a much bigger rush that "I just put this up on CPAN."
> >Hence why I particularly lament the lack of movement towards Jesse's
> >vision. IMNSHO Perl5 does not need *any* extra *syntax* from here on
> >out. In fact it stopped needing it around 5.6-ish. No new syntax unless
> >there is a massive benefit in adding it, and even then only if it can
> >not be done via a CPAN-distributed extension.
> I don't take quite as firm a position on syntax as you do, but I do
> offer this data point:
> From 2006 to 2012 I was at a $job where the Perl version in use was
> 5.8 (5.8.4, IIRC). During most of the same period I was heavily
> involved in the Perl project, whose Perl 5 components were also
> restricted to 5.8 -- and still are, even though 5.8 is
> out-of-support. So I had no practical opportunities to try out
> 5.10+ syntax.
> Since July of this year my $job has been at a company that uses very
> recent versions of Perl in production and uses things like Moose,
> Catalyst, locallib, and perlbrew as well. So I get to write Perl
> 5.16. But of all the extra syntax added since 5.8, the only things
> I end up using are:
> And, as I have previously stated, I will never use ~~ in production,
> given its checkered history.
> >Yet when it comes to actually shipping Perl5 – we
> >keep shipping a new mini-language just sufficiently different from its
> >previous sibling.
> At this point I think your argument starts to become unclear. I
> would have thought from your argument that you *don't* want big
> changes in the core of the language.
Apologies, it is hard to stay on message - it's a long email, with an
even larger body of thoughts, rants and sailor-envy-cursing behind this.
What I meant to say is: "Every next version of Perl5 is sufficiently
(minmally, but sufficiently) different from its predecessor to be
annoying". The rest of my message is expressing my inability to find
*any* justification for these differences.
> May I ask you to reconsider the choice of vocabulary? We're not
> prudes here, but why pour gasoline on the fire with emotional
All I am going to say is that my original draft contained over 20
instances of vocabulary you deem unacceptable. The effort to de-mst the
final text was not trivial.
> >Perl5 just turned 18 a week ago (according to a0d0e21ea6e). It is now
> >legal to express ones love to this great dynamic language in every way
> >possible. What better time to ask where is Perl5 going and why can't it
> >stay Perl5?
> I suspect that that opens the door to people who will retort, "Perl
> 5 must evolve to stay relevant."
<sigh> As already witnessed in some of the replies...
> But I agree with your original argument, namely, that it does not
> appear that most activity on P5P is directed toward the vision to
> which recent pumpkings, major contributors and -- at least nominally
> -- most of the rest of us subscribe.
Thank you for reading!