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Re: Perl 7 or Perl 2013?

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From:
Peter Rabbitson
Date:
February 6, 2013 15:41
Subject:
Re: Perl 7 or Perl 2013?
Message ID:
20130206154054.GA14692@rabbit.us
On Wed, Feb 06, 2013 at 04:22:17PM +0100, Ovid wrote:
> Hi all,
> 
> No worries: I have my asbestos undies on for responses to this post:
> http://blogs.perl.org/users/ovid/2013/02/perl-7.html
> 
> In that I asked about the pros and cons of renaming Perl 5 to Perl 7. Toby
> Inkster suggested Perl 2013 (and so on).

The 20xx sounds too much like a bad 80's movie to me :) Let's stick with 
P5 v20.0

> 
> The rationale, as cut-n-drooled from a comment I made there:
> 
> I just got back from FOSDEM and heard, again, for the umpteenth time, that
> since Perl had 4 "major" releases (1,2,3,4) in its first few years and
> hasn't had a major release since Perl 5 about 20 years ago, it's clearly
> "dead". I hear this every time I go to a conference that's not dedicated to
> Perl.
> 
> Now many of you see the glaring flaw in the above: version numbers mean
> nothing. Perl went from version 3 to version 4 mostly to help out a book
> and the Linux kernel went from 2.6 to 3.0 to celebrate an anniversary. So
> while version numbers may not have an intrinsic meaning, they have a huge
> impact on perception. With so many other languages have major version
> upgrades and Perl "languishing" at Perl 5 for two decades, the perception
> is that it's stagnant. And remember, the Perl 6 project was conceived when
> Perl 5 was only 7 years old. (Even Python has gone from 2 to 3 and with
> Django getting Python 3 support, that split is going to heal).
> 
> Meanwhile, in the minds of, oh, virtually every developer on the planet
> who's not in our echo chamber, Perl 6 is, logically, the successor to Perl
> 5. Since even Duke Nukem Forever managed to get released prior to Perl 6,
> Perl 6 just isn't being taken too seriously by many devs. In other words,
> they think Perl 5 is dying and its successor is DOA. Thus, there is no
> future for Perl, QED.

From personal experience I can confirm that this is true (regardless of 
whether it is rational or not)
 
> Since Perl 6 appears to be staying named Perl 6, why not skip the entire
> debate and rename Perl 5 to Perl 7? Perl 6 will likely get renamed PDQ,
> there will be huge amounts of press over this (much of it pretty ugly) and
> we can finally put to rest the silly "no major release" argument.

Perl 7 implies "fuck you perl6, we can do better". Or at least this is 
*exactly* what it will imply to the very same irrational inividuals from 
the previous paragraphs. You do not want to go down this road, unless yu 
are comfortable by strangling perl6 at birth, in the eye of the wider 
developer community.

Doing the linux "3 versions -> 2 versions" move is the best road we 
could take (and the sooner the better)
 
> Perception matters and this could be (to the outside world) the single
> biggest shakeup to Perl in years.

What's more important it won't affect the community internally in *any* 
way. Everyone in our echo chamber will still be aware of the awesome 
work Patrick and Jonathan and Carl and Larry and countless others are 
doing. Folks who are excited by the prospect of an auto-threading 
language will not be any less excited, and so on. And on the other side -
folks who are utterly disapointed by perl6 will not get any more 
disappointed. In other words such a move has only benefits with no 
downsides. What not to like?

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