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EBCDIC support is on the chopping block

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Ricardo Signes
February 6, 2013 23:31
EBCDIC support is on the chopping block
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As was brought up about 18 months ago... for z/OS, specifically EBCDIC support, is on the chopping block.  So
far, no dedicated resources, human or otherwise, have been provided.

This means that nobody knows exactly whether current perl source compiles and
works on z/OS.  Basically, we all know it doesn't, but don't have much proof.
We also pretty much know that it isn't going to get fixed, because nobody has
stepped up to be its champion.

The working assumption of the core perl team has to be that anybody who wants
perl on an EBCDIC system right now is either using private patches, a
vendor-supplied perl using private patches, or an old perl version known to
work.  In the case of privately-constructed patches, it would not be enough
merely to supply them to perl5-porters.  The platform needs serious backing:
dedicated smoke servers, a reliable presence on the list of platform experts,
and _an assurance that this will continue_.

Without these things showing up soon, it is very likely that perl 5.18.0 is the
last perl that will even remotely attempt to support EBCDIC, and that
EBCDIC-related branches will be freely removed in future commits.

I will provide more concrete dates in the coming weeks, but do not delay
waiting for concrete dates.  Treat this as a last call.


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