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An observation: Short- vs. long-term benefits

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Steffen Mueller
June 13, 2013 17:12
An observation: Short- vs. long-term benefits
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This is just an observation of mine that might give some a bit of food 
for thought. I'm not terribly interested in a long criticism and 
discussion thread since it's plainly and simply my opinion, whether like 
it or not.

When merits of a proposed new feature are discussed on this list[1], 
some people appear to dismiss it with the argument:

"This isn't worth it because it's not earth shattering enough to do 
grand conversions and it's just not going to show up on CPAN for the 
next five years because of backcompat considerations. Therefore, it is 

This is not a valid argument. We are developing a programming language 
here, not some little CLI tool that only has immediate impact. The 
direction of development ought to primarily guided by where we want the 
language to go. Next on the list of considerations is constraint by 
practicalities. "Is this going to break all code out there subtly?"

Whether or not the benefit is long- or short-term should not have any 
major influence on what's better for the *language*.

A different and less friendly way to phrase how I feel is this: The 
people who criticise a change solely on the degree of *immediate* 
benefit are implicitly denying Perl a future and have no business on 
this list.


[1] "-> => ." being the mist recent example, but in none of this am I 
saying whether or not I like that particular feature. I'm actually 
somewhat on the fence. But there were similarly nonsensical arguments 
about function signatures.

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