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Re: Roadmap/plan for Perl 5?

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Sawyer X
September 6, 2014 20:12
Re: Roadmap/plan for Perl 5?
Message ID:
On Thu, Sep 4, 2014 at 5:55 PM, Ricardo Signes <>

> * sawyer x <> [2014-09-03T08:00:48]
> > I think we have a different definition of roadmap. I will concede that
> mine
> > is ambiguous while yours isn't. Perhaps I should use a different word,
> like
> > "plan" or "vision".
> >
> > To me, it represents the direction you want to take the project.
> I think that there are many plans and visions for p5, and we have to
> resolve
> how they will merge as they come to fruition.  I have long kept track in my
> head of what various people have said their plans are, but that's all.

I'm happy to hear there are plans and visions (it didn't sound like that at
first), but I fear this might not echo beyond p5p. I don't even know if
people in p5p are aware of any vision (one or more), other than their own.

> I think that having those become easier to find and read sounds potentially
> useful and certainly interesting.  I'm not sure how I think one should go
> about
> making that happen, but it sounds like you're interested in helping make
> that
> happen.  Let me know if you want input/help/whatever from me.

Indeed I am. The first step is Peter Martini and I collecting what p5p
hackers state as their personal plans and visions. The second step will
take a bit more time.

> > I really want to contribute but I don't have an itch. I want to know
> where
> > the project is going and to help it get there.
> Yeah, I acknowledged that this was a problem.  I think that if there is a
> place
> where people have posted their plans, and you could easily skim through
> that
> and see what looked interesting, it would be really helpful.

I agree. :)

> > I don't get it: why is it inherently wrong to have a direction? Why must
> > success come by chance of something somehow making it, rather than a goal
> > we know we want to achieve?
> I never said it was.  I said that the way that things happen in p5
> development
> didn't currently work like that.  I also don't believe it can be made to
> work
> like that, where someone who is not implementing features declares what the
> next set of things to do are, and they get done.

My impression of Perl 5 development is that it's pretty decentralized. I
don't suggest changing that. I don't know if I made it clear, but I don't
think anyone should be told what to work on. However, it should be possible
for everyone to know what *needs to be done*.

> > My idea is to do the reverse of "agreement on feature". My idea is
> > agreement on direction. That direction can extrapolate into various
> > features. Each can be discussed (and each person decides which discussion
> > to join) and then some will get accepted and some won't. Perhaps some
> > features will have multiple implementation attempts, and some of those
> will
> > get attempted and some won't.
> I really don't understand what this means in practical terms.

While it would be great to agree on feature, it would be easier (and more
useful in the long run) to agree on a direction that feature is a part of.
That direction might include one feature (or more), a fix (or more than
one), and additional steps. Since the direction is already agreed upon,
there will be less bike-shedding on the feature(s) and fix(es).

> > "Fixing our so-called API" is a direction. It's an achievement. People
> can
> > then come together who are interested in that, suggest a way to do it,
> and
> > allow a discussion around that.
> Yes.  A number of people suggested it was something we needed to do.  I
> posted
> about this a few months ago to try to jump-start discussion.  It didn't
> really
> go anywhere.

I know I'm out of much context here. I was off the list for a while, and
I'm drowning in all the emails this list generates (which is just a
complete aggregation mailing list), so I'm not aware at all of so many
discussions on things to do. I'm backlogging and seeing a lot of issues you
raised with time.

Unfortunately, it seems, as you put it, that it doesn't really go anywhere
often times. I wonder if there's a way to fix that.

> > And I do apologize if any of what I'm saying seems like ranting. I'm not
> > trying to rant. I'm seriously suggesting having a vision and trying to
> > formalize some kind of plan.
> You are not ranting or anything like that.

Just wait till I talk about all the email this list generates. :)

> > I think a project should have a vision.
> It's important to have a plan and a vision before you break ground on your
> massive new skyscraper.  After it's inhabited and in heavy use, it is not
> unreasonable for the vision to be "it remains standing and habitable, with
> improvements made when the possibility becomes apparent."

But Perl 5 isn't a skyscraper. There is no "we're done, we can go home now"
stage. If we're at the stage of "basically we're done, we just gotta make
improvements when the possibility becomes apparent", it's more like just
trying to keep the patient alive.

The issues you raise (and how you raise them) gives me the impression that
we really are still building something. The skyscraper analogy gives me the
impression of a patient.

Are we still building something or simply trying to not let it die just
yet? If we're still building something, we should talk about what we're
building, where we're going, what's our overall vision. It'll be easier to
discuss the steps of how to get there once we have that, because these
steps will be clearly steps in a direction, instead of itches no one
objected to too much.

And this isn't at odds with anyone working on their personal itches at the
same time.

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