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Re: RFC: change perl5 versioning

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From:
Dave Mitchell
Date:
September 25, 2018 18:52
Subject:
Re: RFC: change perl5 versioning
Message ID:
20180925185200.GF3102@iabyn.com
On Tue, Sep 25, 2018 at 06:11:58PM +0200, Branislav ZahradnĂ­k wrote:
> Anyway, this proposal is only to increase marketing impact to signal that
> perl 5 is still alive
> and kicking, even 24 year after 5.0

Please can we not do this. Any change to versioning patterns causes waves
and complications for years, nay decades. We're only just about past the
after-effects of moving from perl5.005_03 format to perl-5.6.0 format and
that was 18 years ago.

At the moment people have to understand the differences between:

    perl5.005_03
    perl-5.6.0
    perl-6.xxx

to determine what's what, what's new, and what they should be using.  In
future we would have to explain all of:

    perl5.005_03
    perl-5.6.0
    perl-5.2019.0
    perl-6.xxx

It's a bit like that XKCD cartoon about inventing a new standard to unify
and replace N existing and competing standards, only to end up with N+1
competing standards.

A more technical objection is that the middle number of a perl version is
used to signify binary (in)compatibility of compiled XS modules.
If for some reason we wanted to release 2 perls in the same year that
weren't binary compatible, how would we number them?

I think marketing is the worst possible motivation for this change.
The number of people (coders or managers) that it will convince to adopt
perl when they otherwise wouldn't is, I suspect, infinitesimal.

As an example, I couldn't actually tell you, without looking, what the
current major version of the Linux kernel is [ I just looked: its 4,
apparently ]. But I *am* aware that the Linux kernel gets frequent
releases and is being actively developed.

I have seen many threads over the years, here and elsewhere, about
perl naming and versioning - pumpking perl, perl 7, call perl 6 something
other than perl, etc etc. The common thread seems to be a belief that by a
simple name or number change, many of the technical and managerial
challenges associated with the decline of perl 5 and/or the slow uptake of
perl 6 will somehow be fixed. I personally think that such challenges will
continue to exist, and will continue to affect decline/uptake in undiluted
measure.

-- 
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