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Re: Announcing Perl 7

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Eric Wong
June 26, 2020 07:44
Re: Announcing Perl 7
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Karl Williamson <> wrote:
> I don't understand many of the objections.  No one is going to force people
> to move off 5.32, and we are promising a 5-10 year support window.  I think
> that is ample.

5-10 years is not that long a time, considering many scripts
have been running unchanged since the 90s or early 2000s.

While I'm happy to see my favorite language learning new tricks;
I strongly agree with everything Dave Mitchell said, especially
about "use v7".

Practically every protocol and data format nowadays advertises a
version number, and some of us use SPDX identifiers for licenses.
So think it's reasonable to require "use v7" or "use v8", etc.
in every package that wants new goodies.

I think it'll allow users to adopt new features sooner if it can
be done piecemeal for a large codebase, rather than all at once.

Fwiw, I wasted around 15 years of my life as a Rubyist; and
contributed to the core VM for ~8 of those years.  Every yearly
release was a struggle with deprecations and feature removals.
It never felt like I could build anything that could last
without constant care and feeding.

I still wrote and maintained some Perl throughout that time
(MogileFS and git.git).  It was a much smoother experience.  Not
perfect, but the only Perl incompatibilities I can remember off
the top of my head was a warning for abusing undefined behavior
on "each" and unescaped "{}" in regexps.

> I also need some examples as to why unicode_strings is problematic.  The
> dodgy behavior it fixes can't be what is intended going forward.  Maybe the
> default becomes it goes on, and you can turn it off for binary-like data
> with a renamed 'use bytes'.

I'm no expert in human texts, but it seems the world isn't as
textual, nowadays.  HTTP/2 and HTTP/3 are binary, at least; TLS
is everywhere; and I use pack/unpack/substr a fair amount for
random stuff, especially since I prefer to avoid XS or C.

I've always liked that Perl is close to Unix; especially in the
regard that one can treat everything as a bag-of-bytes.

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