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Re: Announcing Perl 7

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Sawyer X
July 3, 2020 15:47
Re: Announcing Perl 7
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Hi Tom,

I understand this upset you greatly. I'm sorry about that. I'll try to 
address your points below best I can.

On 6/28/20 8:06 AM, Tom Ryder wrote:
> On Sat, Jun 27, 2020 at 06:20:38PM +0300, Sawyer X wrote:
>> We (and this "we" includes you, Leon) know for a very long time now 
>> that p5p, the mailing list, is not a very practical place to discuss 
>> major changes.
> My objection is that the community didn't get a chance to discuss the 
> changes at all, whether on perl5-porters or nay.  The changes were 
> announced after being decided by an apparently closed group---and were 
> already considered sufficiently finalised that a book has been 
> released by one of the group about preparing for the changes, 
> announced in the very same post.  It looks very much like a fait 
> accompli.
> <>

The community does not make this decision, for several reasons.

1. There is no definition of "the community." p5p attendance is not the 
community. In fact, some people who contribute to Perl are not even on 
the list, so it's not even the developers community. It is "a community" 
who is interested in the development and is willing to be on the list. 
Furthermore, many on the list don't bother reading it. I don't blame them.

2. The community does not have any specific representative that allows 
forming a single decision. It is a non-contingent group of people who 
each have their own interests and opinions. Some of them agree on some 
topics, many of them disagree on most, since it is such a wide variety 
of people, many of which with conflicting interests.

3. The community (whatever unknown and unorganized body of people it may 
be) are not the ones developing the language. You might argue that they 
are the ones using it, but various people have argued in the past that 
DarkPAN, specifically code that is not accounted for publicly, much of 
it written by people who are not in the communities, is a larger 
percentage of actually running Perl code. That means that the community 
isn't the biggest users necessarily.

Whoever you are referring to when stipulating "the community" (what I 
imagine you mean is p5p mailing list) is not the ones who determine 
where the language goes.

You are also mistaken in how you perceive who you referred to as "an 
apparently closed group" to which it was announced. Discussions ensued 
within this group who are, by far and large, the biggest core 
contributors to the language and major stakeholders, tooling, and 
vendors. I had explained in more detail in a response to Craig earlier 
today. I offer you the same apology of not reaching out to you as I 
genuinely offer to Craig. However, I disagree strongly with your points 
and the view you share above.

When we were preparing for announcement, we wanted to get organized and 
coordinated on the announcement. I can imagine this being upsetting to 
you if your definition of "get organized" includes a lengthy debate on 
p5p in which p5p approves the plans. What we did was reach out to people 
who communicate changes on Perl to the community at large. This was a 
day or two before the conference, if I recall correctly. The goal was 
for brian to be able to communicate quickly to the general public who 
read and The Effective Perler to help spread the information in 
a clear way. The goal was for me to send the announcement immediately 
after the talk to p5p but unluck would have it and I wasn't able to do 
so. This is also why my announcement included an apology to this effect.

In short: People who work on the language and are heavily depending on 
it were involved in it. Announcement to media was made shortly prior to 
help major Perl outlets spread the message correctly.

I am aware this answer might not be enough for you. You might disagree 
with this path entirely. I understand that, but I cannot change it. It 
is how we chose to do it.

> Per my original question, would you please go into more detail on why 
> perl5-porters was intentionally insulated from this decision?

You can read this in my response both to Leon and Craig, as well as the 
comment above. If those answers are not sufficient, let me know.

Please do separate the reasons themselves from whether you agree with them.

> Could you also clarify why you felt it necessary to mislead the list 
> about the existence of these plans in the post I linked?
> <>

I strongly resent the way you express this. There was no "misleading" of 
the list. It was correct that this option is available. I did not want 
to share yet that we will likely be doing this. At that time, it was 
still a strongly debated topic. Many conversations, even after the plan 
was reviewed and revised several times, raised perhaps changing it yet 
again (like to Perl 34). None of what I wrote in the email contradicts 
it or misleads.

If anything, my email had hinted at it, at best. To reiterate, I 
strongly resent how you are presenting this.

>> Everyone that was involved with this was in a shared file and 
>> viewable by everyone else. It was clear who was involved.
> Well, now that the changes the group intends to make are public, would 
> you tell *us* who was involved, and how they were selected?

To be completely open, the way you phrased this email, I am concerned 
that this will lead to more aggressive responses such as this one. Core 
Perl developers have endured enough aggressiveness for a lifetime. I 
will reach out to the group to get their explicit permission to publicly 
share who is in this group. I will note this group includes people who 
are frequent contributors (such as Dave Mitchell, Tony Cook, Karl 
Williamson, Jim Keenan, Todd Rinaldo, etc.), people from toolchain 
(Karen Etheridge, Leon Timmermans - who fits the previous group as 
well), and representatives of other vendors (primarily Debian).


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