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Re: Announcing Perl 7

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Sawyer X
July 3, 2020 15:58
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 on the 
list, so it doesn't even represent the developers community. It is "a 
community" of people interested in the development and are willing to be 
on the list. Furthermore, many on the list don't bother reading it, 
whether because it's boring, annoying, or too long.

2. The community does not have any specific representative that allows 
forming a single decision. It is a group of people who each have their 
own interests and opinions. Some of them agree on certain 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 community, is a larger 
percentage of production Perl code. That means that the community isn't 
the biggest user-base 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 unacceptable 
to you if your definition of "get organized" includes a lengthy debate 
on p5p in which p5p approves the plans, but this wasn't my definition. 
We (this includes myself, people who worked on the plan, and TPF) 
reached 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. I intended to send the 
announcement to p5p immediately after the talk but (un)luck 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 taking this path. This is also why I 
abstained from the thread best I could. 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 

If anything, my email had hinted at it, at best. To reiterate, I 
strongly resent how you are characterizing my response as deceiving.

>> 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 fair, based on your email, I am concerned that this 
will lead to more aggressive responses to these people. 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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