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Re: Q: what the hell is going on? // A: ...

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Date:
August 6, 2020 09:18
Subject:
Re: Q: what the hell is going on? // A: ...
Message ID:
4f665af1-5ba7-bb19-1004-cda28e3600ed@ice-sa.com
On 06.08.2020 01:12, Tomasz Konojacki wrote:
> On Wed, 5 Aug 2020 16:46:31 -0400
> Ricardo Signes <perl.p5p@rjbs.manxome.org> wrote:
> 
>>   There is not a cabal of people saying
>> "let's all break these five things we agree on, quick, before anybody can stop
>> us."  I think sometimes it smells that way, but I have been in the discussions
>> about what we can and should change, and why, and there is no unified front.
> 
> This is literally what is happenning right now and I'm saying this as
> someone who is firmly in the "we need to modernize Perl ASAP" camp.
> 
> Bumping the major version doesn't give us a license to arbitrarily break
> user's code. We need deprecation cycles. It seems that Sawyer & co. forgot that
> they exist.
> 
> There's absolutely no indication in Perl 5.34 that, for example, the code
> that has a sub named "say" will stop working in the very next release.
> No warnings, no nothing. This is completely unacceptable.
> 
>> There are a lot of specific changes being discussed.  Everyone on the PSC seems
>> to agree on Perl 7.0.0 existing at some point in the next twelve months.
>> Beyond that, it's up in the air.
> 
> There's no reason why we have to release Perl 7 *now*, other than saving
> Sawyer's face and brian's book sales. BTW, AFAIK it's not true that
> there's a full consensus among PSC members about this.
> 
> In my opinion, the only way forward is to release Perl 5.36 which will
> add deprecation warnings for the stuff we want to remove/disable by
> default in Perl 7 and then continue making 5.x releases until we are
> actually ready to release Perl 7. That will, of course, take a few years.
> 
> Releasing Perl 7 in the way that was described in Sawyer's talk will
> result in a catastrophe. It will be a PR disaster (it already is), it
> will fragment the community and possibly even result in a hard fork of
> Perl (BTW, as someone who has contributed 32 commits to Perl in the past
> year, I will probably support it, if it happens).
> 
> I don't think anyone actually wants that scenario to happen. Let's stop
> this madness.
> 

If anyone is still willing to listen to my kind of "perl stakeholder" (*), I have to agree 
with the above and say that, following what is happening on this list over the last few 
weeks, that is exactly the impression I'm having : madness, and heading for a split 
(again?) of the perl community.

I don't want to present things in terms of "black or white", but I get the impression that 
in the name of "language purity" and "modernity", some people are quite ready to ignore 
hundreds of cumulative years of investment in application code and CPAN library modules, 
and to take the risk of breaking it all.  And anyone who objects is looked at as an old 
stuck-in-the-mud dinosaur.

And I cannot stop myself from wondering, if the point is really to make changes to perl to 
make it more "modern" and more attractive to young programmers (**), why not switch to 
Perl6/Raku then ?
(I have not done this myself yet, but from my perusing of its documentation, that is a 
language that seems to be and do just what I've read here about the rationale for this 
breaking change; and Raku seems to have done what it could, to preserve existing 
CPAN-modules usability).

I will finish by stating that I have the greatest respect and gratitude for the people who 
have been developing, maintaining and improving perl over the years.  My life and business 
would not be the same without them. But from the latest discussions on this list, I have 
to wonder if some of these admirable people, sometimes, are not living in some "ivory 
tower" rather removed from day-to-day reality.

André

(*) Someone who has been using perl for 25+ years as an application development language, 
and who currently owns a software company employing 15+ programmers and of which probably 
75% of the business rests on an existing perl 5 / CPAN codebase.

(**) something which, in the principle, I totally agree with.
I've also had trouble over the years recruiting new programmers and convincing them that 
perl was worth looking at.

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