Perl5 is leaving the base system for 5.0 and after!

Mark Murray mark at
Wed May 15 10:38:54 PDT 2002

Hello folks!

It has been decided after some debate to remove Perl5 from the "Base
FreeBSD" sources. This decision was not taken lightly, and was taken
in consultation with (but not seeking the approval of) the perl5
developer community.

There are 2 main reasons for this:

1) Perl5 is getting larger very fast, and FreeBSD cannot afford the
time and space to build and maintain it.

2) Upgrading the "base perl" is a nightmare that regularly breaks
upgrades and cross-builds, to the intense annoyance of the FreeBSD
developer community.

Speaking as the "Perl5 guy", keeping FreeBSD's "base perl" up to
date was hellish, and folks who wish a return to that state should
please consider doing this work in my place. BEWARE! This job is
not trivial!

PERL IS NOT BEING OSTRACISED! FreeBSD is not taking this action
because of any dispute between the FreeBSD community and the Perl
community - such a dispute DOES NOT EXIST! In fact, the Perl community
have been exemplary in their attempts to understand the problem,
and in their proposals to deal with it. FreeBSD DOES NOT HATE PERL!

Some time in the future, perl may be split in half, such that the
core language and the standard libraries may be separately installed.
In such a case, FreeBSD might be in a position to better deal with
the problem of the very large perl libraries. Such splitting will
be done by the perl community, NOT by us, although we will be taking

In the meanwhile, the Perl5 Port will continue to be available, and
continued discussion indicates that there is very substantial support
for it to be installed by default (or near-default) by sysinstall.

This will result in a FreeBSD that has effectively the same Perl5
that is kept up-to-date in ports, rather than the one that is left
to rot in STABLE.

This update will _NOT_ be MFCed. The first FreeBSD that has no perl
in the default sources will be 5.0-RELEASE, when that is released
at the end of this year. FreeBSD-4.n will continue with the perl
that it currently has.

The ports system will continue to support Perl5.

o       Mark Murray
O.\_    Warning: this .sig is umop ap!sdn

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