perl 5.8.5

Garance A Drosihn drosih at
Wed Oct 6 12:12:04 PDT 2004

At 6:51 PM +0000 10/6/04, Ryan Newman wrote:
>>From: Rainer Duffner <rainer at>
>>Is there actually anything that doesn't work with 5.8 but does
>>work with 5.6?
>The biggest problem is that 5.8 defaults to unicode support which
>ends up breaking a lot of complex applications.  I know that linux
>has shifted from 5.6 to 5.8 and this has caused a lot of people
>problems on the linux platform.

Here at work we are in the process of upgrading some older Linux
systems to a newer release of Redhat, and we have been nailed by
these unicode-related bugs in perl, particularly with some regexp
patterns.  In some cases this has caused a few scripts to fail
in subtle ways, which is to say the script "succeeds" and claims
everything went just fine, but the script didn't actually do what
it was supposed to do, and what it had been doing for the past
few years.  In at least some of those cases, I think these are
BUGS in the way perl handles the expression, and not "unavoidable
consequences of Unicode support".  That's just my opinion, though.

I don't know if perl 5.8 on FreeBSD will cause the same issues.
I have the impression that the default for unicode-handling can
be changed on a system-wide basis (at least on Redhat), but I am
not sure of the details.

Even though I have hit some of these problems, I do think it is a
good idea to make the change to 5.8 as part of FreeBSD 5.3-release.
People should be taking a bit more time to check, cross-check, and
re-check everything they are running if they are upgrading to
5.3-release from 4.x-release.

Garance Alistair Drosehn            =   gad at
Senior Systems Programmer           or  gad at
Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute    or  drosih at

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