perl 5.8.5

Ryan Newman ryannewman47 at
Wed Oct 6 12:26:08 PDT 2004

>From: Garance A Drosihn <drosih at>
>To: "Ryan Newman" <ryannewman47 at>, rainer at
>CC: current at
>Subject: Re: perl 5.8.5
>Date: Wed, 6 Oct 2004 15:12:00 -0400
>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.

Having 5.3 default to perl 5.8 will add a lot of delay in several peoples
migration from 4.x for sure.

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