portupgrade to Perl 5.10.0 ??

David Southwell david at vizion2000.net
Sat Jul 12 09:44:12 UTC 2008

On Saturday 12 July 2008 02:26:55 Jeremy Chadwick wrote:
> On Sat, Jul 12, 2008 at 02:29:06AM -0700, David Southwell wrote:
> > Here is a full and verbatim copy of my original posting that started this
> > thread.
> > _________________________________________________________________
> > Subject: portupgrade to Perl 5.10.0 ??
> >  From: David Southwell <david at vizion2000.net>
> >  To: freebsd-ports at freebsd.org
> >
> > Hi
> >
> > Just wondered when an upgrade to 5.10.0 could be expected.
> >
> > David
> > ___________________________________________
> >
> > Are you seriously telling me you "understand" something "between the
> > lines" in that?
> >
> > Come on -- smile a little...and I hope you will find a more constructive
> > & creative use for magination than that!!!
> >
> > I do not think it is unreasonable to say the original posting was
> > straight forward and certainly cast no aspersions. The same thing cannot
> > be said of some responses.
> You simply want to know if the perl port being upgraded to 5.10 is in
> the works, and if there's any idea of when it will be completed.  I
> think this is a reasonable request, open-source project or otherwise.
> > I wonder whether someone could endeavour to answer the original question
> > constructively rather than defensively.
> I'm not responsible for the perl port, so I can't speak for tobez at .
> If you're a generic developer who uses perl, and 5.10 offers you fixes
> or features you need, I can see how you might think the upgrade is
> simple.  But I can tell you that upgrading perl is one of those
> "sensitive" things from a system administrator's perspective.
> The thing with perl is that the language has a history of minor
> revisions inducing "customer chaos" -- that is to say, you upgrade from
> 5.4 to 5.8 and suddenly you have a bunch of users filling your mailbox
> with "My script doesn't work any more!!! What did you do?" and "Why
> exactly did you upgrade to 5.8?  The memory footprint is larger, and
> it's breaking on this third-party module I use, please revert..."
> Believe me, this actually happens, and I have witnessed it on multiple
> occasions at past jobs.
> Let's not forget that perl is a very large piece of the ports tree.
> There are 3150 ports that start with "p5-".  What guarantee is there
> that every one works with 5.10?  Sure, it's a matter of trial and error
> and waiting for users to submit PRs informing maintainers which piece
> doesn't work with 5.10, but that takes time -- time that one FreeBSD
> user may have, but another does not.
> Then there's the whole dependency thing.  perl in recent days has been
> adding more and more modules to the base perl distribution; what used to
> be an add-on module is now included with perl, so ports have to be
> updated to be aware of that fact.
> When such a commit (e.g. 5.8 --> 5.10) hits the tree, users and ports
> maintainers will have to race to see what works and what doesn't.
> I'm not trying to justify what other people have told you, but you need
> to keep in mind that changes to the perl port can have dire
> repercussions -- treading lightly is an absolute necessity.
> Does this inadvertently answer your questions?  :-)

Not really. 

The information you give is valuable and will be helpful to those who do not 
understand the complications.

However you are not telling me anything I do not know <chuckles>- which was 
why my original posting was phrased in a respectful and unloaded way. (My 
first contact with Perl was during its early development stages so its 
history is familiar to me.)

I would have expected a reply that indicated progess and a genuine and helpful 
attempt to indicate a best/worst scenario for an upgrade.

I certainly do not expect to get of topic responses that cast aspersions, 
including accusations of making demands or other replies that seem to be  so 
overly defensive that one wonders what emotions are driving the contributors.

Thanks for wading in


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