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Re^2: Perl 6 was released years ago

by bunnyman (Hermit)
on Nov 01, 2004 at 00:58 UTC ( #404181=note: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??


in reply to Re: Perl 6 was released years ago
in thread Perl 6 was released years ago

To suppose that Perl 5 will be actively developed 8 years from now is to greatly underestimate the importance of an innocuous little thing called the version number.

I cannot imagine anybody seriously using an 8 year old obsolete version of anything and not being in the tiniest of minorities. Who uses Windows 95 anymore? Linux 2.0 or older? Java 1.0? PHP 3? Perl 4? Yes, old versions do get used, but only in special circumstances.

Sure, Perl 4 was good enough for what it was, but then along came Perl 5 which was also good enough for that, and more. And today Perl 5 is good enough for a great number of things, and Perl 6 will be good enough for all them, and even more again.

If Perl 6 were renamed to something other than Perl, then I could see a future for Perl 5, but if there's a bigger number available, it will get all the attention.


Comment on Re^2: Perl 6 was released years ago
Re^3: Perl 6 was released years ago
by mpeppler (Vicar) on Nov 01, 2004 at 08:47 UTC
    You'd be surprised...

    I had a query the other day from someone using perl 5.000 (yes, that's right) and sybperl 2a7 (that's an alpha release), all 10 year old code, and running on Solaris 8....

    I very strongly advised them to upgrade (I can't count the number of bugs fixed in sybperl, let alone perl in the last 10 years!)...

    Michael

      Maybe I'm sticking my head in the sand, but I want to call that a "special situation."

      *sigh*

        Sure - it's a special situation (or at least, it is special to that company - a fairly large financial institution, IIRC).

        But my point is that 10 year old software is and will be used in production in a lot of places. I see this with Sybase, where old(er) versions are being EOL'd (i.e. bugs found won't be fixed, etc), but that doesn't really stop a lot of places from still running various versions of 11.0.x (ca. 1995), because the system works, they don't need any of the new features introduced in later versions, and upgrading can be a huge pain for 24x7 shops.

        Michael

Re^3: Perl 6 was released years ago
by etcshadow (Priest) on Nov 02, 2004 at 01:40 UTC
    I cannot imagine anybody seriously using an 8 year old obsolete version of anything and not being in the tiniest of minorities.

    FORTRAN 77. That's all I have to say.

    Well, I'll say a tiny bit more: YES, people do still use FORTRAN. YES, there are newer versions than the (19)77 version. HOWEVER, FORTRAN 77 is still in a great deal of use. Probably the majority of FORTRAN code in use today is FORTRAN 77. Certainly not a small minority.

    Oh, and just because I like to point it out: FORTRAN is the last major language, before Python, to incorporate significant leading whitespace as a "feature" of the language. :-P

    ------------ :Wq Not an editor command: Wq
      Perl does the same thing slightly differently: trailing, non-line ending white space on the end of HEREDOC lines are significant.
        If you're joking: good joke. If you're not: that's hardly a reasonable comparison.
        ------------ :Wq Not an editor command: Wq
      Oh, and just because I like to point it out: FORTRAN is the last major language, before Python, to incorporate significant leading whitespace as a "feature" of the language. Another reason perl6 is great. It will have its own set of significant whitespace rules. It will now be: FORTRAN, Python, Perl6.
        Ho hum. <yawn>
        1) I don't think Perl6 has significant leading whitespace.

        2) C++
        vector<vector<int> > // :-) vector<vector<int>> // :-(
        Boots
        ---
        Is a gallon of orange juice more perfect than Mt. Everest?
        -Prof. Baumann

      That's not a good example, because Fortran 90 compilers will (mostly) accept code written for 77. There's nothing holding you back from upgrading and still using the old stuff. Which sounds like what Perl 6 will be like, too.

      And because I like to point this out: In Fortran, spaces between columns 7 and 72 do not matter unless they are between quotes.

      For example:

      if( foo .eq. bar ) then

      is equivalent to

      i    f(f    oo.e     q.b    ar)t     hen

      And people have the nerve to call Perl unreadable!

Re^3: Perl 6 was released years ago
by Anonymous Monk on Nov 02, 2004 at 10:04 UTC
    I cannot imagine anybody seriously using an 8 year old obsolete version of anything and not being in the tiniest of minorities.

    There are lots of airplanes flying around that are older than 8 years. Trains are build to last 40 or more years (and they do).

    What I can't believe is that people upgrade for the sake of upgrading. There's an old saying "if it ain't broken, don't fix it". New versions of software *do* break things, whether intentionally or not. And I have to say, many open source authors don't consider backwards compatibility as important as they should (if they'd paid more attention to it, it would help in getting corperations to use more open source software). Perl tries it best to be backwards compatible, but it isn't perfect.

    Not everyone seems to realize the costs upgrading takes. Upgrading a single developer box isn't hard. But for numerous organizations, installing new, or upgrading existing software is a big deal. Banks, hospitals are air flight controllers don't just upgrade. They have long and rigorous testing procedures, including regression tests. Anything that breaks is a show-stopper until resolved. People working with the new or upgraded software may need re-training. This all costs money.

    I think the computing world would benefit if eight year old software wasn't "obsolete" and would just run without problems.

Re^3: Perl 6 was released years ago
by rje (Deacon) on Jan 04, 2005 at 15:05 UTC
    Yah, who uses K&R C anymore?

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