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Future of Perl on Win32?

by bowei_99 (Friar)
on Apr 26, 2006 at 05:09 UTC ( #545688=perlmeditation: print w/ replies, xml ) Need Help??

Hi all, Since I'm moving on to another company soon, I'm trying to pass on my perl code to some other admins I work with. Although they like what I've done, they say they don't want to do it (work with perl) long term, since they say Perl won't be supported in Longhorn. One of them says he went to a Microsoft Tech Ed Conference, where they say they're standardizing on C#, VBscript and something else I can't remember right now (probably Monad), and they specifically wanted to take away the hooks that were available for Perl in the past. So, for example, a lot of the stuff in the .NET framework will only be available for Microsoft approved languages. Also, supposedly, ActiveState's relationship with Microsoft has gone sour, which doesn't bode well for their distribution of perl.

My gut feeling, which I didn't say, since I didn't have much to back myself up at the time, was that Microsoft has tried doing things like this in the past, then backed down. I thought about Smart tags in IE, where IE would 'suggest' where you should go, based on a given link, or how their cluttered HTML that Frontpage produces has backfired on them. Then I also think about the pressures from the EU, where they have to open up their standards.

What do people think? Has anyone heard anything similar? Anybody think they'll back down and allow something like perl to be interoperable, as the EU wants?

-- Burvil

Comment on Future of Perl on Win32?
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Re: Future of Perl on Win32?
by BrowserUk (Pope) on Apr 26, 2006 at 07:33 UTC
    ... since they say Perl won't be supported in Longhorn.

    Ask them what they mean by that?

    To my knowledge, MS don't 'support' Perl now. I know they did put some investment into AS at one time and even contributed some code to the Win32 codebase I think, but I don't think they ever added anything to XP to enable it to "support Perl".

    So what will they not be doing that would prevent Perl being ported to Longhorn?

    Sound like they don't like/want to learn Perl, which is their perogative, but attributing their reluctance to MS not supporting it doesn't make much sense (to me anyway).

    PS. By the way, won't Longhorn be Win64?. And, from the little I've read, won't (most) Win32 apps (including Perl) run perfectly well in a w32onw64 WOW box?

    Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
    Lingua non convalesco, consenesco et abolesco. -- Rule 1 has a caveat! -- Who broke the cabal?
    "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
    In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.
      <disclaimer>I don't have any idea what I'm talking about. Probably this is completely incorrect.</disclaimer>

      I wonder if it could have something to do with code signing/DRM as a way of fighting trojans/spam/copyright infringment.

        If any code signing mechanism that MS implement either

        1. Only allows code signed off by MS to run.
        2. Doesn't allow retro-active signing of existing code by existing code authors/owners/licence holders.
        3. Doesn't permit machine owners to decide what code they can allow to run on their machines.

        the software containing that mechanism will be deservedly still born.

        As somebody else pointed out, whatever you think of MS, they aren't totally stupid.

        Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
        Lingua non convalesco, consenesco et abolesco. -- Rule 1 has a caveat! -- Who broke the cabal?
        "Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
        In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

        I don't know if any of that is true, either. But I'll say that Microsoft works for Microsoft, period. It does what's good for Microsoft, not what's good for its users, developers, or anyone else (as do most other big corporations - I'm not singling MS out for special treatment). So MS will do whatever it perceives to be in its best interests. If it thought it could keep the OS on the Internet, and force everyone to connect before being able to do anything (which, in fact, appears to be where it's trying to go), it will do it.

        The upside of this is that, if enough people speak up, Microsoft can be influenced in its decisions as to what's best for it. If people let them know that they'll either not upgrade, or migrate to another platform, MS will do what it can to make those people just happy enough to stick with them.

Re: Future of Perl on Win32?
by chromatic (Archbishop) on Apr 26, 2006 at 06:43 UTC
    One of them says he went to a Microsoft Tech Ed Conference, where they say they're standardizing on C#, VBscript and something else I can't remember right now (probably Monad), and they specifically wanted to take away the hooks that were available for Perl in the past.

    Your colleague is full of beans; don't let him near any machine you care about. I can only imagine how Microsoft will allow everyone from commercial companies and ISVs to shareware and freeware developers write applications of all kinds but not programming languages.

Re: Future of Perl on Win32?
by demerphq (Chancellor) on Apr 26, 2006 at 07:27 UTC

    There are some difficulties pending WRT Perl on later MS OS and compilers. But as and when we get the chance we will take care of them. I wouldnt worry about it too much. Also, sounds like your colleague is just looking for a reason not to learn a new skill. Which is all too common in our industry.


Re: Future of Perl on Win32?
by spiritway (Vicar) on Apr 26, 2006 at 07:51 UTC

    My sense is that this is more or less rubbish. As it stands, Microsoft hasn't really offered much reason for people to "upgrade" from XP to their next product, whatever it's called. If they make a product that Perl can't run on, then they've removed yet one more incentive for people to upgrade.

    They'd be saying, "Switch to Vista (or Longhorn, or whatever), and we'll charge you more money, break your programs, and your scripts won't work, either." Who could pass up a deal like that?

    Microsoft might not know a whole lot about software production, but they do know a lot about business. They aren't likely to risk losing customers by breaking things for them. At least, not by doing it on purpose.

Re: Future of Perl on Win32?
by Marza (Vicar) on Apr 26, 2006 at 06:06 UTC

    Microsoft won't support Perl? Not going to worry about it. Far too many systems were written and people aren't going to go "ok we will just rewrite everything for vbscript"

    Microsoft will notice it when people aren't buying upgrades because their databases, websites, QA systems, CVS managment, etc require rewrite.

Re: Future of Perl on Win32?
by sanPerl (Friar) on Apr 26, 2006 at 06:38 UTC
    We use Perl and Java, if M$ dosen't want to provide support for either of these two languages then, rather than working on VB/VBA (which I don't like personally), we will think of Not upgrading M$ products and move towards Linux/Unix.
Re: Future of Perl on Win32?
by explorer (Chaplain) on Apr 26, 2006 at 15:25 UTC

    Humm... Is possible Microsoft don't like Perl because it have their Perl?

    Today, Microsoft has released RC1 version of PowerShell the .NET-based shell with perl-like syntax... More...


    $compsys = get-wmiObject win32_computersystem $biosinf = get-wmiObject win32_bios $netinfo = get-wmiObject win32_networkadapter | where-object { $_.adaptertype -like "802.3" } $cdrom = get-wmiObject win32_cdromdrive "Make = " + $compsys.manufacturer "Model = " + $compsys.model "Bios = " + $ + " " + $biosinf.smbiosbiosversion foreach ( $nic in $netinfo ) { "NIC = " + $ } foreach ( $cd in $cdrom ) { "CDROM = " + $ }

    Extracted from PowerShell User Guide:
    Special Variables
    $_The current pipeline object; used in script blocks, filters, the process clause of functions, where-object, foreach-object and switch.

    Ugly notation! :-)

    Asociative Array: $<array name> = @{<key1 = item1>; <key2 = item2>;...}

      I am reading the User Guide. Page 38:

      We investigated a number of different options; whether to extend the current CMD.EXE syntax or to modify the current Visual Basic to better enable an interactive use. After looking at many different possibilities, we decided that a new language that was built from the ground up would be best because it would enable us to provide a more consistent environment. We were inspired by concepts in the UNIX shells; other scripting languages such as PERL, PHP, PYTHON and programming languages like C# to create a consistent, intuitive language that is an interactive environment.

      Page 72:

      Similar to the UNIX model, the majority of users will find that the use of commands is sufficient to accomplish what is required. However, there are conditions when existing commands do not provide the required functionality. In these cases, there are generally two choices. First, if the functionality is able to be composed, create a script to provide the necessary functionality. Second, create a new command to provide the needed functionality (much in the same way that the functionality of text parsing utilities for the UNIX system have increased over time and is arguable why PERL, TCL, and other scripting languages developed). Unfortunately, the complexity of creating a new command can be high, and in some cases, the required tools (such as a compiler) are not available.

      For the records... Perl is named 6 times. C#, 14. Java, 0. TCL, 2. Python, 2. Ruby, 1.

        Somebody should point out that they need to do a s/PERL/Perl/ :-)


      Looks like the misbegotten love child of Perl, Python, and VB.


Re: Future of Perl on Win32?
by monarch (Priest) on Apr 26, 2006 at 15:40 UTC
    It is Microsoft's job, as a heartless and monopolistic corporation, to fool the public into thinking it wants something it doesn't need.

    I would say the vast majority of professional coders out there know very little about programming or the history of computing in general; they will be at the mercy of a company that knows how to bait them and advertise to them with gimmicks that "new" languages can offer.

    Microsoft will continue to release new languages and do everything in their legal power to inhibit native support for anything that competes with spaces they operate in (browser support for Hotmail, language support in browsers, HTML compatibility, blah blah).

    Are you forgetting already that Microsoft once added into their operating system a scanner that uploaded information about everything you had on your hard drive (this was eventually removed from Windows 95 after journalists discovered this with beta editions and a community uproar assisted MS in changing their minds)?

    You can help! Just be a professional. Speak out when someone is doing something excessively stupid - like using a MS exclusive technology when many existing technologies are available that are more powerful, more efficient, better known, more portable, etc etc.

Re: Future of Perl on Win32?
by jdtoronto (Prior) on Apr 26, 2006 at 17:24 UTC
    Well, .NET can support what it likes, that only matters to people using .NET!

    To be honest, I have never come across anybody using Perl in the .NET environment. It has been suggested to me that one of the reasons that ActiveState dropped the Perl .NET support was because of very low usage rates. But Perl on Win32 doesn't rely on .NET ir any of the .NET hooks - unless you want it to.

    Whatever happens between ActiveState and Microsoft will quite likely not affect the distribution at all. Microsoft tends to be full of internal hype and bluster - which ultaimtely translates into very little! I haven't seen any less support from AS for Perl and I do know some pretty big governments that will not accept anything written in a Microsoft propretary language unless it was written by Microsoft.


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