|Syntactic Confectionery Delight|
Rakudo Star, Red Queen Editionby chromatic (Archbishop)
|on Jan 23, 2012 at 23:46 UTC||Need Help??|
In an earlier post, you wrote:
The original plan was for Star releases (they refer to these as "distributions") to be on a quarterly release schedule in 2011. They did Jan, a couple of April variants, and July. The next was scheduled for October. By December, jnthn concluded he needed to go ahead with a Star release ... and now has a Star release nearly ready.
Let me give you my history.
One year ago, in January 2010, Rakudo Star was unusable for my business projects. While I'd objected to the nom fork-and-rewrite, it was clear that the Rakudo developers were going ahead with it anyway. I decided against using whatever the "stable" branch of Star was at the time, because it was also clear that it was a branch abandoned to bitrot in the hopes that nom would be available sooner rather than later. (Want your statistics to mean something? Count the number of commits to nom versus its predecessor. QED.)
Sure, there were a couple of Star releases in 2010, but they were all off of the abandoned branch. That means no ecosystem (such as it is). That means no bugfixes. That means it's further away from the specification. None of these are reasons to use it. (Does it even compile against a modern Parrot? Has anyone tested that?)
It's almost a year later, and nom isn't up to the point where its predecessor was. (It's ahead in some ways, but it's regressed in others. If you're claiming that Star provides stability, you don't regress.)
It doesn't really matter why releases were skipped or slipped. What matters is that a fork and rewrite underwent unsurprising scope creep. There went a year.
Do the Rakudo developers deserve applause for running so hard to stay mostly in place, Red Queen style? I say no.
What would you have done?
I wouldn't have undertaken a year-long rewrite, and even if I had, I wouldn't have crammed more features in it.