|Perl: the Markov chain saw|
What is a really old version of Perl?by Argel (Prior)
|on Jun 25, 2012 at 20:54 UTC||Need Help??|
I've noticed that many Monk's tend to overlook that Perl is used by system and network administrators, systems engineers, biologists, and other less traditional developers. In that light, cavac's recent question in Re: Perl installation broken seems like a good opportunity to raise some awareness of the world we (system engineer here, and I work with our networking teams a lot) live in.
The question was:
Are you really running a very old version of perl (5.8.8 in this case)?And if I was asked that question, my answer would be that Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) 5.x ships with exactly that version! And support for RHEL 5 ends on March 31st, 2017! And after that, there are three years of extended support, so all support actually ends on March 31st, 2020!
Additionally, RHEL 5 is the RHEL version to deploy on these days. That's because RHEL 4 entered it's extended period of support earlier this year, so it is being phased out. And while moving to RHEL 6 is picking up steam, it's still a bit too new -- e.g. a lot of vendor apps still do not support it. And it should go without saying that in the corporate world, on the server side, RHEL is king, along with distros based off it of it like CentOS (e.g. hardware vendors making probes and appliances tend to use it to save money).
And so, the next time someone asks a question about an older version of Perl, please keep in mind that that really old version might be what their current, still supported OS ships with.
And before someone suggests compiling a newer version, for better or worse, the version RHEL ships with is covered by Red Hat's indemnification clause, which makes it considerably more difficult to justify compiling a newer version to management and the legal department. [ Update: Of course, it makes it easier to get approval for things that RHEL does ship with. ]
Source: RHEL Product Life Cycle
As a side note, if you do compile a newer version, my recommendation is to install it to a new location. It's poor system administration practice to modify the version the OS ships with because new patches could break it, the OS may have tools and scripts that rely on that version (e.g. Solaris 10 does), and it's possible a vendor out there expects the version that ships with the OS to be there.
Elda Taluta; Sarks Sark; Ark Arks