( this is a re-post of recent thoughts from the perl5-porters mailing list. Further interesting points articulated in an adjacent thread. )
An incredibly unlikely combination of recent events have placed Perl (the language) at an exceedingly rare crossroads. Various "factions" have openly stated their worldviews, but war has not broken out just yet.
While there is a ton of nuance, the two main "philosophies" at odds are roughly:
- Software-as-a-solution (SAAS), where code is targeted at solving a specific problem, in a dynamic world. When the problem inevitably changes as the world around it continuously moves along, it is only fair and even prudent to continuously modify the existing solution to said problem.
- Software-as-a-tool (SAAT), where code is targeted at *other* professionals, to combine it with an increasing array of other tools to then solve a specific problem. A hammer from 50 years ago looks strikingly identical to a hammer you can buy today, and it better look like a hammer after 2038, or else...
The series of mega-threads all boil down to a profound misunderstanding within the p5p list itself of the magnitude of the clash-of-values between these sub-communities.
I strongly believe, that if a more honest conversation takes places not over the "how" but the "what", a massive amount of effort will be saved on all sides.
- Instead of dancing around the issue of having nice things with cpan: let's admit the need for 2 CPANs: one to cater to folks excited by the prospect of perl 7 and one for people who will never write anything above 'use 5.0XX' within their code.
- Begin a discussion acknowledging the amount of "better bash" tooling investment outside of the handful of companies named as stakeholders, and have an honest conversation what is the expectation for "system perl" and "system perlng" in the mid-to-long-term.
Everything else discussed so far is dressing to obscure the substance: "Perl" and "perl" are *both* about ready to file for divorce. This is an incredibly rare chance for an Unionsupplösningen or a Velvet Divorce. Please, do not squander it.