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When comment turns into disaster

by Tux (Abbot)
on Jul 06, 2009 at 06:50 UTC ( #777470=perlnews: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

Somehow I'm sure chromatic had the best intentions with his blogs and comments, but he finally tipped the bad end of the scales. The effect is a disaster ...

From: Rafael Garcia-Suarez <rgarciasuarez@gmail.com> To: Perl 5 Porters <perl5-porters@perl.org> Date: Mon, 6 Jul 2009 08:11:09 +0200 Message-ID: <b77c1dce0907052311x7c9dc291x4d35a4f6b3e66708@mail.gmail.c +om> I resign. When your sound technical guidelines and successful choices are under unjust, harsh and misinformed criticism, backed with marketing slogans instead of technical considerations, and when this happens daily, for months, this starts getting on the nerves. So I can't take it any more and I won't any longer act as a pumpking. I might continue to send patches here, however.

I'm speechless. I have no idea where this will lead ...


Enjoy, Have FUN! H.Merijn

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Re: When comment turns into disaster
by eyepopslikeamosquito (Chancellor) on Jul 07, 2009 at 01:33 UTC

    Please correct me if I missed it, but I'm puzzled as to why we haven't seen more arguments based on "lessons learnt" from when Nicholas Clark tried releasing perl 5.8.x on regular three monthly release cycles back in 2004. I would have thought this real-world experience would carry more weight than theoretical arguments.

    From perl-5.8.2 perldelta:

    Starting with 5.8.3 we intend to make more frequent maintenance releases, with a smaller number of changes in each. The intent is to propagate bug fixes out to stable releases more rapidly and make upgrading stable releases less of an upheaval. This should give end users more flexibility in their choice of upgrade timing, and allow them easier assessment of the impact of upgrades. The current plan is for code freezes as follows:
    • 5.8.3 23:59:59 GMT, Wednesday December 31st 2003
    • 5.8.4 23:59:59 GMT, Wednesday March 31st 2004
    • 5.8.5 23:59:59 GMT, Wednesday June 30th 2004
    with the release following soon after, when testing is complete.

    From the description of Nicholas Clark's OSCON 2004 talk Perl 5.8.5 Was Boring (And Why You Should Be Excited By This):

    There's a lot happening in Perl 5.8.x -- Jarkko Hietaniemi has passed the reigns over to a new pumpking, and with this comes some changes to Perl maintenance. But despite adopting "release early, release often," priority one is actually to make releases as uneventful as possible.

    Last OSCON the current version of Perl 5.8 was 5.8.0; at abstract submission time the current version is 5.8.3, but by this OSCON 5.8.5 will be current. By adopting a time rather than feature-based release cycle Clark can be confident about when the release will be, but right now totally ignorant as to what will be in it (well, apart from no new bugs, and fewer of the old ones).

    Come to this talk to find out how the new clockwork release cycle helps you to plan. See how far Perl maintenance has come in the past 12 months, learn where is it going, and discover why it affects you differently depending on whether you are an end user or an author of modules on CPAN.

    I'd be interested in reading a post mortem "lessons learnt" from Nicholas Clark on the 2004 three monthly perl 5.8.x release cycles but I couldn't find one. The nearest I found was People of Perl: Nicholas Clark where he stated:

    There aren't enough active volunteers to go round. Releases take a surprisingly long time to get right -- there's a lot of last minute faffing that seems impossible to automate, delegate or avoid.

      In a recent message on p5p he wrote that a three month release schedules means not enough releases, and too many releases.

      In the beginning, three months is too long. But later on in the traject, not enough happens in three months to make a release. Releasing .x x months after a .(x-1) release may work better.

      But that still doesn't solve the problem of many people asking for features/bug fixes, etc, and only a very few people doing the work.

Re: When comment turns into disaster
by Tux (Abbot) on Jul 06, 2009 at 14:45 UTC
Re: When comment turns into disaster
by Your Mother (Bishop) on Jul 06, 2009 at 15:55 UTC
    When comment turns into disaster

    I think "disaster" is melodramatic. It looks like Rafael Garcia-Suarez would agree. His post on the matter is quite positive really, even if the event is a little alarming. We have a lot of really excellent additions to the Perl world in the last couple of years which makes me optimistic; change is scary but it's often the best thing that can happen.

    On the obvious tangent: I'd like thank Rafael publicly and profusely! I can barely find time to maintain my pocketful of fringe modules. I have so much respect and gratitude for those that make up the heart of Perl and keep it beating. It's a body I really enjoy being an appendix in. :)

      The disaster in my perception is the fact that a single person is able to chase away one of the most capable persons in our community. The rest of the community has not been able to stop this from happening.

      I myself was most annoyed by the constant comparison between perl5 and perl6. There is just very very few common parts in the two projacts and picking on a release schedule or backwards compatability is not nice when you compare a project that has built up a huge history against a project that has no real production uses yet.

      Some people obviously missed the respect for Raphael's decisions. He was chosen to make them. Of course you can argue or debate but in the end we as a community have chosen him to make these decisions. Accept that.

      The new pumpking will need to have overview and knowledge, both technical and socially. I obviously do not fit.


      Enjoy, Have FUN! H.Merijn
        I myself was most annoyed by the constant comparison between perl5 and perl6. There is just very very few common parts in the two projacts and picking on a release schedule or backwards compatability is not nice when you compare a project that has built up a huge history against a project that has no real production uses yet.

        This is a valid point, but it wasn't that long ago that the complaint was flipped. Perl 5 seemed active and lively, while the Perl 6 project was perceived as doomed by most of those who bothered thinking about it at all. Back then we were told by Perl 6 defenders that it was unfair to compare a language with a large dedicated user base to a language which was still being designed - and only by a handful of people at that.

        Now Rakudo & Parrot are presenting regular public releases while Perl 5 is not. Now we're told by Perl 5 defenders that it's unfair to compare a language with huge backward compatibility concerns to a language which has not seen widespread use in a production environment.

        Both claims were valid, in the sense that it's unfair to compare two different languages with two different cultures. We do it anyways. We can't help it - it's in our nature. I was one of the people complaining about the lack of a Perl 6 in the early 2000's. Now it's 2009 and I'm one of the people complaining about the lack of Perl 5 updates. Not the only person complaining, and far from the loudest. I am one of the complainers, though.

        I complain because I love Perl in whatever form it takes and want to see more of it. I want to see Perl excel. I want to see 5.10.1 and 5.12.0 and beyond. I think my colleagues should be excited about Rakudo and Parrot and Perl 5 and Moose and Catalyst, instead of staring at me blankly and saying that the default installed Perl 5 is good enough for the system scripting tasks they've relegated it to.

        But yeah, I realize that things aren't going to get better just because I complain. Most of the complainers - and there are many, not just one against a monolithic community - also contribute something of value to the Perl world. I'll try a little harder to do the same.

        ... a single person is able to chase away one of the most capable persons in our community.

        That's a very selective reading of things. I explained my goals for Perl 5. I asked Rafael specific questions and offered to discuss technical details and to accept any correction for mistakes I've made.

        What should I have done differently?

        {Picking} on a release schedule or backwards compatability is not nice when you compare a project that has built up a huge history against a project that has no real production uses yet.

        Plenty of other projects have regular release schedules and deprecation cycles, including the Linux kernel, OpenBSD, Fedora, Ubuntu, GNOME, Wine, and Samba. I chose to discuss Parrot and Rakudo because I work on those projects and feel more qualified discussing my personal experiences there than on projects to which I do not contribute regularly.

        Some people obviously missed the respect for Raphael's decisions. He was chosen to make them.

        If I recall correctly, he replaced hv, who resigned under some pressure (most of it not public) for not releasing a new version of Perl.

Re: When comment turns into disaster
by Zen (Deacon) on Jul 06, 2009 at 15:44 UTC
    I hope Mr. Garcia-Suarez or a suitable guardian can ensure a proper transition to a new pumpking out of respect for the greater good. I am not privy to the details, nor do I need to be, but I would sincerely hope there is some leadership in place to secure the codelines today.
      To quote Rafael's longer blog post:
      There are many committers and knoledgeable contributors, and they'll probably start reviewing the patches to apply a bit more: avoiding bottlenecks is good. The release process will be documented and distributed (and thanks to Dave Mitchell for having worked a lot on this) and the whole bus factor of Perl 5 will go up. Don't worry, I'll still be around to ensure that the future of Perl 5 is not handed to the marketroids, and to produce the occasional patch.

      I hope this addresses your concerns, at least partially.

        It does, partially. My question has to do with his absence as it seems effective immediately. How do you protect perl from special interests without a pumpking? Are all patches on hold until another pumpking is found? I can only hope P5P has enough oversight to bridge the immediate gap.

        I, too, offer my thanks for his service. My concern is limited to the present.
Re: When comment turns into disaster
by zby (Vicar) on Jul 07, 2009 at 20:31 UTC
Re: When comment turns into disaster
by ddn123456 (Pilgrim) on Jul 07, 2009 at 08:47 UTC
    Raphael,

    many many thanks for everything you did for the community.

    OK. Man down, casualty taken, not to be forgotten, **IT happens, community still standing.

    Time to get together, locate some additional "cat herders", find more smart "cats" and get things moving on.

    Perhaps an idea for a BOF at the next YAPC::EU in Lissabon?

    I just hope this will not lead to a big community fuss.

    Please also have a look at: http://www.xray.mpe.mpg.de/mailing-lists/perl5-porters/2009-07/msg00193.html

    ddn123456

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[hippo]: Really? Not using the one from the CentOS repository? Perhaps that's the problem.
[vedagiri89]: i need when this issue will come usually
[hippo]: How about mod_perl? Was that installed from the CentOS packge or from source?
[vedagiri89]: from the source
[hippo]: But APR.pm is under vendor_perl in your error message so you are mixing up modules installed from the packager and by hand. That's rarely a good plan.
[vedagiri89]: the prm is..works fine if i run file directly..not working if i run through apache http file
[hippo]: Environments differ.
[vedagiri89]: so, how to fix that differ

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