gunzip has asked for the wisdom of the Perl Monks concerning the following question:

I may be missing something obvious but if I have Perl 5.12 installed why should I have to specify:

use 5.012;

It seems even more absurd with Perl 6:

use v6;

Can't Perl detect which version is installed or something? I've heard the argument that it allows you to switch off features introduced in the latest version but shouldn't it be done the other way round, ie. specify if you want limitations, not to enable what is available by default? I still don't get this one. Why would I bother with Perl 6 at all if I didn't want to "use v6"? If I want to use Perl 5.12 as if it were 5.10 then that is the exception to the rule for which the version string would be relevant, not the other way round.