in reply to blaming perl for not using a build policy

There is a long history in the commercial 'NIX world of compilers and other tools being abominable. It's no different than any other commercial software endeavor, and popularity is no guarantee. A good example that come to mind is the C compiler that shipped with HP-UX right up until the end of the twentieth century, which was so bad as to be mostly unusable. Another is that Solaris until recently shipped with a very early Perl (5.003, IIRC). (I have a friend at SNL who is STILL dealing with some of these old monstrosities. He's not likely to be allowed to retire.)

The very nature of the true freeware community is that SOMEBODY's going to want something to work on at three in the morning, and that's why GNU 'ls' has forty-'leven options and most of them work the way they're intended to. The very nature of he commercial world, and that includes Red Hat, is that you freeze it and get it out the door. To say the commercial world should be otherwise is like saying that rocks should fly.

I wholeheartedly agree that anybody doing production work of any kind for commercial purposes MUST be prepared to investigate, understand, and validate their tools, all the way down to the raw os. And yes, I've also been known to run acid tests on even generic PC motherboards. You'd be surprised what crap gets out there into the field, especially when you're trying to bleed the edge. You have to be prepared to take a trip out to the back of the sausage factory, and you can't just spill your cookies after you do so.

Even when you stand on the shoulders of giants, you must be prepared to find out which way they're headed. YMMV isn't just a saying, it's an expectation that comes with the territory. It's your responsibility to use wealth wisely, be it FOSS or payware or something in-between.

Don Wilde
"There's more than one level to any answer."