SCO and EFF -- do something

johnb johngnub at
Wed Sep 3 22:04:13 CDT 2003

I still have Perl 4 source on cd...

Does that count?

On Wednesday, September 3, 2003, at 08:25 AM, Scott Walters wrote:

> I don't remember posting anti-Microsoft rants to the list. I think you 
> must
> be thinking of an actual Perl Mongers meeting =)
> Well, let's see. On the Perl 6 internals list, the discussion of "why 
> do we
> need keyed varients for every access method" has cropped up yet
> again. Dan is getting better and better at smacking that down and 
> everyone
> on the list for any period of time is really good at ignoring the whole
> thing. The last Apocolypse (6) is extremely demanding of the language
> side and it will take some time for the language people to catch up.
> The Perl 6 grammar is useful for some simple things. The main drawback
> is lack of anything like CPAN (yes, this is a more serious liability
> than lack of objects). Hence PONIE was introduced, to make P5 run under
> P6 by porting the guts of P5. Wouldn't it be easier to write a Parrot
> gcc backend and automate the porting of the P5? I don't know. Perl
> Design Patterns prompted an interesting exchange with Apress. For
> those of you who don't know, I've been trying to sell Perl Design 
> Patterns
> to a publisher for some time. I've essentially ran the gauntlet of 
> publishers.
> I have 3 or 4 left to tap. The one thing I've learned is going through 
> normal
> channels does not work for someone without a recognizable name like 
> myself.
> I got Apress attention for a while because it turns out they had 
> already
> signed a deal with someone else (who IMHO is butchering the idea).
> There was some discussion of different ideas that could be done. They
> fainted lack of interest in the subject, not wanting to leak that they
> were working on it and as soon as it was announced, stopped returning
> my emails. I'm feeling a little abused after that. We had been
> seriously discussion doing something called "Perl 6 NOW", where
> ideas slated to be introduced in the Perl language in Perl 6 would
> be demonstrated in Perl 5 in a back-ported form. There are a huge
> number of these - from the Coro module (giving you coroutines
> and continuations in Perl) to object oriented error handling to
> switch, the Perl6::* tree on CPAN, PDL, Class::Multimethods,,
> threads::shared, Concurrent::Object for OO thread interface, 
> Sub::Lexical for
> lexically scoped subroutines, Quantum::Suppositions for any() and 
> all() like
> behavior, and some other stuff. I thought it was rather brilliant. 
> They're
> probably paying someone else to do it now using my outline and 
> proposal.
> Bastards. So I'm thinking of doing a free version and trying to beat
> them to the punch. And taking on another major documentation project.
> Or maybe it is retarded and I just haven't realized this yet. The
> last major thing I was thinking of biting off someone beat me to -
> If you aren't familiar with the idea of a coroutine (which
> will be in Perl 6 core), it goes something like this: a subroutine
> can return, but unreturn later. It's lexical context is kept in
> tact. Of course, "return" and "unreturn" aren't the keywords used.
> That would be strange. Threads are complex and race conditions
> and dataflow between threads confuse the heck out of people. Very
> few people can code threads effectively. Coroutines provide a similar
> service but tend to be more easily grasped by novices and more
> easily handled by experts. It is a kind of cooperative multitasking,
> you might say. Very handy for things like select() loops that
> wait for activity on a number of filehandles. Things like POE try
> to solve this, but your handler is called and has to finish
> executing and return, so it can't do things like store context
> in variables on the stack. It can't have any stack at all. It
> has to return. Hence, Coro is a far more powerful replacement
> for POE and comes with the infrastructure you'd expect. Very nifty.
> As I said, I was just starting to play with the idea of doing something
> similar. I resisted the urge to chronical my communications with
> publishers for a long time, as I've not seen other people talk
> about these rather senstive dealings, but I've essentially lost
> the battle at this point and I'm feeling rather pent up, so I'm 
> dropping
> the facade. And I want to get this off my chest. This has been a huge
> source of frustration and anxiety. My first serious contact was GNU 
> Press.
> They were pleasent, responsive, and encouraging, but unable to offer
> anything in the way of editorial guidance, though this may have 
> changed.
> I'm due to talk to them again. If I do and something happens, then
> the shroud of secerecy wouldn't be needed. As noted, I talked to Apress
> for a while. Towards the tail end of that, I was talking to Nathan
> Torkington for a while. You might remember him from the Perl Cookbook.
> ORA made him the security editor, and I had the pleasure of meeting him
> at DEFCON. I dropped him an email mentioning my mission after the
> fact and managed two email turnarounds before he stopped responding.
> ORA had previously completely ignored the proposal. Since it takes
> a day to put a proposal according to a publishers template and spin
> everything for them, not hearing back with even a "thanks but not
> thanks" is a real slap to the face. This is exactly the treatment
> I got from about 20 publishers. And yes, I spell check those ;)
> Reguardless, Nathan is a very cool guy, and I have no doubt whatsoever 
> that he
> is just painfully busy. I'll have to start thinking about doing Perl 
> conferances.
> On the other hand, I hate bugging busy people with my petty concerns.
> Trying to talk to publishers makes you feel very small and very stupid,
> and I'm feeling very grateful for Phoenix Perl Mongers through this
> whole thing, for not making me feel small and stupid, and being
> in fact a receptive encouraging resource. Between that and
> client abuse overload, I've taken a mental vacation the past
> few days. I'm watching TV and I hate TV. It is *that* bad. When
> I come back, I expect I'll do one of a few things. Do another
> iteration of, write something on Perl Assembly,
> do the Perl 6 NOW thing for free and post it, talk to GNU Press
> again, or write a Perl 5/B backend for the Perl 6 compiler.
> The last would be an excellent hack, IMHO. It would solve the
> Ponie problem since Perl 6 would be running on the Perl 5 VM
> along with anything else from CPAN. Some things would have to
> be done in software - multiple dispatch for instance. It would
> also be ironic. The primary point to Perl 6 is to get rid of
> the nasty old Perl 5 guts. People don't care about the guts,
> and IMHO, they should be refactored and cleaned up, not rewritten.
> Rewritting large software programs is a disaster every time.
> Remember Netscape 5? Of course you don't. It doesn't exist. Or
> wasn't released or finished. Netscape worked for years trying to
> rewrite their browser from scratch while Microsoft eat their
> lunch. People aren't interested in which VM the language runs
> on, but they are interested in the new language features, so
> getting the experimental Perl 6 grammar to generate bytecode
> for the Perl 5 VM would be very cool and very practical. And it would
> piss a lot of people off. Which is usually my real goal.
> pisses off the Python people - giving Perl true type safety while
> Python, supposedly all OO and stuff, goes without (bwahahaha!).
> got a facelift thanks to a volunteer
> off of the Internet. I added something where you can comment
> on pages without having to edit them. TinyWiki is still far
> more popular Perl Design Patterns. Considering the code, I think
> this says something: -
> code to be ashamed of. Or proud of. Depending on your culture.
> Perl culture is pathological. Tell people that they can cleanly
> write large programs in Perl and they scoff. Write cryptic
> gibberish and they worship you. This excellent article
> was posted to PerlMonks:
> I'm scrottie on there, by the way. Simon, who posted that, is the
> one who has been helping with the Wiki. I'm trying to get
> content out of him but all he wants to do is hack on the engine
> and ActiveWikiPages code. From all of this - the downplaying
> of patterns, the hostility, the confusion, and outright
> resentment, I've desided that Patterns should be dropped
> from the name. "" is taken, however. Perl programmers
> aren't openly hostile to software engineering concepts and
> discussion of design - their eyes only glaze over. I mentioned
> some time back that my resume ranked very highly on
> Google for search terms such as "computer programmer resume" yet
> I got no jobs from it. A lot of prank pages, but no jobs. Curious
> what was putting people off, I put a survey thing on it. The number
> one survey item is "Dislike Perl". Perl programmers actively
> dislike Patterns and the world actively dislikes Perl. Fitting,
> perhaps. That is pretty much everyone on my mind Perl related.
> Your turn to pick up the conversation. I wish I could do
> something other than bitch, but I'm pretty fed up and burnt out
> right now. Atleast griping about Microsoft is generally amusing.
> Not to presume that everyone on this list cares what I've
> been up to, but if anyone has related thoughts or opinions
> it might be fuel for Perl related discussion.
> Best wishes,
> -scott
> On  0, Tom Achtenberg <TomA at> wrote:
>> OK, I'll come right out and say it.  I do not want to see political 
>> discussions on this list.  Since Perl is cross platform anti 
>> Microsoft rants don't belong here either.  There are plenty of other 
>> lists out there if you need to forward petitions and whine about 
>> Microsoft.  Lets keep this one to the topic at hand, Perl.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Scott Walters [mailto:scott at]
>> Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2003 10:48 PM
>> To: Tom Achtenberg
>> Cc: phoenix-pm-list at
>> Subject: Re: SCO and EFF -- do something
>> Perl. That makes this discussion off-topic.
>> Atleast mostly off-topic. The state of Free Software legally and 
>> politically
>> is interesting to people involved in the gospel and development of 
>> Perl.
>> Like any good off-topic discussion, it is being kept short. We've had 
>> some
>> bad off-topic dicussions on here (programming licensing went on and 
>> on).
>> Now, there is a chance you meant to imply you wanted to see less 
>> off-topic
>> discussion and you weren't merely asking if this was considered 
>> on-topic.
>> If that is the case, I don't think anyone will be offended if you come
>> right out and say that.
>> Best wishes,
>> -scott
>> On  0, Tom Achtenberg <TomA at> wrote:
>>> Is this a Perl discussion list or a political discussion list?
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: Elston, Jeremy [mailto:Jeremy.Elston at]
>>> Sent: Tuesday, September 02, 2003 8:53 AM
>>> To: 'phoenix-pm-list at'
>>> Subject: RE: SCO and EFF -- do something
>>> Gotta love those Germans.  They sure know how to take care of things
>>> quickly!
>>> -----Original Message-----
>>> From: johnb [mailto:johngnub at]
>>> Sent: Saturday, August 30, 2003 5:14 PM
>>> To: phoenix-pm-list at
>>> Subject: Re: SCO and EFF -- do something
>>> DONE, and passed it as as well;
>>> JB
>>> On Friday, August 29, 2003, at 12:07 PM, Scott Walters wrote:
>>>> Hi,
>>>> EFF is doing a letter writing, fax, emai, campaign to congress to 
>>>> make
>>>> them
>>>> aware of SCO's extortion. A little pressure can sick an attorney
>>>> general
>>>> on SCO, and as you know, the attorney general is something of a
>>>> dedicated
>>>> public prosectuor with an an office full of lawyers making sure
>>>> companies
>>>> follow the law too and they act primarily in response to consumer
>>>> complaints.
>>>> Fraud, false advertising, and extortion are all on their list. But I
>>>> rant.
>>>> So, anyway, if you happen to think that sueing people for money to
>>>> bolster their case against IBM while refusing to provide any 
>>>> evidence
>>>> at all for people to make up their own mind with even if you did 
>>>> want
>>>> to settle your debts is fraud, send a fax.
>>>> -scott

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