[sf-perl] Perl 5.8 legacy soon

Quinn Weaver quinn at fairpath.com
Wed May 11 14:40:06 PDT 2011

On Tue, May 10, 2011 at 9:04 PM, Fred Moyer <fred at redhotpenguin.com> wrote:
> It looks like 5.8 will be considered legacy and 5.10 will be end of
> lifed when 5.14 is released soonish.

I think it's fantastic that the Perl team has finally started keeping
an explicit contract with users about which versions will be
supported. It means you can use old versions with confidence, and you
can know in advance when to plan migrations (though they've always
been painless for me). Also, it gives programmers another solid
argument they can make to management for moving off of problematically
old Perls.

PostgreSQL has been enforcing this kind of contract for years. My
colleague (and former SF Perl Monger) David E. Wheeler deserves at
least some of the credit for convincing the Perl core team to do the
same. Kudos!

PS: to get around the problem of OSes shipping with old Perls, I
prefer Ubuntu, which provides multiple packages (e.g. a Perl 5.12
package, a Perl 5.14 package, et cetera) that can happily coexist.

When I'm working with a client who uses RHEL (or CentOS, or the like),
and they need something newer than the distro provides, I usually
offer to compile Perl by hand. It's not ideal, and I do wish Red Hat
would use more up-to-date packages and/or become less popular, but
you've got to work with what you have. Compiling by hand lets you make
appropriate choices about features like -Dusemultiplicity and
-Dusrshrplib (both for use with PostgreSQL's PL/Perl) that random
packages from rpmfind.net may or may not make.

Quinn Weaver Consulting, LLC
Full-stack web design and development

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