perl5, perl5.* changes

Ryan Schmidt ryandesign at
Sun Feb 27 07:44:01 PST 2011

On Feb 27, 2011, at 09:28, Daniel J. Luke wrote:

> On Feb 27, 2011, at 12:57 AM, Ryan Schmidt wrote:
>>> Sure. Are you suggesting that something can/should be done right now to help this?
>> One was already suggested: the perl5 port should have added a 5.8 variant that became the default,
> you do know that the perl5 port used to be perl5.8 by default and has stayed that way for multiple years before this change was made, right?

Yup, I am aware. This suggestion would thus keep perl at 5.8 for those users who already had that installed, thus not disrupting anything for them, and allowing them to choose when to upgrade to perl 5.12. Not saying having multiple versions of perl is the best idea, but if we have them (and we currently do), this would have been less disruptive.

> ... and that continuing to push out perl5.8 as the default is a bad idea
> ... and that no one came up with a 'smooth' transition plan even though multiple maintainers had asked for input

It is nice to move to the latest perl, but perl5.8 did work, and a smooth transition is important, for the probably majority of MacPorts users who don't know how to fix these kinds of issues themselves, and aren't subscribed to the list to learn what they're supposed to do now.

>> Or, perl5 could have become "the" perl port, at whatever version, and all p5-* ports that need rebuilds would have gotten their revisions bumped.
> which is what I suggested.
> Of course, perl5 used to work (mostly) that way but a lot of effort was put into changing it (so that multiple versions of perl could be installed, I guess).
>> There may be other ideas. I have not completely thought through the problem, and don't really have the time or inclination to do so right now.
> OK, I'll remember ignore your future posts on the issue, then.

Now, there's no need for that kind of remark. As you point out below, I am not the maintainer of the perl ports, and I already spend enough time on MacPorts as it is that I don't feel the need to take this on as well. But when I see something that's not handled according to best practices, I point it out, so that someone can handle it.

>>> There have been discussions of this for quite some time now - it's probably better that we have some pain and get more people on perl5.12 than keep perl5.8 as the 'standard' perl for forever...
>> However, I don't want to handle the support consequences of the way this change was done for the next 6-12 months.
> You don't appear to be the maintainer of the perl ports...
> (note that I'm not either, but I do use them and have followed this issue for a while).

Right, but users with problems file tickets (which I spend time sorting and assigning) and write to the mailing list (which I spend time reading and replying to), and I know you and other team members do too, so there is an impact to the whole team by pushing out changes that break the automatic update process for users, and an impact to users who find their normal routine disrupted when the software they rely on suddenly doesn't work anymore.

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