changing default perl

Mark Anderson emer at
Sun Nov 3 14:12:45 PST 2013

I'm all for doing what we need to do. I use a lot of perl, and I have
always tried to install the latest or close to latest. Back before we had
the perl5 port I had a perl script that read every port file and
essentially did this: s/perl5.8/perl5.12/ - so I'm a big fan of having the
latest available.

I'm also willing to help with whatever we need to fix. Sometimes, I think
I'm the last Perl fan around, as everyone ditches me for Python, which to
be fair, I also use.

Mark E. Anderson <emer at>

On Sun, Nov 3, 2013 at 5:00 PM, Jeremy Lavergne
<jeremy at>wrote:

> >> I’m not sure that making more work is really something we want to do.
> >
> > Right. But I’m not sure what course of action you’re advocating with
> that sentence.
> Introducing another perl5 variant means that’s another set of ports and
> their variants we need to clean up if we were to switch to perl_select. We
> would end up undoing anything new we add for perl variants.
> It would be less wasted effort to start converting things to perl_select
> if that’s our end game, but it remains unclear if perl_select is the end
> game—at least how i’m reading all our perl threads.
> > Yes, but the OP was asking how to make “perl” be “perl5.18”. That’s the
> kind of thing that “port select” is supposed to be for, except that it
> would conflict with files from the “perl5” port. I don’t think we can
> suggest people use “port select” for perl until the old perl5 port and all
> references to it have been removed.
> Hence why the above is “more work” because if we added the variant we’d
> have to go back and remove it again later. If you really think it’s not
> that big of a problem, then it should be added. I just fear this is another
> instance where we continue "kicking the can down the road".
> > The other option Daniel advocates is going back to a single perl. That
> would involve even more work, finding all ports that depend on perl5.x or
> any p5.x module, changing them to the one true perl, and also rewriting the
> perl5 portgroup again and all p5 ports and revbumping all of them.
> It would definitely make perl life much easier in the long run. Any of our
> actual perl users should chime in on this one, or if we were using
> statistics we’d know roughly how many users are using our “non-default”
> perls.
> > That’s why I proposed the very simple 3-line solution of adding a
> perl5_18 variant to the perl5 port until we decide which way we want to go.
> Yes, but I suspect we won’t be deciding after we add this 3-line solution.
> I’d rather we hammer out our plan than put in an easy temporary fix as
> there is then less emphasis on what needs to be done.
> I’m just really concerned that MacPorts will continue to sit without
> making changes.
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