changing default perl

Mark Anderson emer at
Sun Nov 3 15:05:54 PST 2013

Yeah, that's my gut feeling. Just supporting the latest and greatest Perl
would be fine by me. The accelerated releases of Perl have caused a bit of
an issue - We were stuck with 5.8 for quite some time before the delay of
perl6 started causing a resurgence in interest in developing the perl core.
Perl has a tendency to go out of its way to not break backwards
compatibility to an almost annoying degree, so I would hope the impact
could be minimal. And until Perl6 comes along, the benefit of staying on
5.16 vs. 5.18 is hard to see. When we get to perl6, it will be much like
python 2 vs. 3 and I can see keeping both around.

Mark E. Anderson <emer at>

On Sun, Nov 3, 2013 at 5:44 PM, Clemens Lang <cal at> wrote:

> Hi,
> On Sun, Nov 03, 2013 at 05:12:45PM -0500, Mark Anderson wrote:
> > 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.
> So your opinion is providing a single perl version (the latest stable
> one) would be the way to go?
> To be honest, I don't know why we've ever diverged from this strategy.
> We're in a habit of shipping the latest and greatest version of software
> for most ports we have, sometimes even if breaks dependents (in which
> case we try to fix the dependents or get upstream to fix them for us).
> Maybe somebody who has seen the transition back then can comment on
> that?
> We're in a similar situation for python (and will probably be for php,
> mysql, ...), where we still allow users to install versions that have
> run out of support (even security-related) years ago, but I fear that's
> another can of worms we can open when the perl situation is resolved and
> we've learned our share from doing so.
> I'd advocate for keeping the subport magic, though – there *will* be a
> perl 6 sooner or later, and not throwing away that might simplify this
> transition a lot.
> --
> Clemens Lang
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