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Heiko Jansen
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"My guess here is that a version of Perl that busted more than 5% existing applications would just not fly. I couldn't even convince people at my last few jobs to move up from Perl5 version 8" IMHO, that probably nails down the reason why we _need_ to break compatibility in a controlled way... Those who have old established code bases don´t care much for modern perl. But the user base is slowly eroding because new projects do not use Perl anymore and because we do not attract fresh blood from outside the established community. So a) lets declare a more-or-less current release to be a long term support release which will receive security and bug fixes for at least 5 years. And b) break backwards compatibility wherever it´s needed to allow for cool features, e.g remove the barriers Stevan et. al. hit when trying to implement the in-core MOP; enable maximum unicode support by default; enable strict etc. Making it mandatory for newcomers and/or new projects to jump through various hoops to get the best out of Perl really isn´t helpful. Just look at http://www.perl.com/pub/2012/04/perlunicook-standard-preamble.html or try to explain why there´s both Moo and Moose (and the differences) and why you don´t get all that by default. And no, improving the documentation is no alternative. Changing the version number itself is only an outward sign but it won´t do us much good just by itself. I even think it would be harmful if we changed the version number without being willing to simultaneously make much deeper cuts. If we don´t dare to modernize Perl, then - I fear - Stevan is right and Perl 5 is a dead end...
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Feb 11, 2013