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Effect on Perl 5

Effect on Perl 5

Posted Feb 12, 2013 4:54 UTC (Tue) by corbet (editor, #1)
In reply to: Should be: Goodnight, Perl 6. by apoelstra
Parent article: Chromatic: Goodnight, Parrot

Somewhat relevant: I've been keeping an eye on a discussion on the perl5 list wherein some developers, at least, are feeling frustrated. Seems they would like to move beyond the "perl 5" name which, they say, adds to the impression that the language has stagnated. But what to move to? It seems somebody else has already grabbed "perl 6". So they feel stuck, and not everybody is happy about it.


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Effect on Perl 5

Posted Feb 12, 2013 11:52 UTC (Tue) by alankila (guest, #47141) [Link]

Renaming perl 5 to perl 7 sounds like it might increase sales of popcorn worldwide.

Effect on Perl 5

Posted Feb 12, 2013 12:57 UTC (Tue) by mpr22 (subscriber, #60784) [Link]

Heck, that stunt would probably make America's corn lobby shut up about ethanol.

Effect on Perl 5

Posted Feb 12, 2013 16:04 UTC (Tue) by dskoll (subscriber, #1630) [Link]

I think a far more entertaining choice would be to call it Perl 6 and register a domain like "perl-6.org" :)

Effect on Perl 5

Posted Feb 12, 2013 16:20 UTC (Tue) by pboddie (guest, #50784) [Link]

This has happened with other products. For example, after one company acquired some rights to the proprietary microcomputer operating system RISC OS and bumped the version from 3.x to 4, a few years later another company acquired some other rights to the original code and released their version as RISC OS 5, even though it was mostly version 3.something with hardware compatibility revisions (incorporating some code that may have originated from Linux as a "Hardware Compatibility Layer" in a way that prompted allegations of GPL violation). There was no love lost between those organisations.

What concerns me with these big re-workings of existing projects and the "inheritance" of those projects' names in favour of the "next big thing" is that apart from the confusion that a lack of backwards-compatibility might bring to each of the brands in general, they also send the signal to anyone who doesn't embrace the next big thing - those who continue developing the existing versions - that they no longer have the right to use such names. After all, those people will just "run out" of versions unless they rename their project or play leapfrog.

But I suppose that if someone has already pushed in front of you and tabled a claim to the next major version number, playing leapfrog is just payback.

Effect on Perl 5

Posted Feb 13, 2013 1:36 UTC (Wed) by raiph (guest, #89283) [Link]

> if someone has already pushed in front of you and tabled a claim to the next major version number, playing leapfrog is just payback.

The "someone" is Larry Wall, who made the name "Perl" up, has spent 25 years volunteering most of his spare time, and frequently a lot more than that, to developing Perl, and has always been clear that he's not relinquishing his BDFL role in relation to the brandname "Perl" and is not interested in renaming Perl 6.

Imo it would be good if Perl 5 were renamed Perl 7 and then Perl 6 and Perl 5 merged back together with them becoming fully reintegrated at around Perl 11. But Larry sees things differently and I respect his view and his BDFL status.

Effect on Perl 5

Posted Feb 14, 2013 12:49 UTC (Thu) by pboddie (guest, #50784) [Link]

Well, part of what I am trying to communicate is that the right to use a name is not always seen in the same way by everyone involved. I don't doubt Larry Wall's commitment to Perl, and he can make a dialect of COBOL and call it Perl for all I care, but when other people feel that they too have a stake in the brand, they get rather upset if things start to change under their feet. One sees this even with brands like Coke where disgruntled customers with no involvement in the making of the product get upset at changes in the form of the product.

To summarise, someone can be completely entitled to control a brand but they have to live with the consequences of their decisions. We've seen this with KDE and GNOME, of course, but also with Python and Zope. The interesting thing about Zope is that the project's output was actually renamed from Zope 3 to BlueBream precisely because the people with the right to use the name felt that continuing to do so was confusing to people.

Effect on Perl 5

Posted Feb 14, 2013 18:55 UTC (Thu) by raiph (guest, #89283) [Link]

> Well, part of what I am trying to communicate is that the right to use a name is not always seen in the same way by everyone involved.

I hear what you are saying (and totally agree).

> I don't doubt Larry Wall's commitment to Perl, and he can make a dialect of COBOL and call it Perl for all I care

He wouldn't do that because he is very committed to Perl. Perl 6 is very clearly Perl, not COBOL.

> but when ... people feel that they too have a stake in the brand, they get rather upset if things start to change under their feet.

Think about that with Larry and sixers where the ... appears. They have put 12 years in to producing a worthy new Perl. Rather than help get it production ready most folk are happier to complain about the name.

Now think about it with "others" as you originally wrote where the ... appears. What has changed under their feet and who changed it?

> To summarise, someone can be completely entitled to control a brand but they have to live with the consequences of their decisions.

Right. I think Larry understands that Perl 6 solves pretty much all the problems with Perl 5 while retaining its essence and he's not going to let pent up frustration with how long its taken and its changes in syntax derail the efforts of the last 12 years.


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