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Re: Perl in LSB 3.2

by zshzn (Hermit)
on May 31, 2007 at 11:13 UTC ( #618459=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Perl in LSB 3.2

There certainly are some issues with incorporating Perl into the Linux Standard Base. However, it really should be done. Maybe it is just my biased viewpoint, but I think this requires give and take on both sides.

Perl as a language is a strange beast. It does whatever it does, and that may change highly between versions. In this way it doesn't lend itself at all to be standarized. Additionally, the most up-to-date specification of Perl (If you could call it that) is the documentation behind Perl 6. We are certainly not in a position currently to standardize support for Perl 6.

This leads to the conclusion that it isn't really the language, Perl, that is currently a de facto Linux standard. It's the application, perl, which is commonly used. In the Linux world, perl is everywhere, and any programmer can make a reasonable expectation to find perl 5.8 on a new system as released by the distribution designers. In this way, perl belongs to the "Commands and Utilities" section of the LSB, as listed here:

After that outlook on perl, in relation to the LSB, has been established, the details are easy. Beyond having support for all the basic aspects of the Perl language, core modules need to be installed, and a language specification isn't needed. Basically what I mean to say in my humble, practical opinion, is that not much more is needed to pass realistic standards than having a modern /usr/bin/perl (5.8, heck, 5.6!) and core modules somewhere.

Just my two cents.

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Re^2: Perl in LSB 3.2
by ysth (Canon) on May 31, 2007 at 19:09 UTC
    I'm in violent agreement with you for most of that, and think that only good can come from this.

    I believe all the LSB-certified distributions already have 5.8.8, so fortunately, I don't think allowing 5.6 is going to even be a question.

    But the LSB is not just a linux distribution standard. Its other side is a specification for what API an application can rely upon. In terms of Perl, then, what does it mean to have a LSB-compliant Perl application? What builtins/modules can be used or should be avoided? Without a perl 5 specification (and I'm not suggesting creating one), how meaningful is it to claim LSB-compliance for a perl app? And if that's not meaningful, how meaningful is it to have a perl figure into LSB-compliance for a linux distribution at all? The answers are not "completely meaningless", but they aren't all the way on the other side, either.

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