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Did you answer "Yes" to my first question?

Yes. With caveats. I would be more than willing to expend some, or even a lot, of my time contributing to giving Perl a future.

OK. Release to CPAN. Report bugs. Fork projects. Spread knowledge.

All completely pointless. Just business as usual. More of the same.

  • Release to CPAN.

    Even if you doubled the number of modules on CPAN overnight, it wouldn't just have no positive affect; it would have negative affect.

    How do other languages get by with so few modules available?

    By ensuring that there is one module for each purpose, that incorporates the best knowledge, coders and APIs for that purpose. If a dispute about the best way forward arises, fork the module, implement both, get them out there and see which proves best in use. Then ditch the other one.

    Keep the pool small; concentrate the skills and efforts on that few. Where choice is required, place the choice within the module not between them. That way, when someone goes looking for something, they don't have 20 similar modules to try and choose between.

    It requires a more mature approach to the task of managing libraries: deferring to others; collaborating; making mature decisions to throw your own code away and collaborate with others in pursuit of a common goal; rather than endless taking your ball and running away to fork Yet Another XYZ module.

  • Report bugs.

    I've reported bugs. Lots of them. But unless I can also have some influence over how they get fixed, it is a completely thankless task. First they get closed as "user error". If you persist enough, they may eventually get reopened. And then, if you're lucky, 10 years later they may get a 'fix', which doesn't solve the original problem; but rather make a feature of the bug and changes things such that it not only doesn't fix the overall problem; it irreparably breaks the workarounds for that original problem.

    The problem is, there is no consultation. The first you know about anything is notification that the bug has been closed in the latest release; with no chance to argue with the efficacy of that 'fix', without starting the whole process over again.

  • Fork projects.

    Pointless. Taking your ball and running home never solved any problem. 90% of forks never see light of day; 95% never usurp the original.

    That's millions of hours of wasted time and effort by volunteers that helps no-one and just breeds ill will and resentment.

  • Spread knowledge.

    To whom? Old hands are already committed to their paths. New minds will rarely be influenced by words. They'll follow the crowd; because that's the percentage play. It needs something new; something demonstrable and dramatic and usable by the many, today to grab attention.

The caveats:

  1. I have to believe that what I am expending my time on, will achieve that goal.

    Pretty much anything less than a full fork of the code base, that ditched the existing revision history and all the out-of-date OS support and huge swaths of other historical gunk wouldn't interest me.

  2. The future being aimed for has sufficient support from enough others, and significant others, in the community to allow it to be seen and announced as a community goal.

    The bottom line here is that unless it garnered the support and active involvement of at least some of the more active and less entrenched guys from p5p; there is no point in starting it.

  3. The time frame for the goal has to be such that it can be reasonably predicted to be achievable before it is too late.

    I know many would say that it is already too late; but I think that if the right goal was chosen, and it could be achieved with 2 to 3 years, I would be prepared to try and help.

What should that goal be? I have my ideas; but it would be pointless to lay them out; my ideas would be a magnet for wide-spread, cursory dismissal.

It would require widespread and public consultation -- no hidden enclaves behind closed doors by small groups of yesterdays in-crowd -- and wide(ish) agreement by a sufficiently capable and influential group of proven contributors and if not totally new blood; at least enough occasional contributors and (perhaps) returning disillusioned, to give a core of willing people to make it happen.

And *ALL* of them would have to have an equal voice in the discussion of what gets done and why; even if not in the final decisions.

And it would have to happen fast. And that means no high horses, entrenched positions, or appeals to higher, prior (historical) authority.

It's not going to happen; but it could with sufficient good will.


With the rise and rise of 'Social' network sites: 'Computers are making people easier to use everyday'
Examine what is said, not who speaks -- Silence betokens consent -- Love the truth but pardon error.
"Science is about questioning the status quo. Questioning authority".
In the absence of evidence, opinion is indistinguishable from prejudice.

In reply to Re^2: The future of Perl? by BrowserUk
in thread The future of Perl? by BrowserUk

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